Melanie Mason

Knock, Knock, Who’s There? Digital Communication Via Social Media: Connecting Higher Education Departments to Students


Melanie A. Mason, MS, BFA
Department of Communication, College of Liberal Arts
Individual university departments are looking for ways to communicate with their student base through social media in more expedient and useful ways. How does this happen effectively with little personnel, time, or money to devote to the activity? What policies can help direct an efficient and mutually beneficial social presence online and can those advantages extend to recruitment and retention? It is self-evident that students will profit from deeper and more connected interactions from departmental generated social media and as educators , we continue to hear “meet the students where they live,” indicating an urgency to communicate with them on these platforms. My study will focus on the current University of Texas Arlington Communication Department Facebook account. Individual posts, as well as audience interactions will comprise the data which will be obtained using the open source web mining tool, Python. Analyzing and comparing this data with demographic information focusing on departmental population will help to answer the initial questions and guide departmental policy towards best practices.