This paper explores the different uses of the Twitter social media made by the top 100 universities in the world as classified by The 2018 Times Higher Education World Ranking (THE). The aim is to relate the THE ranking performance indicators to the data from the Twitter activities of each university, in order to understand if the level of the universities’ prestige affects their interacting communicative attitude on social media. Using statistical and quantitative methods, we succeeded in identifying three types of universities: Megaphone Universities, characterized by a one-way communication model, Collaborative Universities, concentrated on international openness, and Social Universities, more active and participative on Twitter than the others. Except for marketing purposes, universities reveal several obstacles in using social media. A more entrepreneurial vision of university could allow recognizing social media as an opportunity to enhance the circulation of knowledge flow and resources.
Maddalena Della Volpe
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