The 15 Best Colleges and Universities to Follow on Social Media

The Best Colleges and Universities on Social Media.

Colleges and universities are producing some of the most exciting, cutting-edge content on social media. They’re working with beautiful settings, compelling characters and a constant stream of new storylines. Not to mention, they’ve got a built-in audience. Social media is a powerful tool for schools to reach prospective students, current students, alumni and families.

To get ready for our on-demand webinar, 10 ways to work faster with photos and videos in higher ed, we wanted to dig in to the best colleges and universities on social media.

Here are the schools to follow, along with why they stand out.

Who did we miss? Tweet your favorite colleges and universities to follow on social media @getlibris.

West Virginia University

The team at West Virginia University is embracing one of their best assets: their charismatic University President, Gordon Gee. In their video series, “Gee Mail,” Gee gives you an insider’s look at everything from the clubs on campus to graduation. One video on the Mountaineer Marching Band’s trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade got more than 5,000 shares. Don’t miss his attempt at playing the oboe at the :30 second mark.

Follow West Virginia University on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Boston University

When you scroll through the videos on the Boston University Twitter feed, you feel more like you’re looking at the feed of a media company than a university. They know how to share the right videos on social to get your attention.

For example, check out this video that has a simple, shareable subject, a square format, and text on screen.

And, check out this quick clip that catches your attention and encourages you to take a deep dive into the story. The link sends you to a dynamic landing page that includes a 5 minute documentary on the project.

University of Florida

The team at the University of Florida uses gorgeous photography and videography to shine a spotlight on the school’s programs. These images give alumni, parents, prospective students and community members a look at parts of the university only students and faculty would typically be able to see.

The Instagram slideshow below caught follower’s attention on social media and drove them to a in-depth story packed with photography.

Honorable mention: UF also just launched its own GIF channel on GIPHY, and who doesn’t love GIFs?

Follow UF on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Franklin & Marshall College

The team at Franklin & Marshall College produces incredible video content, ranging from alumni profiles to move-in day stories. But one of the ways this team really excels is with live video. They start with a casual pre-show to raise awareness about the event. Then, they switch to a more polished live stream using professional video and sound equipment.

See how it works:

Follow Franklin & Marshall on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Michigan State University

Michigan State University produced an epic video series to celebrate the launch of Stranger Things season 2, breaking down concepts related to the hit series like telekinesis and nostalgia. Maybe I’m biased because our team did a Stranger Things spin for our webinar, How to Prepare for the Visual Content Apocalypse, but these videos drew me in with their eye-catching openings, smart editing and thoughtful content.

Editor’s note: In the video above, Professor Gary Hoppenstand says, “I always look at popular culture as teaching tools.” This video hooks you in with popular culture, and actually teaches you something about nostalgia. I see what you did there, Michigan State.

Follow Michigan State University on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Belmont University

Belmont University has a social media street team called, The Boulevard Team – a team of students who produce music, stories and videos for the university’s social media channels. It’s a great way to highlight the talent of Belmont students and give audiences an authentic picture of university life.

Check out how Belmont is using Instagram takeovers to show a day in the life of a student:

A look at Belmont’s Instagram story during a student takeover.

Follow Belmont University on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill has one of the most recognizable brands in higher ed, from the Old Well to the Tar Heel mascot to the school’s iconic baby blue. As you scroll through UNC’s Instagram, its impossible to forget where you are. The university’s symbols are represented in almost every photo and video, creating a cohesive, branded feel.

When you take the time to admire the Old Well 💙🌷[📸: @morrisonm2] #TARgram

A post shared by UNC-Chapel Hill (@uncchapelhill) on

A rainy day at Carolina is better than a sunny day at a lot of places! ☔️ #TARgram

A post shared by UNC-Chapel Hill (@uncchapelhill) on

Follow UNC-Chapel Hill on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

University of Northern Colorado

Research shows tweets with images get significantly higher retweets than those without, and the team at the University of Northern Colorado is keeping this in mind. They consistently add images to their tweets, and their colorful feed is sure to catch your attention.

Follow University of Northern Colorado on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Cornell University

The team at Cornell is learning from the media giants when it comes to producing videos for social media. They use gorgeous B roll and simple text on the screen to tell a snackable, eye-catching story. While the videos are easy to watch on silent, the music is well chosen and the sound is well edited, so anyone who turns the sound on is in for a treat!

Follow Cornell on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

University of Oregon

The University of Oregon social media team does a great job of working with the school’s library system (which has its own awesome Instagram account) to share throwback content that catches your eye and delights fans.

Check out the throwback content the team made for homecoming:

Who’s ready for the best #homecoming ever? Hooray! Fun for all! #TBT : @uolibraries

A post shared by University of Oregon (@uoregon) on

Follow Oregon on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Harvard University

The team at Harvard is producing stunning video content for social media. The editing is phenomenal and the videos are filled with unexpected surprises that hold your attention.

See for yourself:

Follow Harvard on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Texas A&M University

The team at Texas A&M University takes advantage of Instagram’s video autoplay feature with motion graphics and time lapse videos that catch your attention right away. I have a soft sport for both time lapse video and marching bands, so this team gets an A+ in my book.

The one and only Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band! @aggiecorps

A post shared by Texas A&M University (@tamu) on

Follow Texas A&M on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky social media team does a great job of creating a visual brand. Their hashtag is #seeblue, and that hashtag comes to life on their social media feeds. The feeds are packed with Kentucky’s signature blue, whether it’s coming through in a graphic or in the school’s photography.


A post shared by University of Kentucky (@universityofky) on

SOON. #BBM17 #seeblue

A post shared by University of Kentucky (@universityofky) on

Follow Kentucky on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Bates College

The team at Bates College is full of masterful storytellers. Not only do they share beautiful photography on social media, but they share the context. They help you get to know the people in the photos and understand the full story, which gives this small liberal arts school’s social media channels a true feeling of community.

Follow Bates College on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Stanford University

Stanford University’s Instagram is packed with fascinating stories. Scrolling through their feed is like flipping through the pages of an interesting magazine. It covers everything from medical history to modern art. The mix of current images and throwback photos holds your attention and entices you to follow along.

The artist is in. Visitors to @cantorarts watched Hope Gangloff painting in the museum’s 1894 Atrium this week (she’ll return later this month). Gangloff considers the act of portrait painting to be a personal exchange between subject and artist, so she insists on painting people she knows. Above, she’s painting her friend Tammy Fortin, who is also a Cantor staff member. This glimpse inside the New York-based artist’s studio process is part of the first iteration of Cantor’s Diekman Contemporary Commissions Program, an exhibition series that invites artists to use the museum as a laboratory for experimentation and as a platform for creating new work. Gangloff has also curated a portraiture exhibition at Cantor placing historical works from the museum’s collection alongside her own contemporary work. She has created several new portraits that will hang from the atrium balcony. @stanfordarts Photo by Angela Drury

A post shared by Stanford University (@stanford) on

Follow Stanford on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Watch Now: 10 Ways to Work Faster with Photos and Videos on Campus

Watch our on-demand webinar to get ideas to steal from innovative university communications teams, tips for working faster and creating better content, and a chance to learn about storytelling and workflow challenges from higher ed visual storytelling experts.

Cover photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen, Bates College.

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