Louisiana Tech using social, mobile media to reach the masses

Jul 12, 2011 | General News

Facebook ‘fans’ of over 25,000 and new iPhone app are bringing people closer to campus
Capitalizing on the Internet’s most revolutionary and transformative communications tools, Louisiana Tech University is drawing students, alums and fans closer to its campus in new and innovative ways.  Social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, and mobile media technologies such as iPhone apps are helping Tech stay connected with its many communities.
The expanse of Louisiana Tech’s social media presence hit a milestone this week as it welcomed its 25,000th Facebook “fan” to its network – a virtual population size exceeded only by LSU among public universities in the state.  With an additional 2,000 Twitter “followers,” the university is using these social networks to communicate everything from academic and athletic accomplishments to emergency messages to school closures.
Tom Soto, Louisiana Tech’s assistant webmaster, and Donny Crowe, head of photographic services, are the primary administrators for Tech’s social media sites.  They have seen the growth of Tech’s social networks from a communication supplement to an essential component of the university’s marketing and public relations strategy.
“The biggest change we’ve seen using social media is the increase in traffic to our news site,” said Soto.  “Facebook and Twitter give our followers an opportunity to like, re-tweet or share information with their friends faster than ever before.”
In addition to the posting of institutional information, Louisiana Tech’s social media sites are also serving as an effective forum for students and alums to express school spirit, ask a variety of questions, and even voice complaints.  Soto and Crowe have taken on the task of overseeing and updating the information posted on these sites and promptly responding to user comments and inquiries.
“Social networks such as Facebook have opened a window through which we can showcase the ever changing face of our University,” said Crowe.  “Alumni and friends who cannot visit the campus get to  see the tulips every spring, and new and renovated buildings that are leading us into the future without closing the doors on our rich history.”
The newest communication tool in the Louisiana Tech arsenal is an iPhone application that launched this week which provides instant access to news, maps, photos, videos, a calendar of events, athletics information, and faculty and staff directory.  The app is free to download from the iPhone App Store and will be updated with new features in the coming months.  A mobile version of the Louisiana Tech app is also available at  Development of an Android mobile application is currently in the works.
“The mobile app will allow users to have the latest information about Tech at their fingertips,” Soto said.  “New and prospective students, as well as alums, will be able to explore the changing landscape of the campus using the campus map feature.  They will also have a more concise list of events in the calendar.”
A “Flickr” site for posting of various photo libraries and “YouTube” site for university and student-produced videos round out Louisiana Tech’s social media experience.  Soto and Crowe say that students, staff, faculty, alums and fans are continuing to frequent these social networks, creating new virtual communities and enhancing Tech’s outreach efforts.
Users can also subscribe to the “News@Tech” RSS feed to receive and view the latest articles and postings from the university.  For more information or to connect to the campus, visit Louisiana Tech’s social media networks at