It was a major night for social media megastars at the fifth annual Shorty Awards held at the TimesCenter in New York City. Hosted by actress and writer Felicia Day, best known as “Vi” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the awards ceremony highlighted the best tweeters, Facebookers and Instagram-ers in a variety of categories.
West Virginia University (WVU) was named Most Social College after winning a Shorty Award for social media engagement in the #BNCollege category. The award was presented to the Barnes & Noble College school that most effectively uses social media to drive campus engagement with students, faculty and local community while also celebrating the school’s authentic spirit and identity.
“We are thrilled to have our social media efforts recognized with a Shorty Award. Social media is one of the best ways we’ve found to reach our audience, and we aren’t afraid to try new things. From Twitter to Facebook, Pinterest to Instagram, I appreciate that our University Relations team adapts to each new platform we adopt in our social media mix,” said Tricia Petty, WVU Associate Vice President for Marketing and Operations. “We’ve done a very good job, and the award reinforces that, in creating unique content that is relevant to our followers.”
During the contest, fans of schools from across the country used the #BNCollege hashtag (marks keywords or topics in a Tweet) and their university’s Twitter handle to vote. Other finalists included Liberty University, the University of Mississippi, Indiana University, Boston University College of Communications, the University of Houston and the University of South Florida.
Using multiple social media platforms, West Virginia University effectively stays connected with students, alumni and prospective students through the use of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Istagram. “I’m not surprised that West Virginia University won the Shorty Award for Most Social College,” says West Virginia University Bookstore Manager David Lang. “Blazing trails is something Mountaineers are known for and WVU is engaged and totally connected when it comes to social media. We couldn’t be more proud of this win.”
Other award winners included NASA for Best in Government, First Lady Michelle Obama for #GIFStar Special Shorty, Justin Bieber for Best Celebrity and CNN for Best Use of Social Media for News for its 2012 Presidential election coverage. Shorty winners are determined by members of the diverse Real-Time Academy, which includes Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, MC Hammer and actress Alyssa Milano.
For a full list of winners, visit to shortyawards.com.