The Social Side of College Admissions

Facts & Figures: Key Data Points from Our Analysis of 40,000+ Posts by University Facebook Pages in October 2014

December 3, 2014

We just completed an analysis of 42,982 posts by 1,007 college and university pages. In a previous post, we examined some specific trends we found while analyzing the 500 most-engaging posts for the month.

In this post, we'll dig deeper into the numbers for all the October 2014 posts. We hope our analysis helps uncover some new insights for you, validates some hunches you may have had, and provides benchmarks for your own efforts.

To give you an anchor for the engagement scores that you'll see in our analysis, we've shared a few averages for all 42,892 posts we analyzed:

  • Average Likes per 1,000 fans: 4.52
  • Average Comments per 1,000 fans: 0.15
  • Average Shares per 1,000 fans: 0.36
  • Average Engagement Score: 5.55

Alumni Pages vs. The Rest

We recently updated our Facebook Page Directory to include categorization by audience (General, Admissions, and Alumni). We had long ago hypothesized about the potential for segmentation in engaging your audience. Your prospects likely want very different information from your Facebook Page than your alumni.

The engagement rates of alumni pages vs. general pages seems to support this hypothesis.

Weekend Posts Continue to Be Most Engaging

For the month of October, posts on Saturdays generated, by far, the most engagement. We believe the #1 reason for this is fairly straightforward… it's college football season. We also have a hunch that people have more time to check Facebook on the weekends, which is why posts on Sundays also tend to generate more engagement.

Photos Generate Most Likes, But Not Most Comments or Shares

Looking to get your audience to like your content, then definitely share a photo. They get liked at a much higher rate than any other type of post. However, on average, videos generate more shares, and text-only status posts generate more comments.

Media TypeEngagement Score (# of Posts)Likes / 1000 FansComments / 1000 FansShares/ 1000 Fans
Photo7.08
23,396 posts
5.960.190.37
Link3.37
13,849 posts
2.560.090.32
Status4.07
3,096 posts
3.230.210.21
Video5.18
2,547 posts
3.600.150.64

Engagement Score by Post Frequency

We grouped pages into tranches of 50 based on their post frequency so we could look at the relationship between post frequency and average engagement scores. The 50 pages that posted the most in October 2014 are in the 1-50 tranche, averaging 147 posts for the month. The next 50 most frequent posters are in 51-100, averaging 95 posts for the month. And so on.

As with past analyses, we again see a general trend that engagement score per post tends to increase as the frequency of posts decrease. We included a chart with the raw data as well as a graph on the engagement score by tranche, which makes this trend a bit more noticeable. The green line is the average number of posts for the school in the tranche and the blue bars are the average engagement scores per post for the schools in the tranche.

Post Frequency Ranking Engagement Score Avg. Number of Posts Avg. Number of Fans
1-503.45614750,579
51-1004.2819559,378
101-1504.8307643,336
151-2004.4666570,384
201-2505.8885859,850
251-3004.40551120,152
301-3506.1204632,015
351-4006.3524261,945
401-4507.4553823,075
451-5005.4173566,371
501-5507.2733240,498
551-6007.2553051,327
601-6506.0792873,737
651-7007.6942518,215
701-7507.3752222,274
751-8009.7802024,610
801-8509.8341621,490
851-9007.9471315,117
901-95011.2311010,008
951-100411.22566,203

Most Engaging Pages for October 2014

Size Categories

XX Large (75,000+ Facebook fans)

Rank SchoolEngagement Score
1Colorado State University
(Fort Collins, CO)
15.273
65 posts
2Georgia Tech
(Atlanta, GA)
14.173
25 posts
3West Virginia University
(Morgantown, WV)
11.374
60 posts
4Texas A&M University
(College Station, TX)
10.780
31 posts
5Mississippi State University
(Starkville, MS)
10.040
150 posts
6University of Virginia
(Charlottesville, VA)
9.930
42 posts
7Michigan State University
(East Lansing, MI)
9.654
50 posts
8Georgetown University
(Washington, DC)
9.569
44 posts
9Oregon State University
(Corvallis, OR)
8.516
15 posts
10University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
(Champaign, IL)
8.445
36 posts

X Large (20,000-74,999 Facebook fans)

Rank SchoolEngagement Score
1Siena College
(Loudonville, NY)
58.874
4 posts
2The University of Arizona Alumni Association
(Tucson, AZ)
30.901
44 posts
3South Dakota State University
(Brookings, SD)
30.554
20 posts
4Berry College
(Mount Berry, GA)
25.677
26 posts
5Ohio University Alumni Association
(Athens, OH)
25.018
21 posts
6Ole Miss Alumni Association
(Oxford, MS)
23.696
59 posts
7Abilene Christian University
(Abilene, TX)
23.217
10 posts
8Soka University of America
(Aliso Viejo, CA)
23.118
83 posts
9Stanford Alumni
(Stanford, CA)
22.528
22 posts
10Purdue Alumni
(West Lafayette, IN)
22.095
32 posts

Large (10,000-19,999 Facebook fans)

Rank SchoolEngagement Score
1Taylor University
(Upland, IN)
43.165
9 posts
2Susquehanna University
(Selinsgrove, PA)
42.689
15 posts
3Trinity University
(San Antonio, TX)
29.489
15 posts
4University of the South
(Sewanee, TN)
29.430
32 posts
5SUNY Oswego
(Oswego, NY)
25.990
31 posts
6Union College
(Schenectady, NY)
25.405
31 posts
7Luther College
(Decorah, IA)
23.177
36 posts
8St. Olaf College
(Northfield, MN)
22.140
28 posts
9St. Lawrence University
(Canton, NY)
21.266
42 posts
10Heidelberg University
(Tiffin, OH)
19.815
25 posts

Medium (5,000-9,999 Facebook fans)

Rank SchoolEngagement Score
1Mount St. Joseph University
(Cincinnati, OH)
61.395
20 posts
2Buena Vista University
(Storm Lake, IA)
59.872
8 posts
3Marquette University Alumni Association
(Milwaukee, WI)
50.624
16 posts
4DePauw University
(Greencastle, IN)
28.447
9 posts
5College of Charleston Alumni
(Charleston, SC)
27.033
12 posts
6KU Alumni Association
(Lawrence, KS)
25.295
25 posts
7Bethel University
(Saint Paul, MN)
23.200
11 posts
8Covenant College
(Lookout Mountain, GA)
22.331
9 posts
9Hollins University
(Roanoke, VA)
21.903
47 posts
10Transylvania University
(Lexington, KY)
19.049
54 posts

Small (<5,000 Facebook fans)

Rank SchoolEngagement Score
1Saint Francis University Alumni Association
(Loretto, PA)
71.422
3 posts
2Grambling University National Alumni Association - GUNAA
(Grambling, LA)
67.508
30 posts
3Morgan State University National Alumni Association
(Baltimore, MD)
65.897
2 posts
4Biola University Crowell School Of Business
(La Mirada, CA)
58.656
8 posts
5McNeese State University Alumni Association
(Lake Charles, LA)
52.541
2 posts
6Jackson State University National Alumni Association, Inc.
(Jackson, MS)
37.399
60 posts
7South Dakota State University Alumni Association
(Brookings, SD)
35.423
19 posts
8University of Idaho Alumni Association
(Moscow, ID)
29.107
23 posts
9Presbyterian College Alumni
(Clinton, SC)
28.937
12 posts
10Alabama A&M University Alumni Network
(Normal, AL)
28.723
15 posts

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