The Social Side of College Admissions

More Data on College Facebook Pages - Most Active and Engaging Colleges

November 16, 2010

The data in this post has been updated, as of November 16, 2010. Due to data limitations from the Facebook API, the original data pull had not been complete. We re-pulled the data for the 4-week period October 17-November 13, 2010 and re-ran our analysis.

As a company that focuses on the intersection of higher education and social networking, specifically Facebook, Varsity Outreach has been tracking the performance of college Facebook Pages for over a year now. You can visit our Directory of College Facebook Pages to see trends in growth of fans (or likes, depending on which term you prefer). Recently, we've begun analyzing the posts that are shared on these college Facebook Pages. A couple months ago, we shared some analysis we did on 601 U.S. college Facebook Pages, trying to uncover some general trends around engagement.

Now, we're releasing some additional findings on college Facebook Pages. Unless otherwise specified, the data shared is for October 17, 2010, to November 13, 2010.

Most Active College Facebook Pages

First, we wanted to see which schools were doing their best to keep their Facebook Pages fresh with a constant flow of content. Below are the top 20 college Facebook Pages by the number of posts over this 4-week period. We only counted posts from the page itself, not from fans. All of these schools averaged more than two posts per day on their Facebook Page, with the top school, South Carolina, averaging a whopping 14.5 posts per day.

1Official University of South Carolina Page
(Columbia, SC)
Average Engagement Score: 0.915
408 posts
2Syracuse University
(Syracuse, NY)
Average Engagement Score: 0.796
231 posts
3Harding University
(Searcy, AR)
Average Engagement Score: 0.550
142 posts
4Jackson State University
(Jackson, MS)
Average Engagement Score: 0.915
138 posts
5Taylor University Trojans
(Upland, IN)
Average Engagement Score: 1.173
128 posts
6Northwest Missouri State University
(Maryville, MO)
Average Engagement Score: 0.650
124 posts
(Baton Rouge, LA)
Average Engagement Score: 0.854
120 posts
8Westminster College
(New Wilmington, PA)
Average Engagement Score: 0.461
118 posts
9McNeese State University
(Lake Charles, LA)
Average Engagement Score: 0.585
115 posts
10Eastern Illinois University
(Charleston, IL)
Average Engagement Score: 0.255
113 posts
11Penn State
(University Park, PA)
Average Engagement Score: 0.766
106 posts
12The University of Arizona
(Tucson, AZ)
Average Engagement Score: 1.181
101 posts
13Brock University
(Saint Catharines, ON)
Average Engagement Score: 0.591
97 posts
(Green Bay, WI)
Average Engagement Score: 1.232
92 posts
15Howard University
(Washington, DC)
Average Engagement Score: 0.503
92 posts
16University of Michigan-Flint
(Flint, MI)
Average Engagement Score: 0.941
91 posts
17Northeastern Illinois University
(Chicago, IL)
Average Engagement Score: 2.616
87 posts
18Florida A&M University
(Tallahassee, FL)
Average Engagement Score: 1.768
86 posts
19University of Miami
(Coral Gables, FL)
Average Engagement Score: 1.995
81 posts
20Missouri State University
(Springfield, MO)
Average Engagement Score: 0.368
79 posts

Most Engaging College Facebook Pages

We also wanted to see which schools had the most engagement over this month-and-a-half long period. We used the same formula to track engagement that we used in our previous analysis:

Engagement Score

Varsity Outreach Engagement Score

We have only included college Facebook Pages with at least 5 posts during this period. We have also broken them out into four categories based on the size of their fan base so that the comparisons were more apples-to-apples.

Very Large (25,000+ Facebook fans)

RankSchoolEngagement Score
1Texas A&M University
(College Station, TX)
38 posts
2The University of Kansas
(Lawrence, KS)
11 posts
3Auburn University
(Auburn, AL)
14 posts
4Kaplan University
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)
16 posts
5Mississippi State University
(Starkville, MS)
34 posts
6Oregon State University
(Corvallis, OR)
15 posts
7Oklahoma State University
(Stillwater, OK)
39 posts
8Indiana University
(Bloomington, IN)
8 posts
9University of Oregon
(Eugene, OR)
27 posts
10University of Wisconsin-Madison
(Madison, WI)
18 posts

Large (7,500-24,999 Facebook fans)

RankSchoolEngagement Score
1Siena College
(Loudonville, NY)
10 posts
2New Mexico State University
(Las Cruces, NM)
6 posts
3North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
(Greensboro, NC)
6 posts
4Capella University
14 posts
5Tarleton State University
(Stephenville, TX)
17 posts
6Smith College
(Northampton, MA)
34 posts
7Northwestern University
(Evanston, IL)
26 posts
8California State University, Northridge
(Northridge, CA)
15 posts
9North Carolina State University
(Raleigh, NC)
37 posts
10Miami University
(Oxford, OH)
9 posts

Medium (2,500-7,499 Facebook fans)

RankSchoolEngagement Score
1SUNY New Paltz
(New Paltz, NY)
8 posts
2California Lutheran University
(Thousand Oaks, CA)
8 posts
3Bryn Mawr College
(Bryn Mawr, PA)
15 posts
4Kenyon College
(Gambier, OH)
16 posts
5Dixie State College
(Saint George, UT)
17 posts
6Pacific Lutheran University
(Tacoma, WA)
17 posts
7University of St. Thomas
(Saint Paul, MN)
38 posts
8Iowa State University
(Ames, IA)
10 posts
9Hollins University
(Roanoke, VA)
28 posts
10Winston-Salem State University
(Winston-Salem, NC)
10 posts

Small (<2,500 Facebook fans)

RankSchoolEngagement Score
1McPherson College
(McPherson, KS)
15 posts
2University of Minnesota Rochester
(Rochester, MN)
13 posts
3Marylhurst University
(Marylhurst, OR)
18 posts
4VCU School of Business
(Richmond, VA)
7 posts
5The Citadel Alumni Association
(Charleston, SC)
29 posts
6College of the Rockies
(Cranbrook, BC)
7 posts
7Elon University Admissions
(Elon, NC)
7 posts
8New Mexico Tech
(Socorro, NM)
29 posts
9Kaplan College
(Multiple Locations)
5 posts
10Paul Smith's College Admissions
(Paul Smiths, NY)
14 posts

When Colleges Post on Facebook

This last chart highlights when colleges post on Facebook by day of the week. As you'd expect, colleges don't do a lot of posting on the weekends. However, posts on the weekends seem to be the most engaging (especially on Saturday, which may have to do with college football, given the period we analyzed).

Post and Engagement by Day of the Week

Posts and Engagement Score by Days of the Week (College Facebook Pages)

We'll continue to share periodic updates regarding the data we collect on colleges and Facebook. We'd love to hear any insights or interesting anecdotes that you have to share in the comments.

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