The Social Side of College Admissions

Most Engaging Facebook Pages: June 1 through August 31, 2011

September 12, 2011

As summer comes to a close, we figured it was about time to release another installment of our most engaging Facebook Pages.

As before, we have grouped the pages in our directory into 4 categories for our analysis:

  1. Very Large: More than 25,000 fans / likes
  2. Large: 7,501-25,000 fans / likes
  3. Medium: 2,501-7,500 fans / likes
  4. Small: 2,500 or fewer fans / likes

Because of the growth of some of the largest Facebook Pages, we may have to shift these cut-offs the next time we run this analysis.

We continue to use the following formula to measure the engagement of these posts:

Varsity Outreach Engagement Score

Please Note: We required a minimum of 15 posts over this 3-month period to be included in our rankings.

Quantity Doesn't Translate Into Engagement

There were 45 schools in our database that posted 150 or more times to their Facebook Page over this 3-month period. Only 2 (Graceland University and the University of Phoenix) made any of our Top 10 lists. The average engagement score for these 45 schools was 1.42. Nearly half (22) had an engagement score for this 3-month period under 1.00.

Very Large (25,000+ Facebook fans)

RankSchoolEngagement Score
1Texas A&M University
(College Station, TX)
4.201
45 posts
2Liberty University
(Lynchburg, VA)
3.979
99 posts
3California State University, Northridge
(Northridge, CA)
3.967
52 posts
4Southern Illinois University Carbondale
(Carbondale, IL)
3.813
77 posts
5Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(Cambridge, MA)
3.024
75 posts
6Yale University
(New Haven, CT)
2.929
54 posts
7University of Phoenix
(Phoenix, AZ)
2.866
180 posts
8Western Michigan University
(Kalamazoo, MI)
2.766
25 posts
9North Carolina State University
(Raleigh, NC)
2.605
33 posts
10Colorado State University
(Fort Collins, CO)
2.542
132 posts

Large (7,501-25,000 Facebook fans)

RankSchoolEngagement Score
1Wellesley College
(Wellesley, MA)
8.237
52 posts
2Brigham Young University - Alumni
(Provo, UT)
5.490
73 posts
3University of Portland
(Portland, OR)
5.057
94 posts
4UT Arlington
(Arlington, TX)
4.965
27 posts
5Smith College
(Northampton, MA)
4.755
115 posts
6St. Olaf College
(Northfield, MN)
4.268
28 posts
7La Trobe University
(Melbourne, )
4.187
40 posts
8Oklahoma Christian University
(Edmond, OK)
3.948
30 posts
9Cleveland State University
(Cleveland, OH)
3.937
37 posts
10California Institute of Technology
(Pasadena, CA)
3.809
94 posts

Medium (2,501-7,500 Facebook fans)

RankSchoolEngagement Score
1Buena Vista University
(Storm Lake, IA)
10.089
29 posts
2Drexel University
(Philadelphia, PA)
8.952
68 posts
3Morehouse College
(Atlanta, GA)
7.505
41 posts
4Sweet Briar College
(Sweet Briar, VA)
6.830
21 posts
5Southwestern University
(Georgetown, TX)
6.598
34 posts
6Susquehanna University
(Selinsgrove, PA)
6.565
48 posts
7Stephens College
(Columbia, MO)
5.988
27 posts
8Graceland University
(Lamoni, IA)
5.912
181 posts
9Ross University
(Dominica, West Indies)
5.861
19 posts
10Point Loma Nazarene University
(San Diego, CA)
5.809
55 posts

Small (2,500 or fewer Facebook fans)

RankSchoolEngagement Score
1VCU School of Business
(Richmond, VA)
17.842
27 posts
2Dallas County Community College District
(Dallas, TX)
15.885
44 posts
3Scripps College
(Claremont, CA)
10.380
20 posts
4Holyoke Community College
(Holyoke, MA)
9.958
100 posts
5University of Minnesota Rochester
(Rochester, MN)
9.548
47 posts
6Haskayne School of Business
(Calgary, AB)
7.005
32 posts
7California State University, Chico
(Chico, CA)
7.005
60 posts
8Neumont University
(South Jordan, UT)
6.418
48 posts
9Capitol College
(Laurel, MD)
6.351
15 posts
10Central Methodist University
(Fayette, MO)
5.918
72 posts

Posts and Engagement by Media Type

No surprise here... photos continue to be the most engaging type of post for college Facebook pages. We believe it's because they stand out in a user's News Feed and are easy form of content to consume (it doesn't require a click like a link or video). It also looks like colleges and universities are getting better at engaging their audience through traditional status posts. The engagement for this media type has gone up since our last analysis. When we took a closer look at some of the most engaging posts, we noticed the top 20 dominated by contests. The prizes tended to be fairly modest (a sweatshirt, a t-shirt, or a mug), for the most part. A few schools tapped into college students love of video games and technology, giving away an iPad2, PS3/XBox, or a video game. Beyond contests, posts with questions (essentially asking your users to comment) also popped up again and again throughout the Top 200 most-engaging posts.

Media TypeEngagement Score
Photo3.575
5,918 posts
Status3.171
8,574 posts
Video1.790
2,199 posts
Link1.277
24,970 posts
Music/Audio0.252
22 posts

Posts and Engagement by Day of the Week

It's still the case that posts on the weekend (Saturdays and Sundays) have the highest level of engagement. Although this figure is down since our last analysis, we expect it to rise again as we head into college football and basketball seasons.

Day of WeekEngagement Score
Sunday2.252
1,216 posts
Monday1.913
7,856 posts
Tuesday1.991
7,907 posts
Wednesday2.018
8,350 posts
Thursday1.984
7,635 posts
Friday2.092
7,289 posts
Saturday2.382
1,430 posts

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