The Social Side of College Admissions

A Review of When and What Colleges Posted on Facebook in 2012

January 17, 2013

This is the second post in our 4-part series A Look Back at 2012.

In our first post in this series, we shared a list of the most engaging college and university Facebook Pages. In this post, we wanted to dig a little deeper into the data and share further insights we were able to glean from our analysis of more than 230,000 posts.

Best Day of the Week to Post

This has been a consistent finding every time we've run analyses on college and university Facebook Pages. The best days to post seem to be Saturdays and Sundays. Not surprisingly, these are also the days on which college and university Facebook Pages post less frequently (Who wants to worry about posting on their days off?). We believe this is probably a mix of a couple factors:

  • More time and opportunities for fans to check Facebook, many workplaces and schools block Facebook
  • Weekends are often when major college sporting events occur, especially big-time college football

An Increase in Engagement in the 2nd Half of 2012

We noticed a steady increase in the engagement per post over the second half of 2012. This was mostly due to an increase in the rate of likes and shares per 1,000 fans. This is a trend we'll be keeping an eye on. We don't have a strong rationale for why this growth has occurred, but a few possible explanations (these are just educated guesses): an increase in mobile usage of Facebook, the mandatory shift to Timeline for pages, which occurred in March 2012, or maybe Facebook tweaked its Newsfeed algorithm increasing the exposure of pages.

MonthEngagement Score (# of Posts)
January1.487
29,075 posts
February1.768
23,420 posts
March2.435
17,770 posts
April1.889
19,914 posts
May2.672
15,715 posts
June2.822
15,645 posts
July3.482
14,970 posts
August4.842
20,340 posts
September4.391
22,398 posts
October3.971
27,051 posts
November4.604
23,357 posts
December4.916
6,405 posts

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words... Or At Least More Likes and Shares

Photos still hold the top spot for most engaging type of media on Facebook. Photos are liked more and shared more than any other media type. However, status updates generate more comments per 1,000 fans than any other media type (30 percent more than photos and 190 percent more than videos).

Media TypeEngagement Score
(# of Posts)
Likes / 1000 FansComments / 1000 FansShares/ 1000 Fans
Link1.53
108,406 posts
1.150.100.08
Photo5.15
76,239 posts
3.890.330.30
Status4.18
37,266 posts
3.170.430.07
Video2.45
13,598 posts
1.660.150.25
Question0.00
506 posts
0.000.000.00
Music / Audio0.73
38 posts
0.610.040.01
Offer2.65
7 posts
2.060.200.09

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