CollegeAtlas.org Social Media Ranking Methodology
CollegeAltas.org has evaluated the social media efforts of nearly 400 colleges and universities in the United States. Each institution’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram was assessed across up to 30 parameters. The data was analyzed using proprietary algorithms to determine how much influence each college has on each social network, as well as each college’s overall influence and engagement in social media. The seven ranking lists from our analysis are shown below:
- Top 30 Most Influential Colleges in Social Media
- Top 30 Most Engaged Social Media College Communities
- Top 20 Most Influential Colleges on Facebook
- Top 20 Most Influential Colleges on Twitter
- Top 20 Most Influential Colleges on Google+
- Top 20 Most Influential Colleges on LinkedIn
- Top 20 Most Influential Colleges on Instagram
The Top 30 Most Influential Colleges in Social Media rankings are designed to recognize the most socially influential U.S. institutions of higher learning. These are the schools that have the biggest and most engaged audience across the 5 platforms included in our study. Specifically, this ranking is based on a proprietary market-size-weighted analysis of the following:
- Facebook metrics: Facebook rating, number of ratings, number of likes, number talking about this, number that were here, optimal frequency of posts, average number of likes per post, average number of shares per post.
- Twitter metrics: Number of Tweets, number of Twitter followers, time since joining Twitter.
- Google+ Metrics: Number of followers, number of views.
- LinkedIn: Number of followers.
- Instagram: Number of followers, average number of likes per post.
The Top 30 Most Engaged Social Media College Communities rankings are designed to focus on the depth and frequency of engagement of the school’s social community. This ranking is based on a proprietary market-size-weighted analysis of the following:
- Facebook metrics: Number talking about this, average number of likes per post, average number of shares per post.
- Twitter metrics: Number of Twitter followers.
- Google+ Metrics: Number of views.
- LinkedIn: Number of followers.
- Instagram: Average number of likes per post.
The college rankings for each individual platform are based on the same metrics listed in the Most Influential analysis. In addition, colleges are given a grade on each platform. This grade is based on what percentile the schools achieved among top-tier institutions included in this list. By grading on a curve against top-tier competition, we made sure that our rankings could not be accused of “grade inflation.” Every school in our lists exhibited some opportunities for improvement relative to other schools. We hope that this granularity will provide meaningful insights to institutions of higher learning and other enterprises interested in evaluating and benchmarking the social media practices of the highest-performing U.S. colleges.
Social media data were collected using a manual process during the first half of May, 2014. We evaluated and collected data directly from each school’s official page on each of the five platforms included in our study. Some colleges have separate social media accounts for athletics and individual departments. We did not include data from these pages in our analysis. The data for average number of interactions per post was based on a random sample of a limited number of updates that were posted during the 2 weeks prior to the date we performed our analysis. Some seasonal elements may have affected these numbers. A future study could be improved by taking a larger sample over a longer period of time.
For more information on our social media rankings, see our press release here: Press Release.
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