Engagement Labs ranked the top 50 U.S. colleges and universities based on their eValue score on Facebook and Twitter. "The eValue score is composed of Engagement, Impact and Responsiveness metrics. Engagement is the level of interaction content receives on a specific social network, Impact is the unique reach content receives on a specific social network, and Responsiveness measures how much, how fast and how well a brand responds to actual conversations amongst its users," so says their website.
Schools with a high eValue score on both Facebook and Twitter include: Baylor, Texas A&M, University of Wisconsin - Madison, University of Florida, and University of Texas - Austin. Let's take a deeper look into common practices for these schools to see what it takes to be named among the universities using social media well.
If you've been following us for a while, or you've been working in social media for a while, none of these commonalities will be all that shocking to you, however they still offer valuable insight by proving that these strategies do work. So before you skim over this post and it goes in one ear and out the other, remember that these are the things that the top 10 universities using social media well are doing.
We've mentioned this before, but content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. In the words of Ron Burgundy, that's kind of a big deal. If you take a look at some of these schools' Twitter accounts, you'd be hard pressed to find any of them post 2 or more consecutive tweets without an image or video attachment, or in the case below, gif attachment.
You'd be even more hard pressed to find a Facebook post without a visual attachment. Though we recommend posting naturally to each platform rather than connecting Facebook and Instagram accounts, these top universities do a great job of tailoring to the platform. Even if an image is posted to Facebook via their Instagram account, the captions are longer form and worded differently. Brava.
With a cursory glance at Twitter and Facebook feeds for these schools, it's clear that they are sticking to a consistent posting schedule. Most of these Twitter accounts are posting 3 to 4 times per day, with postings amped up to 6+ on higher traffic days. This is something we do with our clients as well, and is one of our best practices. Conduct a Twitter blast to find out your most popular times. We've done this in the past by firing out a tweet per hour for up to two weeks, viewing the analytics, and focusing on the most popular times for each day. It's a lot of work, but hey, this isn't vacation!
This may seem obvious, but many brands don't have this down yet. When using hashtags, use ones that make sense and don't sound forced. Rather than including 3-5 hashtags without much thought, use a strategy. For example, take a look at this post from the University of Texas Facebook page. They use #HookEm to congratulate their Speech Team winning at a national competition, as well as #WhatStartsHere to show what students and faculty at the university are accomplishing. Using hashtags in this way allow their followers to easily see similar stories to the one posted.
Connecting with their Audience
Another thing these universities are doing well on social media is engaging with their audience. You will see them repurposing the content of their followers on their own pages (giving credit of course). Check out the post below where they give a shout out to the user who uploaded the photo as an example. This helps people feel closer to your brand and your school as it proves you're hearing what they're saying and appreciate their interaction.
Need a hand getting started in the right direction to join the ranks of universities using social media well? Take a look at the free eBook below and see how Verge Pipe Media's knowledge can help you out!