Engagement—The Ultimate Higher Ed Social Measure, Key Higher Ed Social Metrics Part 1

Please click here to see part 2.

What is it?

We hear this word a lot when it comes to social media, but in truth it comes down to one thing; how much response (comments and likes) your posts get. As you develop content for your social channels pay attention to what your students, alumni and faculty respond to. Additionally, an Engagement Ratio can be used to measure improvement over extended periods of time and compare to other institutions.

To find any channel’s Engagement Ratio you count the total number of responses to posts in a year and divide by the number of posts in a year.

Engagement Ratio = Total Number of Responses / Number of Posts

Facebook Engagement Ratio = (Comments + Likes) / Number of Posts

= (426 + 1251) / 246


Institutions with a high engagement can range anywhere from an 11 to 230 depending on school type, size and industry focus.

Why is it so important?

Engagement shows how well you are communicating with your audience. A low engagement means that you are not producing content your students, faculty or alumni are interested in.

While engagement is important, you must also consider your Reach, Timeliness and Response Time (discussed later in the series) to give your engagement results perspective. Additionally, you need to analyze your competitors to see how they’re engagement compares and discover their strategy for improving engagement.

What you can do about it?

The truth is the best solution differs for every institution. However to get started, here are a few best practices that can improve any Facebook page:

–          Always encourage conversations by asking questions and requesting a response to any post. Even if it’s as simple as, “What do you think of the beautiful weather on campus?” or “How many points do you think we’ll beat [opposing team] by?!”

–          Incorporate images and videos into your Facebook posts. For a stronger effect, find a way to encourage students to post their own images and videos that show off your campus, organizations and student life.

–          Use an informal conversational tone when writing posts. Often current and prospective students do not respond to a formal administrative tone on social channels.

Also consider establishing a way for all internal social media enthusiasts to meet and discuss their experiences. Another faculty member’s successes or caveats may improve results on your Admissions Facebook page.

How can we measure your success?

We offer a Communications Audit tailored specifically to your institution. This provides baseline analysis of your current communications including social. Now, in social we take a deep look at you and your competitors to see where you stand and how to further build your institution in the social space.