How does your school rank on Facebook?

Recently we analyzed over 500 non-profit, four year, public and private institutions to answer three simple questions from our clients: What’s considered good in Facebook engagement? How am I doing against my peers? How do I improve?

To answer their questions, we produced our latest study “How Does Your School Rank on Facebook.” Download the full report.

We initially turned to tools like but found that the industry summary reports did not provide the level of granularity needed to answer our clients questions. We’ve found that schools of different enrollment sizes often have very different needs.

So, we decided to run our own study with a particular focus on helping our clients improve their engagement. Out of our work, we were able to create a ranking system to guide individual school progress as well as develop some lessons from the data.

Below, you’ll find some of  the  high level findings and lessons learned that are contained in the full report.

Lessons Learned

Through a quantitative analysis of over 500 higher education institutions we are able to determine a clear social media ranking system that allows us to quickly identify how any school is doing relative to similarly sized institutions. In this process, we pulled out the ten leaders and ten low performers for each segment. We then used these groups to establish a qualitative and quantitative analysis of their post frequency, content and messaging. This process allows us to establish actionable practices for institutions of any size.

In this study, we discovered an ideal posting frequency of one to three posts per day and that too many posts can work against an institution. We also identified that there are distinct differences between school size and the type of content they should produce. Most larger and some medium sized schools can utilize their sports teams, but smaller institutions benefit most from posts that focus on Student Life and highlight successful alumni, students and faculty.

We also found that the tone, voice and approach of messaging play a strong role in fan engagement. After reviewing our initial findings we pinpointed posts with identical content, which had drastically different engagement. While we concede here that every school is different, it is apparent that having an engaging tone and messaging can drastically change the response a post receives.

  • Larger schools benefit from promoting sports and student life
  • Medium and small schools benefit from posts about student life
  • Very small schools benefit from promoting personal highlights
  • The way content is communicated affects response. Simply delivering an article isn’t enough. Schools must add flavor to posts.
  • Schools must pay attention to what creates a response to hone their messaging.

How Does Your School Stack Up?

Large schools (>10,000)

  • Average fans: 30,871
  • Average engagement per fan: .63
  • Active fan %: 20.75%

Medium schools (3,000 -9,999)

  • Average fans: 5482
  • Average engagement: .77
  • Active fan %: 25.68%

Small (1,000 – 2,999)

  • Average fans: 3283
  • Average engagement: .70
  • Active fan %: 23.22%

Very Small ( < 999)

  • Average fans: 1458
  • Average engagement: .66
  • Active fan %: 22.53%

Want the Full Report?
Download the complete report for more information about the study.