Utah State University’s social media presence has earned the No. 7 spot in the 2020 Rival IQ Higher Ed Social Media Engagement Rankings, out of the top 350-plus colleges and universities nationwide. It’s USU's first year on the list, with the university earning the highest ranking of any school west of Colorado, and USU is ranked as the second land-grant school in the country, behind only Virginia Tech.
Members of USU’s Aggie Family are a big part of the university’s social media success in national sphere, according to Matthew Gerrish, assistant director of USU Social Media.
“This report is highly anticipated by those in the higher education social media community, because the data incorporates not only follower size and total engagements, but most importantly, engagement rate,” said Gerrish.
As Utah’s oldest residential campus, there are countless ways to connect with other members of the university community, and social media keeps both current students and alumni connected to their alma mater.
“Social media is an important component of our digital marketing and communications strategy,” said William Plate, vice president for University Marketing and Communications. “In creating these online communities, we have the opportunity to engage and interact with more students, alumni and community members and share the USU story in ways that elevate our global reputation.
Rival IQ surveyed all 357 Division 1 colleges and universities on social media between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Using this data and a weighted formula, the organization generated an overall engagement ranking for each school. The top-ranked colleges and universities on social media have high engagement rates with average or better audience size and posting volumes. Engagement is defined as measurable interaction on social media posts, including likes, comments, favorites, retweets, shares and reactions. Engagement rate is defined as the total engagement divided by the number of followers.
“This recognition reaffirms for us that the content and posting strategies we’ve implemented to engage our audiences are effective and comparable to other highly regarded higher education social platforms,” said Lindsi Glass, USU’s associate vice president of digital strategy and analytics.
Despite the many challenges and changes to academic life at USU due to the pandemic, the university’s social media accounts have kept followers both informed and entertained during a time of great stress.
“I am proud of our entire team, especially Matt and the digital strategy staff for the hard work and dedication it took to move our channels to the top of the national rankings,” Plate said.
USU’s social media team includes Gerrish and Drew Sutterfield, a USU student employee social media assistant. Nathan Stucki was recently hired as a social media coordinator.
To follow USU’s social media accounts visit https://www.usu.edu/socialmedia/directory.cfm.