With almost 64,000 Twitter followers, and even more engagement across all other social media platforms, UT makes a sizable footprint on the online world.
These efforts aren’t going unrecognized. Rival IQ, a social media analytics company, ranked UT highly amongst more than 300 other Division I institutions across the country in terms of social media engagement.
This year, UT ranked 14th in the category “Steadily Engaging,” which is explained as the “overall most consistent.”
In 2017, UT was also ranked 14th, but in the category “Climbing the Ladder,” which Rival IQ considers the “overall most improved” social media presence.
Cameron Norton, UT’s associate director of Social Media, said he was ecstatic to be recognized for consistency and would love to break into the top 10 in next year’s rankings.
Norton said he was very impressed by the methodology Rival IQ uses to rank schools, as they take all different types of engagement into consideration, not just overall page size.
The social media team is always working to post content UT’s viewers want to see the most.
“Each month, we take all of our reach data, our engagement and impressions from Twitter and Facebook specifically, and log all of that into a large spreadsheet,” Norton said. “We can then look at what posts went over well and engaged with a lot of users.”
He added that students like seeing posts of other students or student-centric events. In the past couple of years, video has been one of the biggest trends.
Dee Drummond, who teaches Social Media in UT’s Communication Department, was pleased with the rankings.
“In short, UT’s all over social media.” Drummond said. “I’ve watched it become more visual on campus and I see them trying a lot of things. They take risks and stick their necks out.”
She added she would like to see the UT president, other administrators and even recruiters engage more with people on social media.
“I think it’s a wonderful way to advertise and promote your university without having to pay a penny,” Drummond said.
Regardless of the positive rankings, Norton is trying to improve UT’s social media presence daily.
He said that UT’s Twitter account is on track to beat its total number of impressions from all of 2017 by the end of this month, but would still like to see major growth on Facebook and Instagram.
“I appreciate that the university values social media in the overall communication strategy,” Norton said. “We’re able to interact with and help students, and I’m very proud of what we’re able to do.”