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Latest data reveals which universities have built up the largest social media followings

19 07.21

In order to identify which universities are doing the best at developing their social media following, the website CoursesOnline has published brand new research which ranks each university in the UK by their total number of likes/followers across six of the nation’s most popular social media platforms.

Which universities performed the best?

Oxford and Cambridge were, as expected, the two universities with the greatest following. Oxford took the top spot with close to 7 million total likes/followers with Cambridge in second place with nearly 5 million. Oxford came top in Facebook likes and Twitter followers, however, Cambridge outperformed them when it came to followers on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok.

1) University of Oxford - 6,917,814 likes/followers
2) University of Cambridge - 4,924,693 likes/followers

Aside from the big two universities, the next 10 best performers across all platforms were as follows:

3) Imperial College London - 856,588 likes/followers
4) University of Edinburgh - 821,138 likes/followers
5) University of Birmingham - 819,627 likes/followers
6) University of London - 813,516 likes/followers
7) University of Manchester - 751,279 likes/followers
8) University of Glasgow - 672,530 likes/followers
9) University of Leeds - 646,235 likes/followers
10) University of Nottingham - 632,562 likes/followers
11) University of Sheffield - 571,235 likes/followers
12) London Metropolitan University - 539,159 likes/followers

Please find the full league table at this link.

What can universities do to stand out from their competition?

Simon Shehata, Head of Paid Social at the digital marketing agency Katté & Co offers some words of advice to universities looking to grow their social media presence. 

“There are two key things to look at: where your audience is at and what type of content they respond to there. With attention spans lower than ever, universities need to ensure that their content is as genuine, eye-catching, entertaining, or shocking as the content they are competing against on the feeds. Only this way will they ensure the attention of potential students and appear as THE place to be for those looking for their unique uni life experience.

No other medium comes close when it comes to daily exposure especially for younger audiences, so university brands then need to embrace a more malleable brand presence that looks and feels like the students they are talking to.”