In many ways, the practice of ranking colleges has become its own industry. In addition to U.S. News and World Report’s highly regarded annual list of the best colleges across the country, universities are regularly ranked by nearly every criteria imaginable: beauty, affordability, political leaning, sustainability – even by which schools are the biggest culprits of the midnight munchies.
And now, thanks to a recent report by Top Colleges Online, there’s a new criterion for prospective university students to take into account when sifting through the 8,990 (and counting) choices for higher education: social media engagement.
The list, which compiled data from colleges’ official core alma mater pages, ranked each school’s presence on popular social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and Klout.
Which universities came out on top?
Perhaps not surprisingly, Harvard – alma mater of Mark Zuckerberg – took the top spot for Facebook users, with the official page garnering 1,946,391 likes – more than two and a half times as many as its runner-up, LSU. In fact, the report points out, Harvard’s Facebook page has 281 times as many likes as there are students enrolled in the university. Thumbs up, indeed.
On Twitter, the competition is much closer – second-spot Harvard is edged out by the University of Phoenix by a mere 1,466 followers out of a total 156,897. And although MIT’s official account comes in at a distant eighth, the school is mentioned on Twitter approximately three times per minute.
One school dominates in two of the remaining four categories: on both Google+ and YouTube, Stanford University leads the pack, with 10,975 Google+ followers and 45,405,502 official YouTube views. The highest Klout score goes to Harvard (97), although there’s a three-way tie for third place between Indiana, Syracuse, and Cornell, all of which claim a 90 rating. And last, but not least: where are the Pinterest pins flying? Texas A&M, with 3,311 pins.
The complete infographic from Top Colleges Online is posted below. Where does your school stack up?