108 High Resolution Dark Denim Social Media Icons

A ranking produced by Econsultancy has listed the University’s website as the most visible Russell Group website on some of the biggest social media networks.

Our ‘Under the Microscope’ videos, bite-sized snapshots of Cambridge research, have recently produced our most watched film to date on YouTube

Barney Brown

New research by digital publisher Econsultancy into the visibility of universities digital content on some of the major social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, has placed the University of Cambridge top amongst the Russell Group.

The ranking is based on the amount of direct links to University websites that are shared, liked and tweeted by social media users over an eight week period across the end of last year and start of this one.

Econsultancy estimates that taken altogether there are roughly 207,900 links every week linking to content on Russell Group university websites, with Facebook being the major player for higher education representation on social sites - accounting for around 80% of all links.

Cambridge came top with a visibility score of 462, 823 - narrowly beating age-old rivals Oxford who came in second with 442, 758. In third was the London School of Economics with just over half Oxford’s score, with Newcastle University in fourth.

Data from twenty Russell Group universities was analysed to compile the ranking. The main type of content shared were news stories about research or institutional initiatives, with much of the content targeted at the current university population - although the study suggests that this content provides interesting insights into life at a particular institution.

“The University is making a concerted effort to use social media effectively. We do this by creating engaging web content through articles, video and imagery. We tailor some content to target a range of channels – Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo, iTunesU and Facebook”, says Barney Brown, Digital Communications Manager for Cambridge.

“Our ‘Under the Microscope’ videos, bite-sized snapshots of Cambridge research, have recently produced our most watched film to date on YouTube – over a quarter of a million views in the first week. Our Flickr collaboration with the photographer ‘Sir Cam’ has resulted in well over a million views for the University’s photostream.”

“We use social media to open Cambridge up to the world - communicating its landscape and culture, education and world-class research. It is thrilling to see people engaging with one of the world’s oldest universities through some of the latest social technologies – debating and sharing Cambridge research and culture.”

“We believe that this approach, combined with the global reputation and history of an institution such as Cambridge, has led to the University’s significant social media visibility among UK universities, as this research shows.”

The social media visibility study can be viewed here.

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