How well do UK universities use social media?

Many universities really have got to grips with social media in recent years, and new research highlights Oxford and Sheffield as competing with the best US institutions.
 
The study by Sociagility showed that American colleges used social media most effectively, but some of their British counterparts performed well too.
 
A handy Mashable summary pulled out the top 10 – headed by Harvard, Pennsylvania and MIT. But here we look more closely at the report’s findings on UK universities.
 
The study examined the performance of leading UK and US universities in the 2011–2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and compared them with scores based on  Sociagility’s proprietary PRINT™ measurement system.
 
This measures social media performance across five social attributes and on multiple platforms.
 
UK Sociagility ranking:
 
  1. Oxford      PRINT index 158      THES ranking 4
  2. Sheffield                   153                          101
  3. Cambridge               125                           6
  4. Lancaster                   98                          131
  5. UCL                            94                            17
 The report highlights Sheffield, Lancaster and Nottingham (which placed sixth) for “using social media to punch well above their weight”.
 
The individual measures which create the ranking also provide interesting reading.
 
Here are the top three in each measure:
 
Popularity:
 1. Cambridge       162
2. Oxford    147
3. Sheffield 125
 
Receptiveness:
  1. Sheffield   378
  2. Nottingham       226
  3. Birkbeck, London  214
Interaction:
  1. Lancaster   270
  2. Oxford    224
  3. Sheffield   154
 Network reach:
  1. Oxford   196
  2. Cambridge  144
  3. LSE                70
 Trust
  1. Oxford   179
  2. Cambridge   134
  3. UCL    94
 Channel performance:
 
Website
 1.  Oxford
 
Twitter
  1. Lancaster
Facebook
  1. Oxford
YouTube
 1. Sheffield
 
 
Weltch Media provides expert communications consultancy, including social media, for higher education.
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