UNA Pressroom

Una Facebook Page Receives Top Honors For Audience Engagement

Sep. 26, 2012

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, Ala. - The University of North Alabama Facebook page this week was named No. 1 for audience engagement among university Facebook pages with 20,000-74,999 fans. The ranking is from Varsity Outreach, a leader in social media marketing for university audiences. Varsity Outreach, last year, ranked the UNA Facebook page among the nation's 100 largest. The UNA Facebook page currently has about 21,000 fans. This year's rankings for audience engagement place UNA first in a category that includes universities such as Ole Miss, Xavier, Nebraska and Marquette, all of which placed in the top 10. "Social media have totally changed the landscape of university marketing, so to see UNA recognized as a national leader in this new field is quite an honor," said Josh Woods, UNA director of communications and marketing. "Facebook didn't even exist a decade ago, and now it's an essential tool. Students, alumni, parents and others want to engage with their universities from anywhere, and Facebook makes that possible." Varsity Outreach assessed university Facebook pages using a formula that measures the engagement value of a post based on the number of likes, shares and comments from fans, with shares and comments being given the most weight. "It's easy for a fan to 'like' your post, but they become more deeply engaged when they share your post with their friends or start a dialogue with you or other fans of your page," said Jeremy Britten, UNA web communications manager. "People use our Facebook page to feel involved with UNA and a part of our university community. It's really an extension of the physical community we have on campus every day, but just as important. It's a way of feeling connected, even if not present." UNA's Facebook page was created in 2008. Although the university uses other social media, as well - including Twitter and Foursquare - Facebook has consistently been the most successful. "Facebook is simply the most popular social medium right now, for UNA and most other universities, according to all the research and anecdotal evidence we've seen," Britten said. Visit UNA's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/northalabama. The Varsity Outreach rankings are available at the Varsity Outreach blog, blog.varsityoutreach.com.