University Affairs

USU Ranks Second in the Nation of Higher Education Institutions for Social Media Engagement

By Marcus Jensen |

USU's social media presence earned the university the No. 2 rank in the Rival IQ 2021 Higher Education Social Media Engagement Report, as announced this week.

Utah State University’s social media content continued its stellar performance during the 2021 academic year, entertaining, engaging, and informing followers with a variety of posts. USU’s social media presence earned the university the No. 2 rank in the Rival IQ 2021 Higher Education Social Media Engagement Report, as announced this week. Aggie social media was ranked No. 7 in the 2020 rankings, rising five spots this year.

“Higher education is among the most influential industries in social media, so it's very exciting for Utah State to be ranked so high in this industry in particular,” said Matt Gerrish, USU’s assistant director of social media. “Knowing there are so many universities that have fantastic social media presences, being ranked No. 2 nationwide is a testament to the dedication, talent and strategic vision of all the contributors to USU's social media channels.”

In its press release, the organization praised the universities in the top 10 after such a unique year.

“Colleges and universities really had their work cut out for them this year,” the release said, “so the top 10 deserve extra credit for creating engaging social posts through campus closures, COVID fluctuations, online classes, and so much more.”

Three-hundred-fifty-three Division I colleges and universities were ranked on their engagement across three social media platforms– Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram– from June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021. USU ranked in the top 20 in all three categories, ranking fifth on Twitter, 13th on Facebook, and 19th on Instagram. In its annual report, USU social media increased its followers by 6.9 percent, its total engagements by 6.1 percent and its impressions by 2.5 percent.

"Social media is a critical component of our digital marketing and communications strategy,” said William Plate, vice president for University Marketing and Communications. “USU has one of the most engaging college experiences in the country, and that unique level of pride also extends to our digital space. That's why we've placed a high priority on the cultivation of our online communities. We couldn't be prouder of this ranking, as it's a direct reflection of our ability to engage and interact with more students, alumni, and community members, sharing the USU story to elevate our global reputation. We tip our hats to the work Matt Gerrish and his team have provided, and how they engage with our students, alumni, and community, especially the work they have done during the past year through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Rival IQ surveyed the colleges between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021. Using the data they collected and its weighted formula, the organization generated an overall engagement ranking for each school. The top-ranked colleges and universities on social media have high engagement rates with average or better audience size and posting volumes. Engagement is defined as measurable interaction on social media posts, including likes, comments, favorites, retweets, shares and reactions. Engagement rate is defined as the total engagement divided by the number of followers.

To follow USU’s social media accounts visit


Marcus Jensen
News Coordinator
University Marketing and Communications


Emilie Wheeler
News Director
University Marketing and Communications


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