Social Web Callouts: 6 Month Research

Posted by Brad and Joe, BlueFuego, Inc.

When we released our initial research on Social Web Callouts six months ago, we had a hunch that the numbers were going to quickly grow.   Now that we’ve compiled and crunched the numbers again, we’re excited to share some of our findings with you.  Please feel free to pass this along to your co-workers and colleagues, especially if you are trying to make the case for your institution!

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Of the 1,387 four year schools researched on August 1, 2009:
562 schools (40.5%) had one or more Social Web Callouts (SWC’s) within the criteria.
54 schools (3.9%)  had SWC’s on all three criteria (Main, Admission, Alumni).
161 schools (11.6%)  had SWC’s on 2 of the 3 criteria.

Of the 1,387 schools, 247 (17.8%) had SWC’s or links on the main .edu homepage. Of these 247 schools:
78.1% linked to Facebook
64.4% linked to Twitter
44.5% linked to YouTube
21.0% linked to Flickr
12.2% linked to MySpace
9.3% linked to LinkedIn
6.1% linked to YouTube (Embed)

Of the 1,387 schools, 235 (16.9%) had SWC’s or links on the main Admissions site. Of these 235 schools:
80.9% linked to Facebook
45.6% linked to Twitter
29.8% linked to YouTube
12.3% linked to Flickr
10.2% linked to MySpace
9.9% linked to YouTube (Embed)
3.4% linked to LinkedIn

Of the 1,387 schools, 282 (20.3%) had SMC’s or links from main Alumni site. Of these 282 schools:
87.23% linked to Facebook
42.20% linked to LinkedIn
40.78%  linked to Twitter
18.44% linked to YouTube
12.06% linked to Flickr
11.77% linked to MySpace
5.32% linked to YouTube (Embed)

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  1. I think this would be helpful to those hoping to make a case to add a callout, but how would you suggest those already implementing callouts use this information?

    I’d be interested to know from different schools using these callouts what their click rate is. I think our buttons are pretty prominent, and I have been surprised by the click rate so far.

  2. I echo everyone else’s compliments, think the research is awesome. Nitpicking, however, I have to take issue with your graph on slide 5 – it suggests a 200% increase instead of ~100%…same goes for slides 6-8.

    Also, because I can’t leave well enough alone…slide 20 “A Facebook callout is now visible on 8 of 10 Admission Homepages” is not technically accurate, you mean ‘Admission Homepages with a SWC’ if I’m reading the graphs correctly.

  3. Kevin – thanks for the compliments and critiques. :) On 5-8, I did go ahead and put the numerical increase % in bold at the bottom of the slide because I wasn’t wild about that graph either. Poor visualization choice on my behalf. And you are correct on Slide 20, 8 of 10 admission homepages that have SWC’s include Facebook. Will certainly keep this in mind when we update it in 6 short months!

  4. Great stuff. Possible thought for future research… tying the callouts to performance on social media outlets (the data for which you seem to already have). E.g., Growth in Facebook fans / Twitter followers for schools with callouts vs. schools without callouts.

  5. Mark – The cross-referencing is a work in process. We’re going to see if callouts lead to more fans, more interaction, etc. Hope to have the full report out in the next few months.

  6. I’ve been charged with developing a social media plan for my institution, and this research is so helpful to not only see where other places are, but to make a case for where we need to be. Fast. Thanks for making my job easier!

  7. I’d be curious to see some examples of best practices as determined by the Fuegos. Positioning on page, size, logos or links, whether to highlight them in a “social media” space or do the logos speak for themselves, etc.

    And yes, click-through rates (even from just a few sample schools) would be awesome.

  8. I decided to take it easy in implementing social media on the homepage. Right now we have links, no icons. However, we are starting to experiment with icons in our e-newsletters. This is great info to reference and bring back to the decision makers.

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