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Top 100 most influential UK and US universities on Twitter

Most universities in the UK and the US now have a presence on Twitter, but which institutions can claim to be using the micro-blogging social network most effectively?

Man holding Twitter bird/hashtag business card

Internet marketing company Coldlime has been crunching the numbers for the 100 top-ranked universities in the UK and the US, and has produced what it believes is a definitive list of the most influential higher education institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.

These tables show how many people are following each university, how many people they follow themselves (allowing a “follower ratio” to be calculated) and the number of tweets each account sends out per day, on average.

However, we have chosen to rank the institutions by their “social authority” score - as calculated by Twitter analytics tool Followerwonk, which assesses each Twitter account’s level of influential activity. This includes the number of retweets the university is generating, and analysis of the user’s follower count and recent activity levels. Here’s a full lowdown of how it works.

Top 100 most influential UK universities on Twitter
(based on Twitter data collected 1 May 2014)

UniversityFollowingFollowersRatioTweets/daySocial Authority
Plymouth
@PlymUni
1,25421,60017.27.272
Glasgow
@GlasgowUni
2,03236,70018.12.469
Birmingham
@unibirmingham
99637,50037.78.868
UEA
@uniofeastanglia
1,20222,00018.35.466
Swansea
@SwanseaUni
1,01513,80013.65.665
Oxford
@uniofoxford
167138,000826.30.964
Sussex
@SussexUni
3,90030,9007.96.164
Robert Gordon
@RobertGordonUni
1,00910,30010.22.764
Ulster
@UlsterUni
71318,20025.54.564
Kent
@unikent
48120,80043.24.163
Nottingham
@UniofNottingham
2,23429,90013.47.163
Sheffield
@sheffielduni
19,00037,4002.02.763
Cardiff
@cardiffuni
45132,52872.12.562
Essex
@Uni_of_Essex
98319,80020.18.562
Cambridge
@cambridge_uni
558117,000209.72.161
Lancaster
@LancasterUni
74324,30032.73.861
Loughborough
@lborouniversity
93115,50016.64.161
Warwick
@warwickuni
2,29432,70014.33.360
Aston
@astonuniversity
60319,30032.03.160
Huddersfield
@HuddersfieldUni
3,40917,7005.24.360
Aberdeen
@aberdeenuni
3,49322,6006.52.460
Lincoln
@unilincoln
29113,10045.04.260
De Montfort
@dmuleicester
50712,20024.14.960
Salford
@SalfordUni
73124,10033.03.860
Bath
@UniOfBath
42728,70067.23.759
Surrey
@UniOfSurrey
1,29023,10017.92.659
Bristol
@bristoluni
16131,000192.52.659
Coventry
@covcampus
83318,90022.76.259
Manchester Met
@ManMetUni
42824,70057.72.259
Leicester
@uniofleicester
2,52520,4008.13.558
Dundee
@DundeeUniv
1,99119,6009.86.258
Liverpool
@livuni
62324,40039.25.958
Teesside
@TeessideUni
1,61620,70012.84.458
Kingston
@KingstonUni
11021,000190.92.258
UCL
@uclnews
1,02525,60025.03.057
Edinburgh
@uniofedinburgh
39136,60093.61.857
Northampton
@UniNorthants
3,0829,8343.26.257
Liverpool John Moores
@ljmu
50712,40024.52.257
Sheffield Hallam
@sheffhallamuni
1,92925,40013.22.257
Edinburgh Napier
@EdinburghNapier
80314,00017.42.957
Exeter
@uniofexeter
7,64325,8003.44.156
York
@uniofyork
54826,60048.52.056
Southampton
@unisouthampton
90620,60022.72.256
Leeds
@universityleeds
54432,40059.61.856
Reading
@uniofreading
44711,30025.32.256
Goldsmiths
@GoldsmithsUOL
68215,60022.91.356
Sunderland
@sunderlanduni
5089,27618.37.156
Anglia Ruskin
@angliaruskin
31113,30042.81.656
Derby
@DerbyUni
3,17717,1005.44.356
Central Lancashire
@uclan
70516,30023.13.556
Worcester
@worcester_uni
2647,54128.62.656
St Andrews
@univofstandrews
29817,40058.40.855
King’s College London
@kingscollegelon
1,00125,10025.11.155
Keele
@KeeleUniversity
2,36518,6007.92.955
Bournemouth
@bournemouthuni
35318,70053.05.155
University of the Arts London
@UniArtsLondon
3,62215,5004.33.155
Birmingham City
@MyBCU
31214,50046.53.955
Falmouth
@falmouthuni
86610,00011.58.455
Bradford
@BradfordUni
93715,50016.52.755
Staffordshire
@StaffsUni
77614,70018.97.255
Durham
@durham_uni
1,61014,6009.11.854
Chester
@UOchester
32412,90039.82.254
Bangor
@BangorUni
35916,50046.02.054
Edge Hill
@edgehill
98617,30017.52.653
Nottingham Trent
@TrentUni
1,69119,30011.43.653
Hertfordshire
@UniofHerts
78514,90019.02.953
Aberystwyth
@AberUni
5,53514,7002.72.353
Westminster
@uniwestminster
2,73015,2005.61.053
Strathclyde
@unistrathclyde
41617,20041.30.952
Oxford Brookes
@oxford_brookes
1,07015,20014.21.652
Queen Mary
@QMUL
4,74618,6003.91.852
Portsmouth
@portsmouthuni
62316,10025.82.152
Queen’s, Belfast
@queensubelfast
37317,20046.12.152
Northumbria
@NorthumbriaUni
33415,50046.41.452
Hull
@UniOfHull
1,08318,50017.11.852
Winchester
@_UoW
4575,80212.77.252
Glasgow Caledonian
@CaledonianNews
7768,92511.55.352
Newcastle
@uniofnewcastle
30710,90035.51.250
Royal Holloway
@RoyalHolloway
46710,90023.31.450
Heriot-Watt
@HeriotWattUni
39710,40026.21.149
Brunel
@bruneluni
20310,60052.22.149
Chichester
@chiuni
37010,80029.21.149
Imperial College
@imperialcollege
2,64327,50010.41.148
Stirling
@StirUni
1459,31964.31.248
Bath Spa
@bathspauni
11913,000109.21.848
London School of Economics
@LSEnews
51613,90026.90.747
SOAS
@soas
20510,90053.21.547
City
@CityUniLondon
48811,10022.71.547
York St John
@Yorkstjohn
2969,71032.81.647
Brighton
@uniofbrighton
24116,80069.71.646
Gloucestershire
@uniofglos
46211,00023.82.046
UWE Bristol
@uwebristol
5827,36512.71.345
West London
@UniWestLondon
2,0284,2412.13.245
St Mary’s UC, Twickenham
@YourStMarys
2475,06320.51.644
Buckingham
@UniOfBuckingham
2357,16630.50.843
UC Suffolk
@UCS_NEWS
1812,96016.41.240
Queen Margaret
@QMUniversity
2516,36625.40.539
Newman University
@newman_uni
851,84021.60.739
Greenwich
@UniGreenwich
1372,36217.23.035
Manchester
@OfficialUoM
2351,4446.11.021


Editor’s note: The UK table has been updated to reflect changes made by Coldlime after the original publication of the data.

 

Top 100 most influential US universities on Twitter
(based on Twitter data collected 1 May 2014)

UniversityFollowingFollowersRatioTweets/daySocial Authority
University of Texas, Austin
@utaustin
90776,10083.95.381
University of Wisconsin, Madison
@UWMadison
1,85766,50035.815.279
Indiana University, Bloomington
@IUBloomington
44196,000217.77.278
Harvard University
@harvard
586360,000614.311.977
University of Florida
@uflorida
14166,600472.37.877
Pennsylvania State University, University Park
@penn_state
53768,300127.27.275
University of Notre Dame
@NotreDame
28143,700155.52.574
Stanford University
@stanford
895204,000227.94.771
University of Virginia
@uva
1,48333,60022.73.471
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
@umich
81171,400884.871
Georgia Institute of Technology
@georgiatech
2,06030,50014.83.370
University of California, Los Angeles
@ucla
25953,400206.21.668
Boston College
@BostonCollege
3,32939,60011.97.768
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
@Illinois_Alma
6,31622,6003.64.768
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
@mit
325120,000369.22.267
Cornell University
@cornell
17972,800406.72.367
Princeton University
@princeton
44599,400223.45.466
New York University
@nyuniversity
47020,50043.61.266
Yale University
@yale
208135,0006494.165
Brown University
@BrownUniversity
43853,300121.72.965
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
@Carolina_News
48121,90045.53.265
Vanderbilt University
@vanderbiltu
1,85321,40011.54.464
Boston University
@BU_Tweets
18,30041,3002.33.964
United States Military Academy
@westpoint_usma
17419,800113.82.763
University of Southern California
@usc
3,58151,90014.55.263
Columbia University
@columbia
24661,600250.43.962
University of Pennsylvania
@Penn
99140,70041.15.862
George Washington University
@GWtweets
1,70722,90013.42.662
Duke University
@DukeU
38123,60061.96.961
Northwestern University
@northwesternu
43421,80050.24.261
Johns Hopkins University
@JohnsHopkins
3,78040,40010.77.761
Southern Methodist University
@smu
3,76918,3004.94.461
Dartmouth College
@dartmouth
1,45117,60012.16.560
University of Washington
@UW
1,43963,50044.13.460
University of Georgia
@universityofga
18027,0001502.460
Tufts University
@TuftsUniversity
6,26323,9003.84.858
Georgetown University
@georgetown
2,23427,80012.41.358
University of Chicago
@UChicago
1,14615,40013.44.657
College of William and Mary
@williamandmary
16413,90084.81.857
United States Air Force Academy
@AF_Academy
3188,47126.62.156
Rice University
@RiceUniversity
58514,30024.44.256
Brandeis University
@BrandeisU
4,63512,3002.71.556
University of Rochester
@UofR
4,03910,5002.62.356
Carnegie Mellon University
@carnegiemellon
62123,30037.5355
Lehigh University
@lehighu
2,4759,2903.83.655
University of California, Davis
@ucdavis
1,20412,70010.56.555
Colgate University
@colgateuniv
3,10312,2003.98.754
Washington University in Saint Louis
@wustl
28111,50040.91.554
College of the Holy Cross
@holy_cross
7,2107,6781.15.154
Brigham Young University
@byu
24018,10075.41.454
University of California, Berkeley
@UCBerkeley
81628,50034.93.253
Wellesley College
@wellesley
3217,83724.41.953
Bryn Mawr College
@BrynMawrCollege
9665,0635.23.953
Wake Forest University
@WakeForest1834
5977,24912.11.853
Bowdoin College
@bowdoincollege
2,0325,6242.8452
Smith College
@smithcollege
1,78110,7006552
University of Richmond
@urichmond
85610,10011.82.352
Pepperdine University
@pepperdine
1905,62929.60.952
California Institute of Technology
@caltech
5816,900291.41.251
United States Naval Academy
@NavalAcademy
3811,500302.60.550
Barnard College
@barnardcollege
1,6797,1674.30.850
University of Maryland, College Park
@UofMaryland
1,33726,20019.6450
Villanova University
@VillanovaU
2,31313,7005.93.350
Centre College
@CentreC
1,1564,1123.62.850
Swarthmore College
@swarthmore
5514,1417.51.649
Union College
@unioncollegeny
4034,95312.32.749
Macalester College
@macalester
5,6226,1621.11.449
Santa Clara University
@SantaClaraUniv
4856,26512.91.648
Mount Holyoke College
@mtholyoke
2,5397,8503.1748
Wheaton College
@wheatoncollege
368,0642241.748
Washington and Lee University
@wlunews
7624,9406.53.747
Wesleyan University
@wesleyan_u
7011,2001601.947
Williams College
@williamscollege
2,2678,1693.62.446
Amherst College
@amherstcollege
4116,982171.645
Colby College
@colbycollege
1,1554,9874.31.545
Colorado College
@ColoradoCollege
4235,73913.6245
Franklin and Marshall College
@fandmcollege
9294,7015.11.845
Carleton College
@CarletonCollege
7524,5676.1144
Lafayette College
@LafCol
8654,2254.9444
Grinnell College
@grinnellcollege
4043,1027.70.844
Kenyon College
@KenyonCollege
9384,3284.61.144
Scripps College
@scrippscollege
2,2042,6731.23.144
Haverford College
@haverfordedu
3183,24210.22.143
Pomona College
@pomonacollege
2204,63121.11.842
Hamilton College
@hamiltoncollege
2,1746,0552.8240
Oberlin College
@OberlinCollege
1372,45717.93.540
Case Western Reserve University
@cwru
8223,9204.80.540
Davidson College
@DavidsonCollege
4573,9328.61.738
Vassar College
@vassar
313,717119.90.537
Trinity College
@trinitycollege
2132,49911.70.837
Middlebury College
@middlebury
1057,34069.90.536
Harvey Mudd College
@harveymudd
7472,8053.80.636
DePauw University
@DePauwU
1,0114,8324.81.236
Reed College
@Reed_College_
01,217-0.135
Sewanee-University of the South
@univofthesouth
1393,06722.10.934
Cooper Union
@cooperunion
685,45280.20.433
University of California, Santa Barbara
@UCSBNews
2283,78916.60.833
Whitman College
@whitmancollege
2401,2965.40.832
United States Coast Guard Academy
@CoastGuardBears
759885.41.223
Virginia Military Institute
@vamilitary
533646.90.27


Coldlime has produced an interactive version of both the UK and the US tables.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Hats off to Manchester for not giving a toss about this faddish and self reverential social media phenomenon!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The first rule of statistics, or even mathematics as a whole, that I remember being taught at the age of about 11 was to ensure that the results of a calculation 'made sense'.

    Does it make sense that Plymouth University with - let's be fair - a decent but modest reputation and ~21,000 followers on Twitter, have a greater "social authority" than Stanford with over 200,000 followers and who are generally reputed to be one of the best universities in the world?

    No. This article is basically an advert for the company Coldlime, who want to scare senior management and marketing professionals at various universities to up their game - and presumably pay Coldlime consultancy fees to help them.

    If you're doing social media activity well, then you don't need some half-baked algorithm from a company with a vested interest to tell you.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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