2018 social media review

John Chapman
Monday 21 January 2019

2018 saw another busy year for the University’s official social media channels. During the last 12 months, we have been working hard to increase our presence on social media by building our audience. To do this, we have been sharing posts aimed to encourage discussion and also to showcase the St Andrews student experience to a global audience.

Using social media, we have been able to cover important University events such as graduation, orientation and the installation of our new rector. We’ve also shared the latest news and world-leading research from our various Schools and departments.

In 2018, we implemented a new social media management tool. Hootsuite has allowed us to better manage our channels by scheduling posts, analysing data and actively listening to other accounts which engage with us online. Using the advanced analytics tools available on the platform, we were able to produce a report on the use and success of social media in 2018. Some of the key findings are detailed below.


In 2018, our Facebook page gained over 9,000 new followers for a total of over 50,000 followers. Our followers continue to be mainly from the United Kingdom and the United States. However, we also have followers from around the globe including 2,500 followers in India, 1,400 in Pakistan and 1,200 in Germany.

561 posts were shared on Facebook in 2018 which resulted in over 121,000 engagements. The majority of engagements (86,000) were from reactions such as likes, and a further 27,000 engagements were from shares.

The most engaged with post on Facebook, in terms of reactions, was a post congratulating an alumni couple on the birth of their third (royal) baby. This post received a total of 1,973 reactions from our followers.


Our Twitter account also reached a milestone with over 40,000 followers now. Our followers increased by 4,500 compared to 2017.

949 tweets were posted on Twitter in 2018, and this resulted in 40,000 engagements. 26,000 of these engagements were from likes and 13,000 from retweets. The University was also mentioned in other users’ tweets 13,000 times.

The most engaged with tweet was one supporting Economics professor Clara Ponsati. This tweet received nearly 5,000 retweets and 7,000 likes.


Instagram continues to be our main channel for promoting the student experience, and the majority of its content comes from our students showcasing their time at St Andrews. Our Instagram audience has dramatically increased since we first let students share their stories in 2017. From 7,000 followers, we have now increased the audience to over 18,000. In 2018, 7,000 new profiles started following the official Instagram channel.

Over the course of the last year, over 792 posts were shared on Instagram. These posts received over 436,000 engagements, 430,000 of which were likes. Despite being the smallest channel regarding audience, it received the most engagements by a considerable amount.

Similar to Facebook, Instagram’s top post was one congratulating the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of Prince Louis. This post received over 3,600 likes when it was shared back in April.

Social media in 2019

We will continue to build our social media presence online by increasing our followers and providing them with valuable and interesting content they will hopefully want to engage with and share to their followers.

The main focus of 2019 will be on research, and we will be sharing content based on our world-leading researchers and their work to our followers. We will also continue to engage with our staff, students, alumni and wider community by sharing University news and events. Our Instagram channel will keep showcasing the student experience through student takeovers. Many takeovers are already planned and we always welcome suggestions and requests for new takeovers.

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