Ivy League universities popularity on social media and on the web

14th of April 2020 by Rasmus Soerensen.

Which Ivy League university is the most popular on social media and which university is getting the most traffic to their websites? 

Focus on Listening has done the research in order to answer all of these questions.

The research looked at five different social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) as well as the traffic to the universities’ official websites during a period of six months (October 2019 – March 2020). 

All data collected can be found in this public Google sheet and the table of content below can be used to easily scroll through the results.

Main findings

Our main findings were as following:

  • With more than 10.6 million followers, Harvard University alone has more followers on its social media channels than all of the other seven Ivy League universities combined.
  • Yale University is the second most popular Ivy League university with more than 2.7 million social media followers. Dartmouth College is the least popular Ivy League university with approximately 300 thousand social media followers. 
  • When looking at the number of social media followers per enrolled student, Harvard University has around 295 followers per student.
  • On average, Harvard University has had 38 million visitors to its website the last six months (October 2019 – March 2020). 

Harvard University

Harvard University on social media

It might not come as a big surprise to many of you that Harvard University is the most popular university on social media and also the university with the most traffic to its website during the last 6 months.

When looking at the number of followers on social media accounts, Harvard University tops all the other seven universities.

Among Harvard University’s social media accounts, Facebook was the most popular with more than 5.5 million followers, while Harvard University’s Instagram is its second most popular account with around 1.5 million followers.

When adding all of the followers together, Harvard University ends up with more than 10.5 million followers in total which is more than 295 followers per student enrolled at the university.

Harvard University’s 10.5 million social media followers exceed that of all the other seven Ivy League universities’ social media followers combined. 

Interestingly enough, Harvard University is also active on Soundcloud as well as iTunes. On Soundcloud, Harvard University has more than 374 thousand followers.

harvard-university-social-media-channels

Harvard University website traffic

Looking at traffic to the Harvard University website, you can quickly observe that the university is ahead of the other universities. 

On average, Harvard University had 38 million visitors coming to its website during the last 6 months (October 2019 – March 2020). In March, you can observe a spike in traffic with more than 50 million visitors.

Yale University

Yale University on social media

With more than 2.7 million followers on its social media channels, Yale University is the second most popular Ivy League university.

Its most popular social media channel is Facebook with more than 1.3 million followers, followed by Twitter with around 500 thousand followers. Instagram is Yale University’s third most popular social media channel with approximately 444 thousand followers.

When looking at the number of social media followers in comparison to students currently enrolled at the university, you get 201. This puts the university in second place only succeeded by Harvard University.

yale-university-social-media-channels

Yale University website traffic

Yale University saw on average of around 7 million monthly visitors to its website during the last 6 months.

This puts Yale University in fifth place when looking purely at which university has the most website traffic. However, it should be mentioned that Yale University also has significantly less students enrolled compared to other Ivy League universities.

yale-university-website-traffic

Princeton University

Princeton University on social media

Princeton University has around 1.5 million social media followers in total and is therefore the third most popular Ivy League university on social media. 

Its most popular account is Facebook with around 500 thousand followers. Twitter is the second most popular account with around 387 thousand followers and Instagram comes in on third place with around 333 thousand followers.

Princeton University has 183 followers on social media per enrolled student. 

princeton-university-social-media-channels

Princeton University website traffic

Princeton University had 5.5 million visitors on average coming to its website during the last 6 months (October 2019 – March 2020).

This places Princeton University on 6th place when looking at traffic to its website compared to the other Ivy League universities.

princeton-university-website-traffic

Columbia University

Columbia University on social media

Columbia University has around 1.4 million followers combined on its social media channels which places them on spot number 4 when compared to the other Ivy League universities.

Columbia University’s Facebook and LinkedIn profiles have almost the same amount of followers at around 407 thousand. Twitter is the third most popular social media channel with approx. 354 thousand followers. 

There are around 43 social media followers per student at Columbia University.

columbia-university-social-media-channels

Columbia University website traffic

With an average of 11 million visitors during the last 6 months (October 2019 – March 2020), Columbia University had the 3rd most traffic to its website out of all the Ivy League websites.

This might, of course, be due to the high number of students enrolled. Columbia University has around 33 thousand enrolled students and that is the second-highest amount among all the Ivy League universities.

columbia-university-website-traffic

Cornell University

Cornell University on social media

Cornell University has around 1.3 million followers combined on its social media channels.

Its biggest channel is LinkedIn with an approximate 404,000 followers. Facebook is its 2nd biggest channel with more than 398 thousand followers and Twitter is the third biggest channel with around 291 thousand followers.

Cornell University has around 56 social media followers per enrolled student at the university. 

Cornell University website traffic

With around 14 million monthly visitors the last 6 months, Cornell University is the university in the Ivy League with the second-most traffic coming to its website.

cornell-university-website-traffic

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania on social media

University of Pennsylvania is the 6th most popular Ivy League university with around 885 thousand followers combined.

The university’s most popular social media channel is LinkedIn where it has around 302 thousand followers. 

Facebook and Instagram are the second and third most popular social media accounts with approx. 229 thousand and 172 thousand followers respectively.

university-of-pennsylvania-social-media-channels

University on Pennsylvania website traffic

When looking at traffic to its website, University of Pennsylvania comes in at 4th place. The university had an average of 9.5 million monthly visitors (October 2019 – March 2020).

university-of-pennsylvania-website-traffic

Brown University

Brown University on social media

Brown University has around 800 thousand followers combined. Its most concentrated group of followers is found on Facebook with numbers exceeding 250 thousand followers. Their second biggest account is Instagram where they have around 190 thousand followers.

university-of-pennsylvania-website-traffic

Brown University website traffic

Brown University comes in at 7th place when looking at the amount of traffic its website has been generating the last 6 months.

On average the university had around 2.8 million visitors the last six months (October 2019 – March 2020).

brown-university-website-traffic

Darthmouth College

Darthmouth Collge on social media

With its approximately 342 thousand combined social media followers, Dartmouth College is the Ivy League university with the least followers on social media.

However, if you look at the number of followers per enrolled student then Dartmouth College is above Columbia University and University of Pennsylvania as Dartmouth College has around 52 social media followers per enrolled student. This is of course due to Dartmouth College’s low number of enrolled students compared to Columbia University and University of Pennsylvania.

darthmouth-collge-social-media-channels

Darthmouth College website traffic

With around 2.1 million monthly visitors on average the last six months, Dartmouth College has the lowest monthly traffic to its website in comparison to all the other Ivy League universities.


Rasmus Sørensen

Research done and text written by Rasmus Soerensen.

Rasmus is the Co-founder and CEO of Focus on Listening. He studied at Copenhagen Business School in Copenhagen, at London Metropolitan University in London as well as at Curtin University in Perth.

Information about the research.

  • All data was collected in the period between 10th and 12th of April 2020. 
  • Traffic to the respective university websites was collected via SimilarWeb.com.
  • All social media data was collected from the official social media channels created by the universities themselves. Please note that the numbers change slightly day by day. 
  • On YouTube, the exact number of subscribers is not made public. Thus, we have rounded up the numbers to their nearest thousands.
  • The original data can be seen and downloaded right here.

Behind Focus on Listening.

Focus on Listening is a transcription app for students. The app helps students with becoming more focused and active during class. Focus on Listening was founded in 2019 by Rasmus Sorensen and Sergey Bushnyak. You can read more about the founders here.