At Jumpwire Media, it’s all about communities. Jumpwire is a social media agency and according to Katee Duarte, they focus their sights outward toward the audience as opposed to inward toward their client’s practices. Duarte, an account director at Jumpwire, encourages her clients to understand the dynamics of their audience and make connections based on that understanding.
“A lot of times clients will just throw up posts and not really think about it but they don’t realize the value of what’s sitting their in the community following them. We really like to go in and engage with communities and followings on the platforms, find out what they like, what they don’t like, and not only use it as feedback for developing future content and strategy, but also growing the community as well,” Duarte said.
Most recently, Jumpwire Media created a ranking comparing how university athletic departments were performing on Twitter.
The rankings were largely the work of Duarte and Dion Caputi, a content creator and community manager for Jumpwire. Caputi and Duarte focused on six metrics – audience (number of fans), engagement (total likes, comments, and shares across all channels), activity (# of posts), amplification (sharing), applause (likes), and conversation (comments) across six social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram in what they called a very “labor intensive” project.
In addition, they posted the standings from the Learfield Director’s Cup showing which schools were excelling in the field across all of their athletics.
So was there any correlation? We’d say so. Six of the top 10 schools in the Learfield Director’s Cup standings were also in the the top 10 of Jumpwire’s rankings, furthering the notion that a strong social game and a strong presence on the field go hand in hand.
Ohio State is No. 1 on this list by a wide margin. OSU is followed by the University of North Carolina, while the University of Oregon and the University of Southern California are tied for third. You can see the full list here.
— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) July 21, 2016
While Jumpwire doesn’t work with exclusively sports properties, Katee said these rankings have propelled them to move forward into the college athletics space.
We were able to catch up with Katee and Dion from Jumpwire to pick their brains about what went into the rankings and why some athletic departments are better on social media than others.
What was the inspiration and purpose of the college social media rankings?
Katee: We do something at Jumpwire called Passion Pitch, where we try to let our employees work with one or two clients that they really have a vested interest in outside of work. Dion loves sports, he came to us as a huge football fan so that’s really where the idea started. When he came to the company, we were thinking how could we make Dion happy and what would he like to do.
We started to look at colleges and we saw a really strong social presence, you’ve got all of these colleges with huge followings. A lot of times you have great engagement but sometimes they don’t. We wanted to learn why some schools are more successful than others and is it all based on how they perform in sports or is it based on the number of students? There’s lots of things we tried to look at to determine that.
Can you speak more into what went into the rankings? How did you determine which metrics to use?
K: We looked at fan engagement, activity, applause and conversation. Those are metrics that we believe to be key players when you are evaluating social. At some point, for our own clients, we really delve in and have access to a lot. For this, we picked top metrics and decided these would be the key six metrics we would use to evaluate.
How did you access this information? Did you reach out to the schools or did you gather the information as a distanced third-party?
K: We have quite sophisticated software and everything is legal, of course. Basically, it’s a software that tracks all of these things for us. If someone was our client, we have access to different things and our findings would be more in depth, but since we didn’t have access to all of the schools we looked at, this was the best way to keep it top level but the metrics were pretty detailed in terms of the amount of time we looked at and the platforms we evaluated.
The content creation piece is something Jumpwire specializes in. Did you dive into the rankings and look at the top schools and check out the content they were posting?
K: We definitely looked at all of that. This is kind of a top-level ranking. When we did evaluate and look closer we did go in and look at content as well.
Count down the top #TarHeel25 wins of 2015-16.
— UNC Tar Heels (@GoHeels) July 20, 2016
Dion: We looked at each school individually from an actual content perspective on all the platforms that we tracked as well. It was pretty labor intensive. We did put a lot of time and a lot of effort double, triple, quadruple checking. We’re really proud with the data we came back with and made sure it was really accurate from top to bottom for all the six metrics on all the six platforms.
Is there anything you can see content-wise that the top schools do similarly? Are the schools near the top doing something different? How are the schools near the top able to gain such a foothold?
D: One thing that’s consistent among a lot of the programs that were successful, like Ohio State for example, why they were so significantly ahead of the other schools is that they were able to be very active, work their audience better and interact with their audience better and equally adept on all the platforms that we tracked as well. It was as simple as them being better than other schools in a lot of cases.
Ohio State, unlike a lot of other teams, really looped in their other athletic accounts to really get a real strong network within their own athletic social media goal.
K: What we were running into was that some schools have athletes that are the star of the show, other schools really focus on one school or another, but to keep things fine tuned and streamlined, we decided to just look at the athletic department social. It would be really interesting, in the future, to do something that took into account the athletes, that’s definitely something we would be interested in given the success of these rankings. If an athlete was featured in a post and we were reviewing the post as part of the time period we looked at, that fell into this but the profiles of different athletes were not pulled into this.
What has the reaction been like to the rankings?
D: We were really proud to push it out to all the schools that were involved. We wanted to get as much as exposure for it as we could get and see the reaction and it was overwhelmingly positive. A lot of the schools at the top were proud of their ranking and schools at the bottom were happy to be included. There really was no negative reaction. From the beginning we were really happy that some of the schools were able to understand that we put a lot of work into this and because of that, they seemed to respond well to that.
— GoDucks (@GoDucks) July 8, 2016
You paired rankings of on-field performance with the social media rankings. Is there any causation or correlation between the two?
D: We focus solely on social media and not really how it relates to athlete-success. When we looked for the Learfield we were looking for one really basic breakdown and one scale that could measure and evaluate a hundred schools. There were a lot of lists that were pretty reputable but Learfield is a well-rounded all encompassing list that was absolutely the best that we could’ve used with our rankings. When you compare it to other rankings, it’s the most reputable.
Do you have anything else up your sleeve at Jumpwire in the future?
K: We definitely are always working on new projects but as we do work on things and release them, we’re sharing them as well. This was more of a presentation than an audit.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) July 14, 2016
Not to say that we’re not going to do more sports in the future because there’s been so much success and something we’re looking to do , but we’re constantly testing lots of things and not just putting out rankings for one industry but trying to be on the top of all platforms and all industry. There are definitely things in the works and definitely things up our sleeve and I will say, with the success of this rankings, that’s something we’ll continue to investigate in the future.