Xavier University Athletics Case Study

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Highlights

  • Connector.

    150% increase in engagement

  • Connector.

    Several hours saved per month

  • Connector.

    255% sustained avg. increase in engagement

  • Connector.

    Pulled together data from 40 accounts

Overview

Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Xavier University is a Jesuit Catholic University with an enrollment of over 4,500 undergraduates.

The university’s social media activity is highly cyclical–not only involving the school year, but all the seasons for each individual athletic program. Xavier Athletics places the highest priority on educating sports fans.

Since they began using Rival IQ, Xavier Athletics has seen a 150% increase in social engagement, saving many hours each month in data collection and reporting.

Challenge

As one of over a dozen colleges/universities in Cincinnati, Xavier doesn’t depend on area media outlets to inform their fans of activities. Fans come to them for information on games, previews and more content – all through social media. They expect Xavier’s social accounts to have the most up-to-date and critical information.

“Xavier Athletics has seen a 150% increase in social engagement, saving many hours each month in data collection and reporting.”

As Xavier continues to separate itself as one of the country’s premier Division I college basketball programs, basketball is a major focus, driving a significant portion of the overall engagement. Xavier Athletics needed an easy and powerful way to manage 40 social accounts while maintaining a consistent brand voice–all while driving increased engagement.

Solution

Patrick Dillon, Director for Marketing, took over marketing responsibilities for Xavier Athletics in the summer of 2014. One of the first tools he added to assist with social media efforts was Rival IQ. With a team of over a dozen contributors across marketing and communications Dillon believed that Rival IQ would be critical in seeing the full picture and effect of their collective efforts.

“We were able to capitalize on the team’s success by posting opportunistic content as well as content relevant to our fans from media outlets…”PATRIC DILLON, Director for Marketing, Xavier University Athletics

Results

The on-the court success of the basketball team in 2014-2015 led to increased excitement for the 2015-2016 season. Dillon, along with athletic communications coordinator Brendan Bergen, first focused on improving engagement rates. By looking back at the previous year using Rival IQ, they could see the more quality posts they created, the better the engagement rates.

So instead of waiting for the hype of March Madness, their team focused on increasing the frequency as well as properly using more hashtags. “We were able to capitalize on the team’s success by posting opportunistic content as well as content relevant to our fans from media outlets,” said Dillon. “While our basketball team’s success was the impetus for our sustained engagement, we executed on that with our content strategy.”

For Dillon, it’s also important to measure Xavier’s successes against their peers in the Big East conference. Xavier Athletics uses Rival IQ to track the activities and content of other schools, identifying ways in which they can perform better. Adding data to the conversation is critical. Xavier’s engagement rate in relation to the student body population outperforms all others in in the Big East.

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