Social listening is a powerful tool that allows you to review online conversation over the course of time. As a quick recap, social listening tracks online conversations that are important to your organization—or in this case, your school. It tracks brands, words, events, mentions, influencers, and even images.
We built a query using a tool called Brandwatch to examine online conversations from January 1 through December 22, 2017—searching for terms, ideas, and topics that were featured most prevalently in conversations among financial aid professionals.
We compared mentions that matched our query terms for 2017 to those from 2016, and found a 27 percent increase in 2017, indicating increased activity. Our query also found that the number of unique authors—the number of authors with one or more mentions matching our query—increased nearly 50 percent in 2017 over the same period in 2016.
We identified the top three trending topics, as measured by fastest–growing volume during the timeframe of January 1, 2017 through December 22nd , 2017. They are:
- PROSPER Act
- #HEA reauthorization bill
- #Fight4FinAid rally
Other topics that trended throughout 2017 are displayed in this word cloud.
Social media mentions by financial aid professionals occurred most frequently using Twitter, followed by Facebook.
Not surprisingly, the unavailability of the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool was a huge topic on social media. In fact, Brandwatch identified our overall top mentions on Twitter for 2017 as:
- Most popular – https://www.nasfaa.org/uploads/documents/NASFAA_DRT_Letter.pdf
- Second most popular – https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/internal-revenue-service-irs-and-us-department-education-office-federal-student-aid-fsa-statement-about-irs-data-retrieval-tool-drt
- Third most popular – https://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1704.html
Overall, 2017 was a great year with many interesting conversations, increased networking, and the establishment of many new connections. As we look forward to a wonderful new year in 2018, we encourage you to reach out and let us know if you're interested in having us explore a specific topic with our listening. You know where to find us on Facebook and Twitter.