Well, that’s the Black Friday of the education sector done and (nearly) dusted for another year. While our friends at Net Natives were busy delivering Grade A (no pun intended) advertising campaigns, we were busy looking at the digital conversations surrounding the occasion. We used our various social listening tools to discover the latest trends, insights and data shaped scoops.

We shared most of the insights on social media; which formed the basis of our #NativesClearing Twitter takeover. But let’s be honest, it was a manic day for everyone and we wouldn’t hold it against you if you didn’t quite manage to catch it all. That’s why we’ve compiled all the best bits into this handy blog post.

Ok, here’s what went down A-level Results Day:

The day was bigger than before

There was a 31% increase in mentions surrounding all things Clearing and A-level Results Day, compared to last year. This would be a combination of universities increasing their activity, as well as the number of students talking about getting their results. This doesn’t necessarily mean that more students were going through Clearing though.

What a difference 24 hours makes

The number of mentions increased by a staggering 268% from the night before to the following morning. Here are the hashtags being used the night before A-level Results Day. We can see a lot of lesser-known hashtags still making their mark online. For example, #NoWrongPath was used to help promote various apprenticeships up and down the country. 

Jeremy Clarkson got involved… as normal 

Jeremy Clarkson posted his annual A-level Results Day tweet, to show his support for those students who didn’t do as well as others. This type of content is always going to go viral and perhaps allow the students to engage with more lighthearted content; as expected, it was the most popular Tweet of the day.


Our social listenings tools are able to determine the most popular emojis from the day. Perhaps the was down to Clarkson’s attempt at some Twitter humour? Overall positive emotions appear to be outweighing the negative ones. This graph gives an excellent visualisation of how the day looked, picking up a variety of moments.

Where was the conversation happening?

As expected the vast majority of the conversation was happening on Twitter. This shows us that people still use the platform to share a variety of news, to interact with organisations and to share sentiment and opinion around trending topics.

Instagram started slow, with just 95 mentions. However, as the day unfolded this did increase to 1628 by lunchtime. This confirms how people use Instagram, it is not a platform to share negative posts, people use it to showcase their best moments, which is why the number of mentions increased later on, when people were sharing their positive news – after they had received their results.

Which areas should education marketers target?

We wanted to see where prospective international students were coming from. Our social listening tools showed us where in the world students were talking about A-level Results Day.

When drilling deeper into the UK, we saw specific areas of the country where there were more conversations surrounding Clearing and A-level Results Day. This could be a combination of an institution’s marketing activity and general conversation between students. Perhaps this gives direction as to which areas of the country marketers could be targeting in future student recruitment campaigns?

Why not download a copy of our National Clearing Survey. This guide will give you detailed insight into the minds of  Clearing students.

Looking for more information? Then please get in touch.

Article by


Matt Payne

Senior Marketing Executive