Killer Facebook Data (That you can’t get from insights…or anywhere else for that matter)

Here’s some killer statistics from the Facebook page which I curate which fits both the ‘shock and awe’ and ‘frickin’ useful’ categories:

Between August 2011 and January 2012 friends of the page left 348 posts.
60% of these were related to making an application, or a question about our degrees
– 30% of them were practical questions about studying at Malmö
– 10% were links to events, jobs or other content

Simple take home? 90% of the posts we received in that 6 month period were about applying, splendid!

These data tell me that our page is totally supporting the current goals we have for Facebook – our strategy is to specifically focus on using Facebook for customer service and encourage prospective students to contact us via the wall.

How did we get these data? The hard way – my awesome colleague @idarosqvist went through our page with a pen and paper categorising the posts we had received. Definitely not the world’s most glamorous task but it results in some simple, easy to understand numbers which gives both insight (we’re on target with our strategy) and a set of data which allays the fears of those who worry that our page’s wall is full of random nonsense.

If you’ve got a billion friends, and a wall to match, then this probably is not for you; but if you’ve got a ‘regular’ page then taking a foray into your wall, armed with pen and paper, may give you some great insights and some awesome data to report.

(We didn’t look at comments, that would have taken too much time. The sentiment of the posts was largely positive or neutral, as tends to be the case with comments as well).

Swedish University Facebook Pages Review – Posts in January 2012.

Here’s the data for January for the Facebook activity of Swedish universities, ranked by the number of posts left on their walls. December was relatively quiet in comparison to January; some pages received more than double the number of comments in January, compared to December.  (December’s data will be presented in a review of the previous 12 months which I’ll prepare next month.) International pages are the most active, which is no surprise, given that this is the main application period. 5 university pages still do not allow posts to be left.

In January, the pages with the most posts were Malmö (112 posts) and Uppsala’s (104 posts) English Facebook pages. Uppsala experienced considerable gains from last month, with an increase in 30% in the number of posts. Lund University’s page is ranked 3rd, with 67 posts.

Malmö University

112

Uppsala University

104

Lund University

67

Linne Universitet

64

Uppsala universitet

41

Linköping Universitet

33

Lunds Universitet

21

Högskolan i Borås

21

Umeå universitet

21

Umeå University

20

Högskolan i skövde

18

KTH

17

Malmö Högskola

14

Mittuniversitetet

12

Jönköping University

11

Karlstads Universitet

9

SLU

9

Göteborg Universitet

9

Högskolan i Halmstad

8

Mälardalans Högskola

8

Chalmers University of technology

8

Högskolan Dalarna

7

BTH officiell

5

University of Borås

5

Linnaeus University, Sweden

5

Högskolan Kristianstad

4

Mid Sweden Uni

4

Karlstad University

3

Högskolan i Jönköping

2

Högskolan Väst

1

Ranking of Swedish University Facebook pages, by posts left by page friends during January 2012 (+/-5)

What’s the Value of this?
Well, that kinda of depends on you. If the aim of your Facebook activities is to build a relationship between yourself and prospective students then you’ll probably want to see lots of posts on your wall. If, on the other hand, you are more interested in profiling your university online then you may be more  interested in comments and likes – though posts will still be important – in getting a more viral effect for your content. So, only a few comments may not necessarily mean bad things (and you may well be being awesome on other channels) but it could equally be a sign that, currently, you have not given any compelling reason why people should connect with you on your wall. In a subsequent post I’ll be showing a simple way of evaluating a page, and presenting the results, to get a handle on the type of posts being left.

November Review – Facebook Page Comments – Swedish Universities Ranking

Here’s the November ranking for Swedish universities’ Facebook pages – based off the number of comments which their friends left on their walls, during the last month. This does not include comments left on posts by the page, or additional comments in a longer discussion. I’ve divided it into English and Swedish language pages.

Swedish language Facebook Pages

Overall, Linne Universitet’s wall saw the biggest increase in posting, with a growth of 20% since last month. There’s some international activity on the wall, which contributes to the growth, but the content seems to be mostly from students on campus; for example the sharing of blog posts or for sale notices.  The Karolinska Institutet, The Royal College of Art and Stockholm’s Universitet’s walls remain closed for posts.

Linne Universitet

60

Lunds Universitet

29

Linköping Universitet

27

Uppsala universitet

22

Högskolan i Borås

22

Högskolan i skövde

19

Mittuniversitetet

17

Högskolan i Halmstad

16

Mälardalans Högskola

13

Umeå universitet

13

KTH

11

Karlstads Universitet

11

Malmö Högskola

11

Högskolan i Jönköping

11

Högskolan i Jönköping

11

SLU

10

Högskolan Dalarna

6

Göteborg Universitet

6

BTH officiell

3

Högskolan Kristianstad

2

Högskolan Väst

1

English Language Facebook Pages

Malmö University sits at the top of this part of the ranking, with a page where posts are almost entirely questions about studying at Malmö, or how to make an application. Lund University, in second place, also has a wall dominated by questions about applying to Lund.  Uppsala, whilst enjoying fewer posts, shows a similar trend towards questions about making an application. Stockholm University and the Stockholm School of Economics walls’ remain closed.

Malmö University

56

Lund University

48

Uppsala University

22

Jönköping University

14

Umeå University

13

Chalmers University of technology

6

Karlstad University

6

Karlstad University

6

University of Borås

2

Some Quick Reflections

A few things occurred to me when I was preparing this month’s ranking.

Number of friends versus number of posts
A high number of friends is obviously great for reach and getting your content visible across the web. Lund University, for example, gets a high number of likes and shares for some of their posts which presumably leads to a healthy amount of inbound traffic to their page, and website. But, once again there’s little relationship between number of friends and number of posts;  Lund University has 5 times as many friends as Malmö University, yet they both have similar levels of posts.

Exceed expectations
The student’s question that you ignored or dismissed with a short, terse answer? There’s another university giving them red carpet treatment.  In the last month I noticed, on several different occasions, the same student posting the same question on different university’s walls (yes, your customers are fickle – get over it). The tone and level of support tended to vary. Enough to make them not choose your university? Hard to say; but maybe enough to drop you from 1st to 2nd choice. Exceed the expectations of your Facebook friends, the extra effort does not cost much and will reap rewards.

Don’t be shy about your social ecosystem
Chances are, the page I include here isn’t your only one – you’ll have an ecosystem of different pages representing Faculties, programmes or research activities, for example. Quick tips – make sure your pages are liking each other;  don’t rely on the Facebook search engine to show up your other pages. Also, encourage cross posting from one page to another;  get administrators from a particular page to post, using their own page’s identity; when appropriate this is a powerful way of drawing attention to the competence and presence you have on Facebook.

Facebook Comments – Monthly review of Swedish University Facebook Pages

Who has had the most posts from their friends this month? Yes, I know Facebook launched their ‘are talking about’ metric last week which, on the face of it (ha, see what I did there), would make this comparison somewhat redundant. But, you know, it does not seem to look like that. I still think a new comment left on your wall is pretty much a slice of fried gold – it’s the one of the ultimate metrics; particularly if the purpose of your page is talking to people. Absolutely they could be commenting on stuff you’ve posted but that’s still not quite the same, or as powerful sign of engagement,  as an unsolicited, original comment – particularly one which is related to the mission of your page.

Without being able to access the back end of the Facebook insights, it’s hard to know what’s influencing the ‘are talking about’ metric on any given day – it could be  any combination of likes, comments or sharing of content. A page with a closed wall can still have a high ‘are talking about’ score, but I would argue that those pages are probably doing less for the organisation than a wall which allows, and cultivates, commenting (and if anyone knows how to make a call for the ‘Are talking about’ metric from the Facebook API I’d love to hear from you!).

Overall, this month every page dropped in the amount of activity – there was a lot of posting going on in August, presumably due to the start of the new term. Malmö and Lund continue to lead the pack for English language pages while Skövde sits at the top of the Swedish pages.

Swedish Universities English Facebook Pages – Ranked by number of comments left in September.
(If you compare this to last month, then remember that I collected data from over 3 months in the summer; rather than looking at a single month)

Page

Comments left by page friends

Malmö University

77

Lund University

68

Uppsala University

15

Jönköping University

12

Mid Sweden Uni

4

Stockholm University

Wall closed

Chalmers School of Technology

Wall closed

Stockholm School of Economics

Wall closed

Umeå University

Wall closed

There’s a +/- of around 5 going on here; and there’s a number of posts left by friends, which get included, that come pretty close to the spam category (not many though). There are not so many posts from other pages, which is interesting when you consider that most of these universities have a rich ecosystem of pages – cross posting between them would probably be beneficial for the page friends. Malmö University’s comment count was boosted by the posting of photographs, by friends of the page.

Swedish Universities Swedish Facebook Pages – Ranked by number of comments left in September.

Page

Comments left by page friends

Högskolan i Skövde

74

Linne Universitet

55

Högskolan i Borås

45

Linköping Universitet

45

Lunds Universitet

31

Mälardalans Högskola

28

Umeå universitet

26

Uppsala universitet

21

Malmö Högskola

21

KTH

19

Mittuniversitetet

19

Högskolan Väst

13

University of Borås

10

Karlstads Universitet

8

SLU

8

Högskolan i Halmstad

7

Högskolan Dalarna

7

Högskolan Kristianstad

5

BTH officiell

2

Karolinska Institutet

Posts not allowed

Royal Institute of Art

Posts not allowed

Stockholms Universitet

Posts not allowed

Mashup Pages
An awful lot of people come to your website, every day. And a lot of them don’t look at your homepage, or are there a very short space of time. If you’re relying on your homepage to draw visitors to your social media assets then you may be missing a trick. One solution is the use of mashups which provide an overview of all the social media assets from the university. Here’s some examples from some Swedish websites:

Linneuniversitet:

LNU - social media aggregator page
Borås University:

Borås University - aggregator page - social media

Borås include a feed from Twitter which shows tweets where the university is mentioned, which is very transparent.

And an example from the US: William and Mary Mashup

William and Mary Social Media Mashup
Normally I react against the ‘official’ label, but in this example I like the ‘Official’ and ‘Official-ish’ distinction!

Swedish University Facebook Pages – Monthly Review – Part I: Friends

Here’s the first of two posts covering the activity of Swedish higher education Facebook pages – these data are for the summer, and bring us more or less up to date. This post is just the friend data, I still need to take a look at comments – that will come later. I’m also asking for help concerning the age of Facebook pages, see my earlier post about it here (particularly if you are a page owner at a Swedish university).

The average increase in the number of friends over the summer (I compared the number of friends in August, with the number from May), for the University Facebook pages listed below was 13%.

Lund University’s English page moved past Linköping’s Swedish page into the number 1 spot, but otherwise the top 5 universities remained unchanged.  Of these top 5, only Lund and Umeå showed any significant growth above the average.

Lower down the list, Skövde is the biggest climber with a whopping 40% increase in friends in the last few months; impressive stuff. KTH, Uppsala University, Karolinska Institute and Malmö University also had above average gains in the number of friends.

University Page Number of Friends August 5th 2011 % Increase compared to May 24th 2011
Lund University

7695

18

Linköping Universitet

7444

7

Umeå universitet

5555

15

Linne Universitet

5078

7

Stockholm University

4651

11

Umeå University

4260

7

Uppsala universitet

3404

9

Jönköping University

3055

7

Högskolan i Borås

3048

6

Lunds Universitet

2844

12

SLU

2706

4

Skovde

2573

41

Chalmers University of technology

2561

12

Stockholm school of economics

2209

5

Karolinska Institutet

2099

24

Högskolan Väst

1811

10

Högskolan i Halmstad

1788

9

Mälardalans Högskola

1735

16

KTH

1643

30

Stockholm’s universitet

1458

16

Malmö University

1399

28

Malmö Högskola

1177

12

Karlstads Universitet

1093

13

Uppsala University

1041

31

Royal Institute of Art

1020

8

Högskolan Dalarna

592

9

BTH officiell

541

6

Högskolan Kristianstad

362

13

There’s a bunch of pages which experienced rather sluggish growth over the summer. What’s the difference between these pages, and those showing more aggressive growth? It does not seem to be as simple as brand, as there are both well established and new universities distributed throughout the list.  Maybe those pages where there is a concerted effort to engage are those which exhibit growth? Incidently,  5 pages have closed walls, three of which show little growth.

In my next post I’ll be looking at the amount of comments on these pages; this will shed a little more light on the summer’s activity.

Swedish University Facebook Pages: List and Monthly Review of Performance

Here’s the latest analysis of activity on 28 different Swedish university Facebook pages. Like last month, I’ve focused on a count of wall posts by friends of the page; a measure of engagement with the page. I’ve also included total likes and a count of comments by the page owners.

I give a percentage change from the previous month’s figure, giving some handle on the velocity of their growth. With a few exceptions, these data were collected on the 24th of May. There’s probably a +/-10 on the counts of comments and posts.

Let me know if your page is missing, or if there’s another way you’d like me to approach this kind of data.

Swedish University Facebook Page Ranked by Posts by friends of the Page: Engagement
The first number is the total number of posts since November 1st 2010. % in brackets is change from last month’s figure.

Malmö University 246 (16%)
Lund University 198 (60%)
Umeå universitet 120 (10%)
Uppsala University 119 (112%)
KTH 116 (2%)
Lunds Universitet 106 (17%)
Linne Universitet 102 (15%)
Linköping Universitet 98 (17%)
Högskolan i Borås 83 (14%)
Uppsala Universitet 78 (16%)
Malmö Högskola 75 (39%)
Jönköping University 65 (18%)
Mälardalans Högskola 63 (21%)
Karlstads Universitet 52 (24%)
Högskolan Dalarna 45 (33%)
SLU 44 (16%)
Högskolan Kristianstad 21 (0%)
Högskolan i Halmstad 17 (6%)
Karolinska Institutet 14 (17%)
BTH 14 (17%)
Högskolan Väst 11 (10%)
Umeå University 5 (Wall just opened for comments)
Skovde  – I’ve not collected all their data yet.

Umeå University has opened their wall up for comments but 4 universities’ walls still remain closed (although comments on posts authored by the page are permitted). Big movers this month are Uppsala who received double the number of comments on their wall than they did last month. Lund University also showed a healthy growth in the number of comments.

I’m not looking at additional comments left on posts. Even pages with closed walls are attracting comments on posts they themselves leave. This means there’s a huge amount of engagement which I’m  not including here. However, posts left by fans are a reasonable measure; and certainly better than simply looking at number of fans to compare page performance. Speaking of which…..

Swedish University Facebook Pages’ Number of Likes: Page growth

Linköping Universitet 6986 (3%)
Lund University 6527 (6%)
Umeå Universitet 4815 (12%)
Linne University 4746   (1%)
Stockholm University 4201 (4%)
Umeå University 3981 (3%)
Uppsala Universitet 3115 (4%)
Högskolan I Borås 2868 (1%)
Jönköping University 2844 (3%)
SLU 2612 (2%)
Lunds Universitet 2545 (3%)
Chalmers University of Technology 2291 (3%)
Stockholm school of Economics 2098 (2%)
Skovde 1822 (insufficient data)
Karolinska Institutet 1690 (8%)
Högskolan i Halmstad 1643 (4%)
Högskolan Väst 1642 (1%)
Mälardalens Högskola 1498 (6%)
KTH 1268 (8%)
Stockholms universitet 1254 (5%)
Örebro Universitet 1171
Malmö University 1093 (13%)
Malmö Högskola 1047 (8%)
Karlstads Universitet 964 (8%)
Royal Institute of Art 945 (6%)
Uppsala University 792 (16%)
Högskola Dalarna 543 (6%)
BTH 512 (3%)
Högskolan Kristianstad 321 (7%)

Biggest movers this month are Uppsala University, Malmö University and Umeå Universitet, though there was no breakout growth shown by any page. Based on these data, the average growth for a Swedish higher education Facebook page is around 5%

Swedish University Facebook Pages: Number of posts by the page
The first number is the total number of posts since November 2010. The % is the change from last months figure.

Uppsala Universitet 360 (15%)
Högskolan I Borås 263 (12%)
Stockholm University 242 (15%)
BTH 227 (16%)
Umeå Universitet 219 (14%)
Karlstads Universitet 183 (14%)
Royal Institute of Art 162 (12%)
KTH 139 (16%)
Malmö Högskola 137 (20%)
Högskolan I Halmstad 133 (8%)
Umeå University 130 (20%)
Linne Universitet 125 (7%)
Malmö University 125 (13%)
Linköping Universitet 112 (25%)
Mälardalans Högskola 110 (23%)
Stockholms universitet 109 (30%)
Lunds Universitet 105 (8%)
Högskolan Väst 94 (15%)
SLU 92 (19%)
Uppsala University 92 (33%)
Stockholm School of Economics 82 (14%)
Karolinksa Insitutet 82 (22%)
Lund University 67 (24%)
Jönköping University 57 (8%)
Chalmers University of Technology 29 (45%)
Högskolan Kristianstad 21 (16%)
Högskolan Dalarna 19 (12%)
Skovde: Insufficient data, so far.

Significant breakout pages, in terms of increased publishing, include Chalmers University of Technology, Uppsala University and Linköping Universitet. The average is approximately a 17% growth in the number of posts by a page.

Reflection: Personalisation of posts.
As I compile this data I get to see a lot of different styles in maintaining a Facebook page. One thing which definitely makes a difference is how comments and posts, by the page, are personalized. Several universities sign off their posts; for example (click on the images to make them larger):

Lund University - Answering comments with a personal sign off

Malmö University - Signing off posts helps identify which administrators are commenting.

Umeå universitet use the page owner function (find it under: edit page>featured>page owners: Add featured owners), and link to the Facebook profiles of their page administrators:

Umeå Universitet's Facebook Page - Using the page owner function

I believe that showing that there is a human being behind the page is a positive thing – it helps the Facebook friend connect with the university through a real live person, rather than just being answered by a logo.  Furthermore, if there are several administrators active on the page it provides a useful way of seeing who is answering what.

Discussion at StudyinSweden Regarding Fees

There’s a great thread regarding the introduction of fees at the StudyinSweden site – I’m a little out of the loop right now (due to the work I’m doing with  Lund University’s web development project) so expect to see more updated information there.

http://www.swedenintouch.se/Forum/Topics/Messages/?topicid=617