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.


5 thoughts on “Swedish University Facebook Pages: List and Monthly Review of Performance

  1. Hi John,
    Thanks for another monthly analysis! It’s interesting that you choose to place the figures for “Swedish University Facebook Page Ranked by Posts by friends of the Page: Engagement” at the top of your post. I am not entirely sure that engagement is best measured in this way. As long as engagement excludes comments I think the figures are missing an important element – not least becuase open walls have – at least in the past – tended to be spam zones.

    We are in the process of discussing the question of walls being open or not. We had the wall open during the first year of Stockholm University being on Facebook. We closed the wall at that point due to summer manning levels. Afterwards I realised that the majority of non-admin ‘posts’ on the wall are a combination of advertising and spam. Posts from ‘real’ students/friends were much less common – and besides, students seem to comment anywhere: such as e.g. existing wall posts by admins – and that’s partly why we have not opened the wall up again. Another reason is, as I have mentioned before, that it takes a lot more resources to manage a page with an open wall. You have to spend much more time watching for spam, etc.. Still if the resources can be made available I can see the arguments for opening the wall again – though we’d have to evaluate how useful it actually turns out to be.

    It would also be interesting to do a case study to see how much stuff on open walls is just junk/advertising. Any takers?

    • Hi Paul – Thanks for the comment! I’m sure there are other methods to measure engagement but right now (and without using a tool), I think this is the best method for producing a rough idea of activity. There’s definitely flaws in the approach I use here – some pages may be extremely effective at driving traffic to another website with little or no engagement on the wall, for example.
      Measuring comments on posts is something I’m going to look into, I agree that there’s a ton of interaction there which this analysis is missing – I just think that it will be a monster task to analyse; but watch this space.
      I disagree with the view that most of the posts will be spam – our own experience is that very few of the posts are spam, we’ve certainly not had to remove so much. This may be because, not only do we curate the wall actively, but we’re encouraging the students – on other channels – to leave comments and ask us questions. I’ve looked at a lot of Swedish university facebook pages over the last few months and it’s rather varied regarding content on the walls. Some do contain more spam, but many – if they have comments at all – tend to be dominated by student activity. I’ll take you up on your suggestion – the next analysis will include the latest month’s worth of comments classified as ‘spam’, ‘question’ etc etc.
      With regard to resources, you’re not wrong that this kind of work requires you to be aware of what’s going on. Part of the solution we have at Malmö is that we have a team of administrators who have eyes on the page – they are also experts in their own subjects (such as admissions, housing etc). Summer cover is something, I hope, we have solved though we may not be able to give expert answers as quickly as normal. The million dollar question is if this effort is worth the return? I would say a resounding yes – we’ve got a great team of people working on the wall but the amount of time they have to invest is relatively low. This page has rapidly become a vital part of our service to students – it enables us to quickly give answers to students and provide them with information in a quick, straight forward manner. It also enables us to build a relationship with the students before they arrive at Malmö, and help them create their own network before they arrive.

  2. A further thought – I’ve been preparing for the latest review, including my more detailed analysis of the comments. One of the problems with such an analysis is that I’ve got no way of knowing what the curation of the page is like; for example, some admins may allow anyone to post on their wall, others may ruthlessly remove comments they disapprove of. So, the next analysis will include an look a comments, but the data will not be 100%.

  3. Pingback: What’s the age of a Facebook page? ‘Joined’ vs ‘No more posts to show’ « University Usability

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