Facebook Friends – Monthly review of university Facebook pages – Part 1.

Here’s the data for the first part of my monthly review of Facebook pages from the Swedish higher education sector. This is the comparison of the number of friends they have, and the growth they have shown over the last month.

Lund University’s English language Facebook page occupies the number one position, followed by the Swedish Facebook pages from Linköping, Umeå, and Linne Universities. Stockholm university’s English language page occupies the number Five position.

This is definitely the growth season! Compared to the last month, where many pages had little increase in the amount of friends, the last month has seen a dramatic rise for several pages.  Overall, the average growth in the number of friends was 17% this month; it was 4% in August; a reflection, no doubt, of the new term.

The clear winner is KTH – their page has seen an impressive 80% increase in Friends as they jumped from 1643 to 2953 Friends in the last month. Whatever it is you’re doing – don’t stop! After KTH, there’s about  9 pages showing 20-30% growth. There’s a bigger group of pages, about 22 of them, which show less than 20% growth.

Here’s a bubble visualization of the total number of friends for the university Facebook pages, click on it and you’ll come to a more interactive version which will let you see all the names and numbers.

Size of Facebook pages by friends - Swedish Universities Many Eyes

Lund University’s English language Facebook page occupies the number one position, followed by the Swedish Facebook pages from Linköping, Umeå, and Linne Universities. Stockholm university’s English language page occupies the number Five position.

Swedish university Facebook pages ranked by change from last month’s friends total looks like this:

Growth of Facebook page friends - Swedish Universities

What does this mean?
Total number of friends is hard to use, but growth is useful for benchmarking. I doubt it’s a fluke that KTH have seen such an increase in growth – there’s almost certainly some action behind that. Looking just at the last month also hides some other trends; Skövde and KTH have had the highest growth over the last 3-4 months.  I’ll be publishing the amount of comments these pages have received shortly, which is a more relevant measure of engagement (in my opinion).  If I’ve missed your page, made an ass of the data or said something which you want to question;  please leave a comment below – thanks!

‘Are talking about’ – The new metric from Facebook, a comparison of Swedish universities.

Facebook have launched their new metric, the rather awkwardly named ‘Are talking about’. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how it’s calculated. The factors which it looks at have been reported as:

– Liking a page
– Posting to the page’s wall
– Liking, commenting or sharing a page’s status
– Answering a question
– RSVPing to an event
– Mentioning the page
– Tagging a photo
– Liking or sharing a check in
– Checking in

Whats twisting my melons is this context for this. What time period is this reporting? Is it the last week, hour or minute? I expect we’ll get an answer to this as the more detailed insights for administrators comes on line – but if you’ve got any idea, I’d love to hear it.

Swedish Universities Ranked by their ‘Are talking about’ (ATA) score, as recorded on 6th October 2011:

Umeå University 296
Uppsala universitet 285
Lund University 226
Umeå universitet 145
KTH  135
Stockholm University 127
Högskolan i skövde 116
Linköping Universitet 104
Uppsala University 102
Högskolan i Halmstad 93
Linne Universitet 92
Karolinska Institutet 80
Mälardalans Högskola 75
Lunds Universitet 72
Mittuniversitetet 66
Malmö University 54
Jönköping University 50
Stockholm’s universitet 49
Högskolan i Borås 40
SLU 37
Chalmers University of technology 37
Högskolan Väst 32
Malmö Högskola 32
Karlstads Universitet 22
Stockholm school of economics 19
University of Borås 18
Royal Institute of Art 9
Högskolan Dalarna 7
BTH officiell 5
Mid Sweden Uni 4

And here’s the ATA score plotted against number of page friends:

Comparison of Facebook page friends with Are Talking About score

So What?

To be honest, I’m not really sure what this is telling us or how you’ll action it.  The more actionable data will be coming in the admin only revamped insights tab. Without knowing what time scale this is reporting, it feels a little meaningless. Also, the number of friends of the page clearly (and naturally) affects the number – weighting for this may make the ATA score more relevant, and this is discussed over on the UK Craft Blog, where they have done a similar comparison. I’ll repeat this again in the next few days, and see how the score changes.

Update – October 7th.

The last 7 days – that’s the amount of activity which the ‘Are Talking About’ metric gives you. This makes it a little sharper, but you’ll be needing to keep a pretty constant eye on your competitors, or peers, if you want to use it for benchmarking over time. Here’s the official information from Facebook:

7 days worth of data - Are talking about



University Twitter Accounts Compared Using Klout – A measure of engagement?

Here’s a comparison of Swedish university twitter accounts using Klout (I’ve done something similar before).  I’m interested in how much klout tells you – does it reflect the nature of the twitter account. Does it tell us whether the twitter account is being used to engage, or simply broadcast? And before you get all sniffy, engagement is a fancy word for talking.

Swedish university twitter accounts ranked by Klout score.

Swedish universities and their Klout score

Does Engagement Have An Impact On Your Klout Score?
Klout only seems to tell you so much. It’s definitely telling you whether you left the starting blocks or not, but after that – well – it seems to get pretty blunt rather quickly. Here’s the amount of tweets, RTs, and @ replies from the top 6 Swedish universities, as ranked by their Klout scores, from January 2011. #RT is the number of times they retweeted something, #@ is the number of times they replied or mentioned another user (but not in a RT). Lists is the number of times they are listed.

Swedish universities with a high Klout score and their engagement

The number of @s and RTs gives an idea of how much the account is talking. It would seem that Klout is not so sensitive to engagement.  For example, @karolinskainst and @lundsuni have barely acknowledged that they have followers, through their lack of RT’s and @s, but still they have a reasonably high klout score. Both @malmouniversity and @liuuniversitet are engaging with their followers, but it does not look like it particularly impacts their klout score.

Klout’s important for a gross comparison –  but it looks like it’s less sharp for getting a handle on engagement. Or? Shoot me down in flames – I’ve love to have a single number which quantifies engagement!

Some observations on best practice.

I looked at a bunch of twitter accounts for this article, here’s some observations:

You so need a bio, and if you’re not using all the characters you’re missing out on opportunities to be found. It’s the only place on your twitter page (other than the tweets themselves) that you can put a clickable link in. Without a good bio it’s hard to decide whether you’re worth following or not – this goes for your personal account as well.

How often do you tweet? Particularly if it’s an English language account, there’s whole bunch of people who never see your tweets because they’re on the dark side when you’re tweeting. If it’s important information, consider sending it out several times to maximise your changes of being read– don’t be shy.

Are you sending traffic to your other online assets? Your Facebook page would probably appreciate a shout-out once in a while, and if you’ve just updated your admissions guide on your website why not tweet about it?

Do people care enough about you to put you on a list? Getting included on someone’s list means you’re in the VIP lounge for their attention. Make your own list of all the tweeting staff, students and offices from your university – that way you’ve got a handy source for RTs and an overview of your tribe’s activity.

A final word, if you’ve created an account but are rarely using it then you still need to pay attention to any questions or comments you get. Otherwise you could be quietly bleeding out good will, without ever realizing it.