Swedish Kommuns and Facebook: Another dirty review

Back in February I published a post which gave a quick, and rather dirty, review of Swedish kommuns and their use of Facebook. I like dirty, so here’s a follow up which looks at the same pages, almost a year later, in December 2012. Before we go any further:

What’s wrong with the data:
– Not every page is included (Nor have I looked at multiple pages from the same Kommun), there’s around 90 Kommun pages included here
– Some kommuns have only opened their walls for posts in the last few months (but well done you!)
– I can miscount stuff
– Facebook’s supposed chronological presentation of posts can sometimes be a little odd
– Page owners can have removed posts

And what’s wrong with the method:
– I don’t include comments on posts from the page
– I don’t control for posts from the same person (there’s more than one page which has a lot of ‘engagement’ from one or two special individuals)
– I have not looked at how quickly questions, comments etc are responded to
– I’ve not even attempted to second guess the stratgy behind the page (is it to drive traffic to a website, or encourage people to comment; for example?)
I have instead looked at the number of likes (yes, yes I know – not a sharp metric), the average monthly growth of likes and the number of posts by page friends.

Here’s a bubble chart showing number of likes on December 19th 2012:

Facebook likes - Swedish Kommuns

Clicking on the image will take you to the clickable chart.

Some clear winners, on the basis of likes. I’ve set up Facebook pages myself (and currently manage one for a client) and likes have never been the best metric. But, but, but – when you’re a kommun you know, roughly, how big your target group is – the number of citizens in your kommun. If your likes are a miniscule percentage of that number, then maybe you’re not really communicating optimally via Facebook.

Here’s a bubble chart of kommuns showing the average monthly growth, of likes, in 2012:

Average monthly growth - Kommun Facebook pages

Click on the image to visit the clickable chart.

Averages are dangerous things, but these data give an idea of what the best, and worst, growth looks like. These data give you no idea whether all the growth is restricted to a few months, or is spread throughout the year. Update: Basically, what I’m saying here is that some pages, indeed, a whole bunch of them; have simply not grown much at all. Others, like Karlstad are gaining likes at an impressive rate. GIven that many kommuns said in a recent survey that they lacked resources to adequately manage social media, this is not altogether surprising.

Bubble chart showing the number of posts left by page friends in 2012:

Facebook page posts - Swedish Kommuns

Bonus – correlation between posts and likes…make of this what you will:

FB likes vs posts

I’ve removed Karlstad’s page as including it sends all the other pages scurrying into the bottom left hand corner while it sits high up in the top right – no question for them that more likes is associated with more posts. There are outliers where lower numbers of likes are associated with still high numbers of posts but, generally, on the basis of these data you could roughly predict the number of posts by looking at the number of likes. Remember, as well, that these data are skewed by pages which may have only opened their walls in the last few months as well as pages which have received lots of attention from one or two people.

What can you do with this data?
No deep insights, I’m afraid, as I’ve got no idea what your particular kommun strategy with Facebook is. However, as most kommuns are using social media to have a dialogue with their citizens (Slide 7, Sveriges Kommun & Landsting) then presumably a low level of posts from page friends is an indication this target is not being met (though you may rock with comments on your posts – I didn’t look at that). Check out what the rock stars from this list are doing and remember, developing a social media presence takes time, patience and more than a little enthusiasm.

You can find my list of data here – if you notice any errors, sorry, entirely my fault and if I can find the time I’ll make this less dirty and more shiny. Here’s the raw data from the last time I did this.

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.