Swedish Kommuns and Facebook – a quick and dirty review

The other day I was struck by the thought ’I wonder how Swedish Kommun Facebook pages compare’ – so I took a look, and the results are presented here ( a ‘kommun’ is the Swedish equivalent of a British ‘county’ – an administrative region). Before we get stuck in, a few comments on the data:

First – there’s a ton of data missing; I certainly will have missed pages, nor have I spent time looking at how many Facebook pages a kommun might have. Nor have I made any kind of assessment of their overall communication strategy (they may stink at Facebook but throw great parties). I tried to check but it may well be that the pages I understood to be representing the Kommun are entirely ‘unofficial’ and actually administrated by small dogs.

Second – I’ve only looked at number of friends (not a particularly sharp metric) and number of posts left by page friends (a slightly better metric, but I only looked at February). I’ve not looked at comments left on posts (life is too short).

Third –  I’ve not looked at the age of the pages, so the friends metric is pretty useless for figuring out growth rate.

Kommun Facebook Pages – List
Here’s all the data in a spread-sheet. Hat tip to Obiz24 for publishing their survey of Swedish kommuns, which got me off to a good start.

Number of Friends – bubble chart

Facebook Page Friends - Swedish Kommuns

Click on this to get a bubble representation of the number of Facebook friends these Kommun pages had in Feb 2012.

Karlstad Kommun’s Facebook page stands head and shoulders above the others with just over 12282 friends, way more than any of the others I looked at; most struggle to get more than 1000 friends.  No surprise, they also had the most posts left by page friends.

According to Wikipedia, there are 290 Swedish Kommuns, with a massively varying population in each. If one assumes that most of Karlstad’s Facebook page friends actually live in the kommun then they have around 14% of their citizens as friends – definitely a significant communication channel. Not everybody enjoys such success – Eskilstuna, with the second most Friends, theoretically only has 2% of their citizens as Friends.

Number of Posts – bubble chart

Facebook Posts - Swedish Kommuns

Click to see number of posts left on the Kommun Facebook pages, during February.

12 of the Kommuns I looked at have their walls well and truly shut, with no posts allowed. Another 21 Kommun pages failed to get any posts from their friends in February (remember, I’ve not looked at any other months or comments left on posts). Generally, the amount of posts is quite low. Several of the Kommuns have a few ‘activists’ who post several times.

Lots of Numbers – So What?

How do you use this? First, given the large amount of energy often expended on discussing how social media is used in the public sector it’s a provoking reflection that – with regards to the Facebook pages I looked at here – the direct audience (i.e. the total number of friends) seems to be quite low. Second, with a few exceptions the level of engagement (‘shudder’ – what does that word really mean?) is also low – page friends do not seem to post or comment that much.  If you’re investing in your Facebook page then you could maybe use these data as a benchmarking tool, and spot those kommuns which seem to be having success (though it all comes back to your strategy and goal).

Is your page missing? What would make this analysis more useful? Have I made a colossal #fail?  – let me know in the comments box below!

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.

Swedish University Facebook Page Growth

I’m putting together the latest results of my review of Swedish university Facebook activity, in the mean time here’s an overview of page growth – measure by friends – from a selection of English language Facebook pages maintained by Swedish universities.

Facebook pages - Swedish universities - English pages - Number of friends

Swedish university 'English' Facebook pages - number of friends. Click picture to make it less squinty.

As usual, if you see any errors or #fail in the data – please let me know! This kind of data will be included in a year in review report I hope to publish later in the spring.

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 Page Friends – November review of Swedish university Facebook pages

 

It’s just an arbitrary threshold, but the Lund University marketing team have something to celebrate as they manage the first university Facebook page, in Sweden, to have more than 10 000 friends. In the last month they gained over 500 new friends, which pushed them up to 10 300 friends. It’s interesting that the first page to achieve this is an English language page, rather than a Swedish one. Even though the need for communication with the university is higher for international students, the number of Swedish speaking students would – you’d think – mean that the universities’ Swedish pages would be larger than they are. Something like 95% of our youngest target group (Data from Svenskarna och Internet 2011) for bachelor degrees, are using social networks in Sweden – so why their absence from these pages I wonder?

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Flickr Alamagordo

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Flickr Alamagordo

All of the universities’ Facebook pages  – regardless of which language they use – are showing a reduction in friend growth compared to last month.

This month, Göteborg Universitet, KTH, University of Borås, Malmö University and Jönköping show some of the highest percentage growths; but, in real numbers of friends, some of this growth is very small. If you’re working to get more friends, then maybe you need to revisit your strategy, or not, as the case may be (Though it’s worth repeating that the total number of friends should not be the metric you’re focusing on to measure your page’s success).

I’ll be following this post up in a few days with an analysis of the commenting frequency on these pages (altogether more relevant than just looking at numbers of friends) – I just know you can’t wait.

If your page is missing, just let me know in the comments, thanks.

Facebook Pages in English, ranked by number of friends.

University Page Friends % Growth, from last month Increase in friends, since last month
Lund University

10307

5

524

Stockholm University

5596

2

113

Umeå University

5361

3

160

Jönköping University

3501

1

62

Chalmers University of technology

3151

2

69

Stockholm school of economics

2517

1

42

Malmö University

1982

6

127

Uppsala University

1452

5

82

Karlstad University

1364

n/a

n/a

Mid Sweden Uni

817

4

38

University of Borås

533

7

36

Facebook Pages in Swedish, ranked by  number of friends.

University Page

Friends

% Growth, from last month

Increase in friends, since last month

Linköping Universitet

8823

1

128

Umeå universitet

6235

1

64

Linne Universitet

6010

1

57

Stockholm University

5596

2

113

Uppsala universitet

4772

3

121

KTH

3721

10

329

Lunds Universitet

3610

5

166

Högskolan i Borås

3487

1

11

Högskolan i Skövde

3091

1

20

SLU

3053

3

92

Karolinska Institutet

2887

4

106

Mittuniversitetet

2661

1

16

Mälardalans Högskola

2533

3

71

Högskolan i Halmstad

2291

2

41

Högskolan Väst

2268

2

45

Stockholm’s universitet

2089

3

61

Malmö Högskola

1556

2

36

Karlstads Universitet

1474

3

47

Royal Institute of Art

1118

3

32

Göteborg Universitet

772

25

152

Högskolan Dalarna

653

1

2

BTH officiell

596

2

9

Högskolan i Jönköping

530

7

33

Högskolan Kristianstad

451

2

9

‘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.