How can you drive enrollment with social media? Seth Odell from Southern New Hampshire University held a session at #casesmc last month that focused on this question. Following Florencia Prada’s blog post on CASE SMC, I’d like to provide you with a handful of key takeaways from this session.
I recently wrote a short version of this blog post for swissnex San Francisco’s blog nextrends. If you are interested in reading more about each example with more details than you can think of, than just keep reading. And if you only have five minutes, feel free to move right over to nextrends and read the short cap with a slideshow!
If you hold a university degree, chances are your alma mater didn’t have a Facebook page or Twitter account when you were enrolled. They do now. But before you start to feel old, let me remind you that the Facebook “Like” button just turned four and that Facebook only launched pages for universities in late 2007. Continue Reading →
It is time for another spotlight on some of Switzerland’s social media champions in universities and research. This time I had the pleasure of taking a closer look at Dodis, a research project that maintains a database of Swiss diplomatic documents and publishes books with a relevant selection of these documents. Researchers Christiane Sibille and Ursina Bentele, as well as Dodis director Sacha Zala, kindly answered all my questions about their social media presence.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth interviewed 70 of the nation’s (USA) top MBA schools to learn more about their social media use.
This blog post is part of a series of posts highlighting social media champions in Switzerland. We’ve previously portrayed Katja Wenk, Web and Social Media Officer at the University of St. Gallen and Yan Luong, Social Media Manager at Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS). This time we have the pleasure to introduce you to Roger Stupf and his team at the University of Zurich (UZH), who manages the university’s social media presence during a one-year pilot project.
Roger Stupf, Head of Web & Information Management, in front of the University of Zurich
Provided by: LearnStuff
For the second time this year, we have taken an extensive look at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and iTunes U, and evaluated the presence of Swiss universities on those channels.* Each university can download its detailed report on their private landing page.
As highlighted in the previous blog post, every Swiss university and most of the universities of applied sciences have at least one Twitter account by now. Most are present on Facebook as well, as you can see in this list of official Facebook pages.
We are excited to give you some additional insight into what’s been happening on Facebook and Twitter in this past quarter below. For the first time we have taken a closer look at Facebook posts and evaluated which posts were the most successful in terms of likes, comments, and shares.
Facebook community: Full Speed Ahead for Some
A quick glance at the number of Facebook likes of official pages reveals some impressive developments in the last quarter. Two universities made a huge leap and expanded their fan base significantly.
HSG multiplied its Facebook likes by eight, and is now totaling 7,600 likes. UNILI, Liechtenstein’s university that is also participating in our program, doubled its follower base to 2,500. These increases were not accidental. Both institutions have taken measures to increase that number in the last quarter. HSG’s social media officer, Katja Wenk, pointed out that while she is definitely very active on the university’s Facebook page and posting regularly, a lot of growth came from targeted Facebook campaigns.
UNILI’s head of communications, Herwig Dämon, also ran Facebook campaigns with paid ads that appeared on pages of selected Facebook users. The ad only showed up on the page of a user who met a certain demographic criteria and already had a friend who liked the university’s official page. In addition, UNILI ran ads for specific programs that would take users directly to the program’s website.
UNILI also applied other methods to increase the Facebook community:
- Internal information sessions: Explaining social media activities to the internal audience increases awareness of the channels. Employees can then spread the word beyond the campus. UNILI takes advantage of the employee and student newsletters, banners, and the university’s website to promote its social media channels. This is also a big part of the work day for HSG’s Katja Wenk, who spends a large amount of her time educating university employees, mostly upon their individual requests.
- Introduction of channels to (new) students: UNILI directs new students to the school’s social media channels with the help of the admissions office and the international relations office. With the new semester starting any day now, it’s an ideal time to promote your school’s social media presence. Check last week’s blog post to learn about 10 ways to engage students during back to school season.
- Integrated approach: Social media is part of an institution’s overall communications strategy. Using multiple channels when communicating an event, spreading news, or engaging with the audience is key. UNILI has started to do this more often in the last quarter, for example by tweeting about an event, writing a news story about it on the website and featuring posts on Facebook with pictures and soundbites from the happening.
We expect a lot going on for the next quarter, with many new students flooding the universities’ campuses and looking for information and ways to engage with their schools.
Facebook Posts: We Like Visuals
We evaluated every program participant’s Facebook activity in July to find out which posts created the most interest in their community. Generally, posts with a picture got the most attention. Flip through the slideshow below to see the most liked, commented, and shared posts. Can you detect a pattern?
The kind of posts that received the most feedback are very different. In some cases a picture of the campus motivated people to like it, as seen in the case of ZHAW, PHZH, and UNIFR, in other cases interviews with university employees or presidents were liked most, as seen on the pages of UNIGE, UZH, WSL, and FFHS.
Twitter: One Tweet a Day
On average, universities sent 70 tweets in the second quarter of 2012, compared to 56 tweets in the first quarter. This makes an average of 5 tweets per week, about one per working day.
.ETH and EPFL had the biggest reach on Twitter in Q2 2012. Twitter reach is calculated by counting the amount of Twitter users who have potentially seen a tweet that was talking about that university, therefore looking at how far the tweet traveled. We have only taken into account the tweets that include the official Twitter handles.
Here is an overview of the universities’ official accounts and their Twitter reach for Q2 2012:
* This also includes numbers for universities of applied sciences. Our research is limited to the institutions participating in the program however. Depending on the structure and nature of the institutions, they either participate as a whole (like BFH or HSLU) or as sub schools (e.g. most of the sub schools of the university of applied sciences in Zurich participate, such as the HWZ or ZHAW).
News, blog posts, and articles that caught our eye this week:
- How to use YouTube’s new face blurring tool. YouTube added this feature recently and it may come in handy if you want to use video footage but need to blur out some faces.
- LinkedIn’s pilot program for universities. LinkedIn is revamping their offerings to students and alumni and has partnered up with a group of academic institutions to improve their services. By the way, have you heard about their alumni product?
- University of Geneva on iTunes U. The university of Geneva is joining a handful of other Swiss academic institutions on iTunes U and has already uploaded a number of podcasts . Congratulations!
- Seven deadly sins of Facebook brand pages. Are you using the right picture format? Have you set up a vanity URL? And are you already using the Facebook timeline to mark important milestones in your university’s history?
News, blog posts, and articles that caught our eye this week:
- University of Fribourg on Social Media. University of Fribourg shares guidelines, naming convention, best practices, and more with its community (in French & German). Congrats!
- LinkedIn unlinked from Twitter. Twitter begins to enforce stricter guidelines for use of its API and deprives LinkedIn of user tweets to enrich its newsfeed. The SF Chronicle reports that your tweets will still be visible in your Facebook timeline.
- Facebook Finally Lets Page Administrators Schedule Posts, Have Different Roles. A much needed functionality that allows page administrators to let others contribute content. Another welcomed addition, is the ability to schedule content on Facebook, previously only available through 3rd party applications (Crowdbooster, Hootsuite).
- @Sweden welcomes @Netherlanders to Twitter. You might have read about Sweden’s initiative, through which regular citizens handle Sweden’s official Twitter account for a week. The latest country to join the trend is The Netherlands.
- Here’s What Facebook’s Want Button Will Probably Look Like. Facebook seems to be working hard to keep big advertisers on board by developing a “want” button to encourage purchases on its platform.
- Facebook Changed your Email Address: Here’s How to Change it Back. If this is the first time you read about this change, visit your Facebook profile and ensure your primary email is your own.
- Useful Social Media Resources for Higher Education Professionals. A super comprehensive list of useful links to check out this summer.
We come across numerous articles, tweets, blog posts, and more, that we think could be of interest for our readers. We thought we may as well share a selection of these little tidbits we find around the web with you from time to time:
- Great and creative social media campaign ideas from schools around the worlds – bestcollegesonline.com
- An article about Swiss universities and their social media activities (in German only) – nzz.ch
- Do you need to create or enhance your social media strategy? Radian6 has a neat little e-book for universities on how to do exactly that – radian6.com
- Was your Linkedin-password stolen? This might be a good time to change it and check some other security best practices – blog.linkedin.com
- Twitter has a new bird! Are you ready to update all your little icons? – twitter.com
- Did you know that the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) is now on Facebook? – supsi.ch