The Digital Campus

The Digital Campus

A Look Back at 2011

As the social media program wraps up its first year, we’d like to use this occasion to look back at 2011. For a detailed Q4 report about your institution’s social media presence, visit your personal landing page and download the full report. Please read our previous blog posts about the Q2 and Q3  results for more information about those quarters in 2011.

Social media in higher education in Switzerland came a long way in 2011. Some institutions were active on social media before the program started in January 2011, but we have seen many establish an official presence and add channels during the course of the year.

Facebook
The largest social network to date is highly used among the higher education sector in Switzerland. Ten out of 12 Swiss universities (including federal institutes of technology) have an official presence on Facebook. Three universities joined in the last quarter of 2011, while seven established presence prior to or in early 2011.

Today, 66% of all participating institutions in the program have an official presence on Facebook. This is the breakdown for each of the three groups participating in the program:

  • Universities (includes federal institutes of technology): Ten of the 12 Swiss universities are present on Facebook. UNIL and ETHZ have no presence. EPFL leads in terms of Facebook likes among all institutions.
  • Universities of applied sciences: Out of the 14 participating universities of applied sciences, 11 have an official presence on Facebook*.
  • Research institutes and other public institutions: Three out of the 12 participating have an official Facebook presence.

Official Facebook pages through 2011

A glance at Facebook likes quickly shows that EPFL and EHL lead. Both come close to 3000 likes and show impressive growth in the second half of 2011.

University of St.Gallen goes social!

Among the three universities who established an official presence on Facebook in 2011 is the University of St.Gallen . They launched a number of social media channels just in the last few weeks. Their new presence includes an official Facebook pageofficial YouTube channel, official Twitter account and a number of sub accounts on Twitter. Besides official channels, the university also promotes blogs written by professors and institutes. Sub channels like “HSG START”  or “HSG RESEARCH” target specific audiences with content that is of interest for them. The university made it a point to inform stakeholders about their decision to expand their communications tools with official social media accounts. The full press release can be found here (German only).

Going social with a big buzz could influence the number of likes and followers. The university of St.Gallen already has more followers than the University of Zurich and Fribourg, who launched their official Facebook pages a few weeks before the University of St.Gallen. Social media icons could have an impact as well. The University of St. Gallen is the only one out of these three that prominently features them on their homepage. Correction: Both the University of St. Gallen and the University of Fribourg (French and German homepage only) feature social media icons on their homepage.

University of St.Gallen’s official Facebook page

 The team behind the launch was well aware that a professional and well-thought-out approach would lead to a successful rollout. Markus Zinsmaier is responsible for the launch and attended the social media study tour in San Francisco last fall. He ensured that the visits and workshops during that week contributed to the university’s endeavor: “the study tour gave us input for the structure, strategy and guidelines that we need to set up for our launch”.

For an overview of their social media presence, visit this page.

For a list of all official Facebook pages found for program participants, visit this page with a list of links.

Twitter
Sixty-three percent of participating institutions have an official Twitter account. 55% have both a Twitter account and a Facebook page. This is the breakdown of all four groups:

  • Universities: All Swiss universities have at least one official Twitter account. UZH and HSG launched their Twitter accounts during the course of 2011. All other universities had an account in early 2011 or even before. The most followed Twitter accounts are from EPFL and ETH Zurich. EPFL has accounts in English and French for a combined number of 3096 followers. ETHZ also has two accounts, one in English and one in German for a total of 1734 followers. 
  • Universities of applied sciences: Ten of the 14 participating universities of applied sciences have an official Twitter account.
  • Research institutes and other public institutions: Research institutes and other public institutions are not actively using Twitter for outreach. ZBUZH and DODIS are the only members of this group that tweet from an official account.

Official Twitter accounts through 2011


Take a look at this list of official Twitter accounts.

Link your homepage to your social media accounts
To ensure that your official channels can be found and identified easily, we encourage every institution to include icons on the homepage that link to your official presence on social media. At the end of the second quarter, nine institutions featured at least one social media icon on their homepage with a link to the official account (26% of the participating institutions). In the third quarter, 13 institutions made use of social media icons on their homepage.

At this point, 45% 47% of participating institutions have social media icons on their homepage.

Institution Has official Twitter account Has official Facebook page Featured social media icon on homepage in Q4*** Has official LinkedIn page Has official YouTube channel
BFH Yes Yes Yes Yes
CRUS Yes
DODIS Yes Yes Yes
EAWAG Yes Yes
EHL Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ELS Yes Yes
EMPA Yes Yes
EPFL Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETHRAT
ETHZ Yes Yes Yes
EURESEARCH Yes
FFHS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FHNW Yes Yes Yes
FHS Yes Yes
HEIGVD Yes Yes Yes
HESSO Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
HSG Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
HSLU Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
HWZ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
PHZH Yes Yes Yes Yes
PSI Yes Yes
SSS Yes
SUPSI Yes
Switch Yes Yes
UNIBAS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
UNIBE Yes Yes Yes Yes
UNIFR Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
UNIGE Yes Yes Yes Yes  
UNIL Yes Yes Yes
UNILI Yes Yes Yes Yes
UNILU Yes Yes Yes Yes  
UNINE Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
USI Yes Yes Yes Yes
UZH Yes Yes Yes Yes
WSL Yes Yes Yes
ZBUZH Yes Yes Yes
ZHAW Yes Yes Yes
ZHDK Yes Yes

Caption: Overview of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube presence of all participating institutions in comparison with use of social media icons on their homepage*. Institutions in red have both an official Twitter and Facebook account and feature at least one social media icon on their homepage.

A majority of the participants have an official presence on Twitter or Facebook:

  • Seventy-four percent of participating institutions have either an official Facebook page or an official Twitter account, but only 45% 47% of these institutions actually feature a social media icon on their homepage with a link to their official presence on social media.
  • Twenty-one institutions have both a Facebook and Twitter presence and 17 18 of them feature at least one social media icon on their homepage.


We are looking forward to the next months and are excited to see what 2012 brings! From what we’ve heard through the grapevine, there will be more official tweeting and other social media buzz in the near future. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post when we’ll reveal results from our recent survey about how Swiss academia uses social media.

Please note that we have only taken into account official Facebook pages and official Twitter accounts managed by the umbrella organization. A large number of participants have very active departments, but no social media presence as an organization as a whole.

Please let us know if any of your social media accounts are missing.

For a list of participating institutions go to this page.

All data was collected in the first six weeks of 2012.

______________________

* Our research for universities of applied sciences is limited to the universities participating in the program. 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).

**not all 2011 numbers are available

***icon has to link to their official presence