The Digital Campus

The Digital Campus

New Tool Alert: FanPage Karma

We keep an eye on the latest tools and platforms. Read about the most recent one we’ve tried.

Fanpage Karma thumbnailI am pretty sure that a tool that has “shitstorm” alert is going to be all the rage with you all in Switzerland!

In all seriousness, Fanpagekarma is an amazingly generous tool that gives you a ton of information about your posting patterns, reach, and your audience but that also lets you track other facebook pages! Continue Reading →

The Tweeting Professor

Professors on TwitterYou can probably divide your faculty into two groups: Those who believe in the potential of social media, and those who consider it more of a waste of their time. Do you have one or more social media believers in your faculty? Congrats if you do, since we think they can offer you some highly valuable perks.

We have identified those Swiss faculty members who use social media and included it in our quarterly research about the official social media presence of Swiss universities. Program members can find a chart with that data in their official reports due to be published this week. Read on to find the top professors on Twitter in Switzerland, but also how to utilize these social media advocates in your faculty. Continue Reading →

Social Media Analytics for Your University

tape measurerThis week we had the pleasure to invite Patrick Powers for a webinar in the scope of our Digital Campus program. Patrick, a project manager at Mstoner, is an expert when it comes to social media analytics and how to tackle this complex task in higher education institutions.

For those of you who didn’t attend the webinar, we compiled a short list of what we think are the key takeaways from his presentation. Continue Reading →

Summer Reading List

Summer reading StanfordA recent Facebook post by Stanford University inspired me to create a fine little reading list for one of these Summer days. Grab your iPad or print out some articles below, and find yourself a nice spot in the shade (or sun) for some reading. Treat yourself to an ice cream while you’re at it. Continue Reading →

Facebook Fatigue is For Real. Now What?

Two thirds of the adult online population in the U.S are Facebook users.  This social network is without doubt the most popular network in the U.S. and in many other countries around the world (including Switzerland, where almost half of the online population are Facebook users). However, use of Facebook is not as consistent  and strong as the word “popular” would otherwise suggest.

Continue Reading →

What Have Swiss Universities Been up to in the Last Quarter?

Official FB Page BFHFor 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.

Likes for official Facebook pages of Swiss universities during the last 4 quarters

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.

Tweets in Q2 2012

UZH and ZHAW have shown the highest Follower growth on Twitter since the first quarter of 2012. UZH joined Twitter with an English and German account at the end of last year.

Followers of Official Twitter Accounts in Q2 2012

.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.

Quick tip: There are numerous tools out there to show you the potential reach of your tweet. Check tweetreach, Klout, or Traackr to find out how many Twitter users you have reached with your tweet.

Here is an overview of the universities’ official accounts and their Twitter reach for Q2 2012:

Twitter reach of Swiss universities – Q2 2012 (Source: Radian6)


* 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).

List of institutions and abbreviations

Goldbach Interactive’s Social Media Monitoring Tool Report 2012

This post was originally published by Goldbach Interactive in early July 2012. Many thanks to Dominic Stöcklin for allowing us to publish it on this blog.

Social Media Monitoring Tool Report 2012

Social media monitoring is becoming more important than ever before. The tool market has grown exponentially in the last two years and now includes well over two hundred tools. Faced with such a selection, it can be overwhelming to know which tool is best suited to a company’s needs. For this reason, as well as to present the strengths of each tool provider, Goldbach Interactive publishes a yearly report on social media monitoring. In this year’s report, we have created an infographic displaying the most crucial key figures.

Comparing tools in different categories

This year eighteen of the two hundred aforementioned tools are particularly convincing. We were able to compare fifteen of these directly with each other based on the criteria listed below. The remaining three follow a full-service approach and are thus not directly comparable with the others since they tailor the solution specifically to the individual needs of a single client

Categories    Data coverage/ worldwide presence (quality of source coverage, historical data, clients in multiple countries)
•    Setup (services and support, entering search terms)
•    Engagement (social profiles, conversation history, workflow, alert functions)
•    Reporting (e-mail reports, individual dashboards)
•    Additional functions (sentiment, filtering possibilities, mobile access)
•    Design (usability, optics)
•    Price-performance ratio

Tool strengths

International source coverage and simple setup

Where data coverage and worldwide presence are concerned, BrandwatchVisible Intelligence and SM2 are the tools of choice. The latter offers historical data back to 2007 and a significant worldwide presence (i.e. a solid international client base). Visible Intelligence features a rich range of source coverage and allows access to its entire data set for more than a year.

Meltwater Buzz, Brandwatch and Sysomos Heartbeat are the leading tools for the setup category. Meltwater Buzz has a solid and straightforward setup interface, while at the same time offering a substantial support system. Brandwatch is not only quickly installed, but also impresses us with its fascinating functions for entering search terms (e.g. the command to search for plural). Sysomos Heartbeat stands out as one of the best options because of its extensive setup possibilities and a dual data filtering system (first giving the web a once-over, than filtering the results).

Convincing in Dialogue, Reporting and Design

As for engagement, Radian6 is by far the front-runner with its own engagement console. Engagor is nevertheless impressive with a clearly laid out workflow system of “inbox”, “outbox” and “follow-up” tabs. Moreover, the assigned tasks are already pictured on the dashboard. UberVU offers a great deal of interactive options with the users as well as good workflow functionalities with a tagging system.

Radian6 is again in the lead with reporting, though uberVU, Sysomos Heartbeat and Engagor are all hot on its heels. Radian6’s presentation of data via diverse dashboards leaves nothing to be desired. UberVU and Engagor are also very good in reporting and deliver versatile and individualised solutions. Sysomos Heartbeat once again convinces us of its quality through its multiple alert settings.

Further functions that we researched were sentiment analysis, filtering possibilities, and the adjustment of mobile terminal devices. Yet again we see Radian6 in first place – closely followed by Sysomos Heartbeat, Meltwater Buzz and Brandwatch. Radian6 offers countless data presentation and filtering possibilities. Brandwatch provides sentiment analyses in twenty languages while Sysomos Heartbeat offers the opportunity to create an individual filter and save it on the dashboard.

With regard to design, Engagor and uberVU are particularly impressive due to their intuitive management, user friendliness and remarkable celerity. Sysomos Heartbeat sets itself apart with a tidy interface and clearly laid out data. Brandwatch wins us over by its diverse adjustment techniques that are available for the presentation of data on each tab of the tool.

A Good Price-Performance Relationship

ComMonitor (Netbreeze) and Viralheat offer the best price-performance ratios. Understandably, these particular tools have fewer functions than more expensive ones. However, for the respective cost they offer very good solutions.  Sysomos Heartbeat features a large number of search terms, making it one of the best price-performance ratios in a higher price range.

Certain tool providers granted us the opportunity to appraise their functions more fully and afforded us a demo account with its own searches/queries. In this way, we were able to directly compare the tools and analyse the collected data.  Sysomos Heartbeat and Radian6 trumped the other tools. They also had the largest number of results for German, French and English searches. Even when filtering by country (Germany England, Japan, Thailand, China), both of these tools faired much better, i.e. produced better results, than the rest of the providers.

Full-Service Approach

In addition to the fifteen tools that we analysed via various categories, there are some convincing full-service tools on the market. These solutions set store by setup, customer needs and support.  When one is faced with exceptionally complex demands, these are the tools that best fit the bill. The unique nature of the tools does of course mean that there also will be a bigger bill.

Of the three tools mentioned here, Synthesio is the one that impressed us the most. It offers the most interesting possibilities through its personal support system and categorisation of collected data. Cogia Intellectis a keeper because of its independently programmed search algorithms. Gridmaster shows its strength in the quality of the findings.


From this report we gain two insights: one for the companies or organisations that would like to implement a monitoring tool and the other for Goldbach Interactive as a social media competence centre.

Before a company or organisation decides on a monitoring tool, it is of utmost importance to ascertain whether or not the tool provider already has a client base in the respective country or at least within the corresponding language area. This is a reliable index for sufficient source coverage. When choosing the tools themselves, the requirements, capabilities and various functions should be taken into consideration. The categories we have presented here can be weighted in order to identify the most meaningful tools in each of the categories. After the choice has been made, one only has to thoroughly test the chosen tool.

The lesson Goldbach Interactive takes with from this report is that the social media monitoring market is currently offering a greater diversity of tools than ever before. The fact that the tools reflect varying strengths across the board prevents us from declaring a clear ranking of tools. This point not withstanding, some tools dominate regardless of which category we look at: Radian6, Sysomos Heartbeat, Brandwatch, Engagor or Meltwater Buzz. “Monitoring tool” is becoming a bit of a misnomer for most providers, since they are offering more and more functions that go above and beyond monitoring alone.  The tools are developing in the direction of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and are thereby partially facilitating the integration of existing CRM systems. Furthermore, these tool providers are offering ever better engagement and deliver increasingly diverse insights via reporting and analytic functions. It is worth noting, however, that not a single tool manages all functions perfectly.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, queries or suggestions regarding the report – or even leave a comment on our blog!

We would like to sincerely thank the tool providers for their collaboration on this project.


The following infograhic lists the eighteen best tools in alphabetical order and highlights the varying qualities of the direct comparisons. Do you want to embed our infographic on your website or blog? Just copy the following code!


Though we were not able to work in detail with SoDash because of some missing data, we will take a closer look at it at a later date. Adobe Social is also of interest and will be paid due attention following its next release.

Gains on Facebook and the Power of Twitter Reach

We are well into 2012, which means brand new numbers about Swiss academia and their social media presence. Those of you participating in the program have already received the quarterly reports about official and unofficial presence. In this blog post we first present a short overview about official presence during the first quarter of 2012, then give detailed insight into Twitter activity. Many universities and universities of applied sciences set up official Twitter accounts in the past 12 months. We were curious about how much those groups are tweeting and what their potential reach is. Read on to find out.

Official Social Media Presence Q1/2012: EHL Shakes it up on Facebook

The last quarter of 2011 was quite eventful, with three institutions setting up an official Facebook page and four an official Twitter account. The new figures for social media presence don’t reveal any major shifts in the first quarter of 2012. While no new accounts were created, there have certainly been increases in likes, check-ins, and other metrics.

A quick look at Facebook likes on official pages shows that EHL and EPFL are still leading, but EHL has passed EPFL for the first time. Newcomers HSG, UZH, and FHNW, who have set up profiles in the last quarter of 2011, have taken Facebook by storm, doubling their likes or more since we last checked them at the end of 2011. HSG, for example is already tied with UNIBAS, who joined Facebook in 2009 and is a Facebook pioneer among Swiss academia.

Facebook likes for official pages Q1 2011 – Q1 2012
* not all 2011 numbers are available

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

No new Twitter accounts have showed up in this first quarter of 2012, but the channel has certainly become a little bit louder. As of February 2012, yet another program participant is chirping in the Twitter sphere: The university of applied sciences ZHAW has started tweeting (they quietly set up their account in the last quarter of 2011).

Twitter followers for official accounts Q1 2011 – Q1 2012
* not all 2011 numbers are available

Take a look at this list of official Twitter accounts, found for program participants.

Prominently placing links to official channels on the institution homepage takes visitors directly to those pages and makes sure that official pages are easily identified. Half of the participating institutions link to their official social media channels on their homepage. Along with their newly established presence on Facebook and Twitter ( at the end of 2011), UZH has now joined the majority of institutions and prominently features links to their official presence on their homepage.

UZH’s homepage (German version) with links to their official presence on social media

To get an overview of who else is linking to official presence on their homepage, which institutions have an official Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, or Linkedin page, take a look a this list.


Twitter Insights for Q1/2012

At this point, every Swiss university and most universities of applied sciences have at least one official Twitter account. We thought that was a good reason to take a deeper dive into the numbers and learn more about how Swiss academia is using Twitter. We took a look at each peer group, checked the number of tweets they generated in the first quarter of 2012, how many new followers they gained, and what their potential reach was.

Swiss Universities: Federal Institutes Take the Lead

Among all Swiss universities, the two federal institutes clearly stand out with their high numbers of followers. Accounts in English and German for ETH, and English and French for EPFL allow them to target their messages to specific audiences. EPFL was the most active institution on Twitter and generated 188 tweets in the first quarter of 2012, followed by UNIBE with 100 tweets, ETH with 98, and HSG with 89.

Does activity on Twitter have an influence on number of followers, in the sense that the more you tweet, the more followers you get? This hypothesis may have its limitations (it is difficult to prove causality, for one, even if there is a correlation), but let’s assume for a second that it is true. In that case, we could divide the number of new followers by the number of tweets during that time and use that ratio as an indicator for the success of Twitter activity. We did this for all official Twitter accounts as you can see in the chart below. UNIL has the highest follower per tweet ratio with 17 new followers per tweet in the first quarter of 2012. ETH received nine new followers for every tweet they generated. Of course, you should take this with a grain of salt. Other factors such as the content of the tweets, the time they are sent, and the way you engage with your followers play an important role in acquiring new followers, but it’s interesting to look at these numbers every now and then.

Number of new followers in Q1 2012 divided by number of tweets during that time (e.g. UNIL had 154 new followers and 9 tweets: 154/9=17.1)

Twitter followers are very valuable. Depending on their own follower base, a retweet or mention by a follower can reach hundreds or even thousands of people. “Twitter reach” is the magic word and shows the potential audience on Twitter.

What is Twitter reach? The reach of  a certain brand (in our case the Twitter handles) is a measure of the impression the brand is making online (in our case only on Twitter): how far it’s moved across the Web and how many eyes, ears, and mouths are seeing, hearing, and talking about it (Source: 10 Key Awareness Metrics to Track by Amber Naslund)

We estimated Twitter reach for Swiss universities and found once again, that the federal institutes are the frontrunners with a Twitter follower reach of 327,000 (EPFL) and 260,000 (ETH) in March and April 2012.

Twitter reach of Swiss universities – March & April 2012 (Source: Radian6)

Universities of Applied Sciences: HSLU Tweets the Most

EHL and HSLU were the first two in this peer group to join Twitter in Spring 2009 and are the most followed universities of applied sciences, as shown earlier. HSLU was also the most active institution in the first quarter of 2012, followed by BFH who started tweeting in Summer of 2011.*

HSLU did not have the highest follower per tweet ratio in this quarter, however. That belonged to ZHAW with four new followers per tweet in the last quarter. The institution, who joined Twitter in the last quarter of 2011, sent its first tweet on February 10, 2012 and gained around 50 followers in the first quarter of 2012.

Tweets, retweets, and mentions helped universities of applied sciences expand their social media audience in March and April 2012. HWZ had a potential reach of almost 89,000 followers on Twitter, for example, while HSLU had almost 55,000.

Twitter reach of Swiss universities of applied sciences- March & April 2012 (Source: Radian6)


Realizing the Potential of Twitter Reach

The first quarter of 2012 may not have brought a whole lot of new presence, but looking at the increase of likes and followers shows us that institutions are active on social media and are continuously expanding their fan base. In this blog post, we highlighted reach on Twitter to illustrate one of the key benefits of social media. The potential reach a larger audience on Twitter is only limited by the social graph of your established audience. Retweets by followers, for example, have the potential to be seen by many more people than just the followers of  that institution. For those who are interested in strengthening relationships with the community, listen to our past webinar with Georgy Cohen, who gives general advice on how to engage with your community, but also how to reach out to press through Twitter.


* 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).