The Digital Campus

The Digital Campus

Digital Campus Study Tour – Day 2

By Olivia Poisson, Communications Officer, University of Basel and Jun Sarbach, PR Consultant, ETH Zurich. 

How to really engage your community

On the second day of our study we were invited to Stanford University where we met experienced social media managers of three different units. They openly shared their strategies, provided us with insights and gave us good advice. This is what we take home from Stanford: Continue Reading →

The New Image Campaign of the University of St.Gallen

We knew that the communications team at the University of St.Gallen was planning to focus more on creating videos, but we had no idea what was in the works. Over the last months, the team has been working hard on an image film that sent the crew as far as Singapore.

The result is “Love, Loss, and Other Lessons Learned“, a love story told over four minutes and essentially a silent movie (no translation necessary, how genious!). The big premiere of their new image video was on April 28, just in time for their annual mega event, the St. Gallen Symposium.

An image movie for a relatively small university (7,666 students in case you wonder), which is not just secretly published on their YouTube channel, but is revealed with a bang and a red carpet, has to part of something bigger. What, you ask? Well, let us tell you what else they set up for this image campaign.

Continue Reading →

8 Creative Ways US Universities Use Social Media

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 →

Top Social Media Stories of the Week – August 2, 2012

News, blog posts, and articles that caught our eye this week:

The Story of 14 Intrepid Swiss University Communicators

This is the story of 14 Swiss communicators taking on Silicon Valley led by swissnex San Francisco. Below are the impressions, thoughts, & moments from the 5 days of total social media immersion!

  1. Share

    ZRH – SFO
    Sat, Mar 17 2012 20:00:00
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    I’m at SFO AirTrain Station – Garage G & BART (San Francisco, CA)
    Sat, Mar 17 2012 21:27:08
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    #springstudytour participants are arriving and already exploring the city. Welcome everyone!!! Stay dry & see you all tomorrow. Can’t wait!
    Sat, Mar 17 2012 23:34:20
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    First night in SF, I’m looking forward to meet all the participants from the #springstudytour
    Sat, Mar 17 2012 12:29:09
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    Welcome 2 SF! RT @laracanonica: 1st nite in SF, looking forward 2 meeting #springstudytour participants
    Sat, Mar 17 2012 14:05:35
  6. Sunday. March 18 – Day 1

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    #springstudytour ready to kick-off!
    Sun, Mar 18 2012 18:34:11
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    Looking forward to meeting you all tonight! RT @blattnerma: Ready for the #springstudytour @swissnexsf
    Sun, Mar 18 2012 15:10:58
  9. Share
    #springstudytour, @swissnexSF to share knowledge and experiences around the world
    Sun, Mar 18 2012 19:22:39
  10. Share
    Swiss Academia and the Social Media Landscape: Spring Study Tour Day 1
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 09:19:01
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    @strijker If you haven’t already, you should connect with @SwissnexSF and their startup programm.
    Sun, Mar 18 2012 19:56:31
  12. Share
    : Getting more and more interesting. @swissnexSF facilitates startups in Silicon Valley. Will be cool for @centralway #springstudytour
    Sun, Mar 18 2012 19:46:50
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    : Thank you @swissnexSF for the great welcome dinner of #springstudytour. Very much appreciated.
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 00:02:11
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    Philippe Fabian of University of Applied Sciences Zurich
    Sat, Mar 17 2012 20:00:00
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    RT @Gilda__: Thank you @swissnexSF for this welcome session and dinner! Let’s get some sleep #springstudytour, we’ll need it for sure!
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 11:02:38
  16. Monday, March 19, 2012 – Day 2

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    #introduction to #siliconvalley with Chuck Darrah of @sjsu. #springstudytour (@ The Bently Reserve w/ @florenciapp)
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 10:53:22
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    “Risk taking is celebrated in the area” says Chuck Darrah, “but there’s all ways of hedging the risk.” #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 11:37:07
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    The culture of Silicon Valley by Prof.Chuck Darrah
    Sun, Mar 18 2012 20:00:00
  20. Share
    “some years ago 50% of all the email adresses were in Northern California” introduction to Silicon Valley by Chuck Darrah #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 11:10:29
  21. Share
    “There are tribes in the Silicon Valley” – Chuck Darrah, anthropologue #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 11:11:03
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    : Where is the next #BigThing gonna happen? “No clue”, says Chuck Darrah, “But if I could take I bet, I would say…. here. In #SiliconValley”
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 11:29:10
  23. Share
    Everyone of us has an iPad with a welcome note, agenda, and survey in front of them. Of course. @apple in cupertino #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 13:48:29
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    “An Apple a day keeps Windows away” — #springstudytour @ Apple Inc.
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 15:41:46
  25. Share
    1.5 mil iPads in use in US ed. @Apple #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 13:51:06
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    Welcome to #Cal campus, @swissnexsf. Looking forward to speaking w/ u & yr guests today about our social media work!
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 14:25:08
  27. Share

    Meeting with UC Berkeley’s social media director Christina @sponselli. Great to see you again! #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 17:11:31
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    Educate colleagues, researchers abt putting video in shareable places like YouTube. – Christina Sponselli, UC Berkeley #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 17:32:40
  29. Share
    #springstudytour persona (making it real again) is most important for @cal
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 18:07:51
  30. Share

    With #springstudytour @ucberkeley learning how pub affairs team experiments w/ social media. Try it and see what works!
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 18:43:59
  31. Share
    Gr8 meeting w/ @meganmansell, @herwigdaemon, @blattnerma, @manuelnappo, @JuliaClaud, @swissedsocial, and othr folks w/ @swissnexsf #highered
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 19:10:24
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    Wrap-up at the Faculty Club #springstudytour @ Berkeley Faculty Club
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 19:33:10
  33. Share

    Coming back to sf. Never get tired of the view #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 21:07:12
  34. Share
    Social Media Study Tour Daily is out, see it yet? See what’s in the “news” today! #springstudytour
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 18:13:28
  35. Share
    Hey #springstudytour. Suggest songs for our spotify playlist…
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 10:10:01
  36. Share
    Thanks! We will try for a better one yet tomorrow! RT @blattnerma: Awesome day #springstudytour. Thanx @swissnexSF
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 00:42:45
  37. Tuesday, March 20, 2012 – Day 3

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    Really looking forward to @twitter @stanfordeng @StanfordMedX & @StanfordAlumni. It’s going to be a great day #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 01:14:30
  39. Share
    Twitting chez @twitter, où l’esprit start-up est très vivant #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 11:52:22
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    Now that’s hospitality! Thanks @twitter:
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 11:52:54
  41. Share
    Reach very person on the planet – Twitter value @techno #springstudytour Supporting every language even right to left languages
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 11:56:51
  42. Share
    #springstudytour am even more moved by the power of 140 characters
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 12:04:39
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    We are at Twitter!! Very warm welcome from Thomas Arend #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 11:45:23
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    #springstudytour impressive translator strategy @twitter
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 11:58:37
  45. Share
    Love Will Conquer | Interactive 3D Twitter Stream #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 13:38:09
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    @florenciapp @twittermedia Thanks so much for your visit. That was fun. I hope we will have more time next time for the follow-up 🙂
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 13:09:03
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    @ducom5 Thank *you* and the group for stopping by the Birdhouse today 🙂
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 13:09:47
  48. Share Scope blog from Stanford school of medicine #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 14:02:49
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    Connect, curate, collaborate. Social media at Stanford School of Medicine Michelle Brandt @jstafford #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 13:46:36
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    Xctly RT @cindyeggs: Story telling @YouTube: y have I become a researcher? ppl lk 2 C personal stories @SUMedicine #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 13:54:04
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    Thanks to everyone for joining us at SoM this morning. #springstudytour /cc: @florenciapp
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 14:56:50
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    Only 18% of ’08 CS grads were women. @AnnekeJong, MBA ’12, explains “How to Get More Women in Tech”
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 12:27:01
  53. Share
    Video: #Stanford Bioengineering: What does bioengineering mean at Stanford?
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 19:01:00
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    Great to see @girljournalist again! We’re using many of the tools she recommended last time #storify #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 18:47:35
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    Worth a read –> State of the Media 2012 by @pew_internet #jacc12
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 11:18:09
  56. Share
    “Tell their story, not ours” @StanfordAlumni #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 15:10:52
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    daily debrief @stanford
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 20:16:04
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    #springstudytour great to see your video on youtube! Enjoy the tour – Matthias, Member of the Fall Study Tour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 02:06:37
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    #spingstudytour to summerise: according to @StanfordAlumni passive entertainment has been overcome by social media
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 15:48:12
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    #springstudytour @stanfordeng personal conclusion: focus strongly based on audience engagement and establishing their trust economy
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 19:21:58
  61. Share
    Thx @anniblu @davidspring @laracanonica for an awesome guest post on the @SwissEdSocial blog #springstudytour
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 14:09:20
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    Swiss Academia and the Social Media Landscape: Spring Study Tour Day 3
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 11:21:19
  63. Wednesday, March 21, 2012 – Day 4

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    morning @youtube, lunch @facebook, afternoon @LinkedIn – Thanks @swissnexSF #springstudytour
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 00:30:41
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    Niiice. My co-pilot doesn’t look too happy though RT @herwigdaemon: Queen of the Highway at #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 12:27:41
  66. Share

    : #youtube #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 12:18:10
  67. Share

    Well done @manuelnappo #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 12:49:14
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    @SwissEdSocial @lija @swissnexsf Hehe, thanks. You almost helped us blow out the candles on our cake yesterday 🙂 Have fun in California!!
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 13:26:21
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    gr8 meeting w/ @arthurwoods @YouTube learning abt YouTube EDU cnt wait 2 C more Swiss unis #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 13:30:11
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    A safe space to provide education video content in schools | YouTube for Schools – YouTube
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 14:19:07
  71. Share
    : @arthurwoods presentation is entirely on @google doc. #ilike #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 13:22:53
  72. And while the group visited YouTube & Facebook, Marcel Blattner presented at Netflix
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    Talk by @blattnerma at Netflix on a Physicist view on #RecSys
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 14:11:03
  74. Share
    Thanks for listening! RT @andere_andrea: Being in Switzerland it’s a pleasure to see and read what happens on #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 13:04:01
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    I’m at Facebook HQ (Menlo Park, CA) w/ 13 others [pic]:
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 14:43:57
  76. Share

    : #welcome @facebook #springstudytour #ilike
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 14:41:15
  77. Share

    : #lunch at #facebook #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 16:13:37
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    “@meganmansell: @linkedin “signal” feature, under news tab, allows view of news posts from alumni of specific schools” #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 18:56:13
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    Carole Varone
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 20:00:00
  80. Share

    : #myfav #quote #linkedin #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 19:38:27
  81. Share

    LinkedIn’s Christina Allen
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 20:00:00
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    Rencontre – en français – avec Maëlla Buet, linguiste chez #LinkedIn #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 19:47:01
  83. Share
    Kudos RT @manuelnappo: : Impressive, @jeffweiner just held our door, as we were touring @linkedin. #downtoearth #ilikealot #springstudytour
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 19:20:01
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    Stefani Grothe, Maria Albanese & Carmen Roman (LinkedIn’s localization team)
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 20:00:00
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    Stefani Grothe on LinkedIn services
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 22:43:46
  86. Share
    awsm social media integration! RT @SwissEdSocial: Spring Study Tour: Day 5 @manuelnappo @ducom5 & carole from @unige
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 23:41:50
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    In front of LinkedIn
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 20:00:00
  88. Share
    Swiss Academia and the Social Media Landscape: Spring Study Tour Day 4
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 17:45:58
  89. Thursday, March 22, 2012 – Day 5

  90. Share
    @cindyeggs Re engagement spam, you’ll enjoy this, I think: (note the date) #fallstudytour
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 17:44:57
  91. Share
    When it comes 2 seducing upper mgmt. nobody says it better than @GuyKawasaki #springstudytour
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 14:17:14
  92. Share

    captured the daily panorama at swissnex San Francisco with #Photosynth #springstudytour
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 13:56:54
  93. Share
    Swiss unis learn about content strategy and social media for highered from the great @mStonerblog #springstudytour
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 12:39:59
  94. Share

    mstoner at stage #springstudytour
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 12:22:54
  95. Share
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. ~ Albert Einstein #Quote
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 12:00:01
  96. Share
    #springstudytour don’t’ dream,Facebook is not THE ANSWER
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 12:47:35
  97. Share
    «Being a community manager is really a challenge» @mStonerblog #springstudytour
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 12:04:44
  98. Share
    @mStonerblog @carolevarone thank you very much for your answers
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 18:19:27
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    #truth RT @stanfordeng Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. ~Albert Einstein #quote
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 17:23:42
  100. Share

    : Thanks. “@calacademy: Love this pic! RT @manuelnappo: #springstudytour”
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 14:58:24
  101. Share
    Swiss Academia and the Social Media Landscape: Spring Study Tour Day 5
    Sun, Mar 25 2012 14:24:23
  102. Share
    one of the most comprehensive soc media community mgmt presentations of the week #springstudytour @calacademy
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 17:47:00
  103. Share
    We had the absolute pleasure of hosting Swiss guests doing a social media #springstudytour w/@swissnexSF – thanks for stopping by!
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 20:13:43
  104. Share
    #springstudytour Use something which already exists: For example flickr for a photo contest @calacademy
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 18:02:20
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    California Academy of Sciences – on the roof
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 20:00:00
  106. Philippe Fabian shares his thoughts during or daily debriefing
  107. Share

    Debrief – Philippe Fabian
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 20:00:00
  108. Share
    Robotics in Space conference @swissnexSF with Volker Gass from Space Center Epfl
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 21:57:05
  109. Share

    Volker Gass presents
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 20:00:00
  110. Share
    Cool to see so many Swiss Unis working together on 1st Swiss satellite @hes_so @UniNeuchatel @EPFLNews @FHNW now on to keeping space clean
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 22:23:34
  111. Friday, March 23, 2012 – Day 6

  112. Share

    David Harris and the team no2
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 20:00:00
  113. Share
    Want crowdsourced funding for your scientific research? Consider #SciFund and sign up in the next few days for round 2:
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:45:14
  114. Share
    #springstudytour It is up to own’s personality if you are better in strategical or operative level @davidharris. analyze colleagues 🙂
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 13:42:25
  115. Share

    Thu, Mar 22 2012 20:00:00
  116. Share
    #springstudytour paraphrasing Stoner: most compelling thing you can do online is posting unique content
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 11:56:07
  117. Share

    Fantastic guide Dan Tussey from @SFCityguides never disappoints! Another awesome gold rush tour! #springstudytour
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 15:49:01
  118. Share

    David Spring
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 20:00:00
  119. Share

    visiting blackboard mobile offices in San Francisco with @mblevangelist #springstudytour
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 17:13:33
  120. Share
    @mblevangelist thanks for the great presentation and good ideas – Blackboard Mobile #springstudytour
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 18:55:46
  121. Share
    #blackboard: Data integration is the greatest challenge #springstudytour
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 17:58:35
  122. Share
    In case you haven’t heard, Blackboard acquires Moodlerooms…
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 18:23:15
  123. Share

    David Small – BlackBoard
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 20:00:00
  124. Share
    Love! RT @manuelnappo: : Wondering, what we’ve been doing at #springstudytour @SwissEdSocial? Read it here
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 11:47:01
  125. Share

    swissnex’s Christian Simm
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 20:00:00
  126. Share

    : #myfav #learning from #springstudytour
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 18:57:55
  127. Share

    #springstudyour it’s was a super week, thank you to everyone
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 19:34:52
  128. Share

    Gilda Schertenleib on the week
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 20:00:00
  129. Share

    #springstudytour the last menu
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 12:02:09
  130. Share

    Goodbye dinner
    Thu, Mar 22 2012 20:00:00
  131. Share

    Thank you @swissnexSF for providing us with excellent building blocks. Now we have to create and deliver.”
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 20:00:25
  132. Share
    #sprinstudytour Thanks for an incred inspiring week, ladies! Such gracious hostesses! @SwissEdSocial @florenciapp @meganmansell @JuliaClaud
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 10:50:49
  133. Share

    Ready and sad to leave SF #springstudytour
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 20:35:16
  134. Share
    Landed… Greetings to the #awesome people from #springstudytour
    Sun, Mar 25 2012 10:02:11

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.

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.

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
DODIS Yes Yes Yes
EHL Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ELS Yes Yes
EMPA Yes Yes
EPFL Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETHZ Yes Yes 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
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

Fall 2011 Study Tour: Day 3

On Wednesday morning, Vincent Borel of Webdoc gave us a demo of his company’s innovative technology, which allows for rich conversations that go way beyond links and photos. One of the guest bloggers for the day, Anne-Dominique Salamin, Responsable Centre e-learning // HES-SO Cyberlearn, actually created a webdoc (click on the screenshot below to view the full document) to describe another product and company we visited later in the day, Wildfire. I’m loving her creative approach to blogging. Thanks Anne-Dominique, and Webdoc!

Day three also included a stop at the San Bruno headquarters of Google-owned YouTube. Sara Fedele, Marketing Communications Manager for the Executive MScom Program at the Università della Svizzera italiana, gives us her thoughts:

All you need is… Google!

“People don’t work at Google for the money. They work at Google because they want to change the world!” Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, has said. In fact, today when visiting the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, there was the impression that we’d landed on a different planet where employees were sort of super heroes with super hi-tech powers ready to save us from some kind of cybernetic war. But, was it like this or it was just an impression? Or maybe it was just an amusement park?

Certainly Google is not a conventional company, and as they affirm, “we don’t intend to become one.” Everything in Google is about creating an experience and, as a consequence, a strong loyalty to the brand. Employees are not simple employees…they are Googlers , they are cool! Google wants them to be part of the community, more than that to feel part of the community, creating a voluntary commitment to the brand.

“At Google, we know that every employee has something important to say, and that every employee is integral to our success,” according to Schmidt. “…Googlers thrive in small, focused teams and high-energy environments, believe in the ability of technology to change the world, and are as passionate about their lives as they are about their work.”

And this is the point: I am not sure there is someone at the employees’ backs with a shotgun ready to fire them if they leave their desk at 17:30. I’ve heard of people sleeping overnight at Google, and I think they voluntarily did it. Walking into Youtube I was stopped by an employee and when I asked him if he was an engineer he told me “well, I am a Google Engineer.” Not a surprising answer! Google created the sense of community by giving employees the instruments: they are free to use them the best they can if this helps them to be productive. This is the deal. And I think it is a quite clear policy inside the company, indirectly written everywhere.

I am not saying this is the best strategy or that it is correct but, as a matter of fact, Google is successful. Every book of brand management tell us about the commitment to the brand, and I was happy to finally experience the theory.


Our last visit of the day was at LinkedIn. I’ll shut up and let guest blogger Hans-Dieter Zimmermann, of FHS St.Gallen, Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, inject his impressions. Read more about the study trip on Hans-Dieter’s blog.


Our final visit on the third day of the Social Media Study Tour led us to the LinkedIn HQ in Mountain View.

Here Christina Allen, Director, Product Manager for the University and Student Initiative, presented the latest developments of LinkedIn for universities, colleges, and students. The overall goal of the initiative is to make LinkedIn more relevant for all stakeholders in the education sector – and thus to develop a new market. Some major developments will go online shortly or have already been released.

For students LinkedIn shall serve on the one side as a safety net providing a network. On the other side it shall be something like a lottery ticket as students could be found by interested employers searching for a specific profile. Students will be able to request a profile review in order to present themselves in the best way possible. Through the LinkedIn network, in which students will be able to indicate whom they know within an organization, they shall find their first job after having finished their studies.

Following the student’s lifecycle from getting into college until having their first job LinkedIn shall support them accordingly. For example, the network allows students to gain insight where they might find a future job or what kind of internships might be possible.

For colleges and universities LinkedIn will introduce respective pages in the system. Based on the information already given by users prospective students get an insight into the institution or former classmates could be found. A ranking of institutions based on current career outcomes will be provided as well.

For companies LinkedIn will provide targeted search functions in order to search for student profiles.

As students are used to social networks they shall be motivated easily to register their profile which then can be integrated into the institution’s LinkedIn page.

Covering the whole life-cycle LinkedIn might have the potential to serve as the institution’s Alumni site as well.

And finally we met the three language localization teams which cover the French, German, and Italian language versions of LinkedIn.

In summary, LinkedIn will roll out some very smart solutions to integrate students, universities and professionals. From all the three groups we learned about the localization challenges and could discuss further issues about more localized versions of the service.

Understanding your Social Media Presence (Part 2)

Last week we gave you insight into our research findings from the second quarter of 2011 and published the Facebook presence data for all program participants. In the second installment, we share comments and numbers for Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and iTunes U. 


A look at Twitter data shows us that Swiss academic institutions have yet to fall in love with the micro-blogging platform. Seventeen of the 35 participating institutions have an official Twitter account that represents the institution overall. Sixteen institutions have at least one Twitter account that represents a department, sub school, or event.

Official Twitter accounts representing the institution overall

While some institutions like EPFL, ETH Zurich, and USI tweet regularly, others have set up an account but have not yet started tweeting. If you’re not ready to tweet, it is still a good idea to do this in order to claim the best Twitter handle for your institution. The best Twitter handle is short and matches your brand. Another reason to set up an account is that it is worth following other tweeters, like those in your peer groups to see what is going on. Take a look at the list that we have created for you on Twitter to identify other Swiss academic institutions with official accounts.

If your official Twitter account does not show up in the report, it is most likely because we couldn’t find it. This is a good indicator for how good your Twitter handle is at identifying your institution. You might consider changing it to a name that is easier to find by your potential followers (and let us know).

A look at the Twitter accounts created by departments, sub schools, and events shows that some institutions like ZHAW and HSG have very active tweeters.

Department, sub school, or event Twitter accounts

For those of you who would like more information on Twitter and who were not able to attend the last two webinars on Twitter, take a look at them here and listen to the recordings.


Thirty of the 35 participating institutions have a company page on the professional network LinkedIn. The federal institutes of technologies are the front-runners in terms of followers.

LinkedIn followers by institution

Company pages are another easy and useful way to establish presence and allow users to follow the institution to learn more about the organization. Users listing EPFL in their profile will also be added to the company’s activity on LinkedIn, which could prove useful for your institution when reaching out to alumni. LinkedIn company pages also offer insightful statistics for the organization’s employees and can also be edited by individuals that have an institutional email address.

Our participants also have a total number of 148 groups on LinkedIn. Groups are a useful tool to reach out to alumni, as described in detail in part 2 of our research paper.

LinkedIn groups for Q2

ETHZ is far ahead of all other institutions with a total of 37 groups on LinkedIn. UNIGE comes in second with 22 groups. Nine institutions have between four and 15 groups and a large number of institutions have zero to two groups. We are aware of the fact that Xing is quite popular in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria and that many institutions might be more active on that channel.


As of July 2011, only 18 institutions have an official corporate channel on YouTube. Changes from Q1 are not significant in terms of number of channels, subscribers, or videos. Only EPFL stands out with almost a 100% increase in subscribers and more video uploads. EHL and EMPA had channels in Q1, but were not included in the Q1 reporting since they were not found in the first round of the research.

YouTube subscribers for corporate channels

Number of videos on corporate YouTube channels

Institutions with more than 10 videos on their YouTube channel include EPFL, USI, HESSO, PHZH, and UNIL. US universities like Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Yale University all use YouTube to make classes available to a broader audience. A look at the numbers shows the big gap between US and Swiss universities: Stanford University has over 1,300 videos and over 89,000 subscribers, UC Berkeley has over 2,100 videos and over 62,000 subscribers.

iTunes U

Only three participating institutions have an iTunes U account. UNIL was one of the pioneers in the Swiss academic landscape and has a well established presence on iTunes U.

UNIL's iTunes U page

Newcomers to iTunes U include are FHNW and FFHS. Both opened an account in the last quarter and have already uploaded a number of podcasts.

Podcasts on iTunes U channels

Social Media Icons

We will continue to monitor the presence of all participating institutions on social media and release reports quarterly through the remainder of our program. We expect some growth and progress as the program moves along and participants attend webinars, study tours, and educate themselves. We have also taken a look at how many Swiss institutions actually put social media icons on their homepage to include another indicator. American universities like Stanford University, Princeton University, and Yale University feature all main social media channels on their homepage. Out of the 35 Swiss institutions, only nine institutions currently have social media icons on their homepage that lead to their official channels.

Stanford University's homepage with social media icons

Obviously there are more than nine institutions that have official social media accounts. Those of you who are actively using social media channels for their communication efforts should consider placing social media icons on your home page. This will increase the chances that your target audience will discover these accounts.

EHL's home page with prominently placed social media icons

UNILI, ETH RAT, CRUS, PHZH, and SWITCH joined the program after March 2011 and were therefore not part of the first research round in quarter 1. This means that their figures for the first quarter are not necessarily zero as reported in these charts.

Understanding your Social Media Presence (Part 1)

For the second time in 2011, we combed through social media channels Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and iTunes U to assess the presence of Swiss academia in social media. We are excited to give you an introduction to our research and to provide our key findings for Facebook in this first blog post about your social media presence. Next week, we’ll give you the inside scoop on the numbers for Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and iTunes U. 

First some important remarks about the methodology of our research: Each channel is searched for pages about the 35 participating institutions, no matter who manages/owns the page (official representatives of the institution or unauthorized, unofficial representatives). We have determined a number of search terms for each institution and only track pages that contain any of these search terms in the title—very much like a student or interested user would run their search if they were looking for your institution on social media channels. We heavily rely on the quality of the search function of the channels, as well as on your feedback. We encourage you to take a look at your report and to let us know if any official presence is missing.

What’s in it for you?

The reports provide unique insight into the presence of Swiss academia in social media and offer benchmark opportunities by allowing every participating institution to see where they stand compared to others. Since this is the second quarter of our monitoring, we were able to show progress on all channels over the first quarter results. Some progress can be fully attributed to institutions’ own initiatives, while other progress lies in changes or added functionality on the channels. This is especially the case for Facebook as you will find out shortly.

We also want to advise you to have a close look at those accounts that are managed by external parties and are labeled as “unofficial pages.” It’s a good idea to assess reaching out to the page owners, even “like” the page and get to know what content is being offered there. Establishing a relationship with the page owner could lead to a better understanding of audience needs and eventually aligning efforts. The best example to illustrate this approach is Coca Cola’s Facebook page, which was started by fans.

Social media presence for all institutions on all social media channels for Q2 2011 (Please note that iTunes U data is not included in this graph)


With Facebook being the largest social network to date, it comes as no surprise that almost every institution has some presence on this channel. Some institutions like the FHNW and EPFL have an impressive amount of pages and at first glance the increase over the first quarter seems quite astounding. In almost every case, however, the reason for this hike lies in an explosion of community pages like this one, and an improvement on Facebook’s search function. According to Facebook, community pages are “the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic” and display Wikipedia articles about the topic they represent. The dilemma that comes with these pages is ownership. Facebook generates these community pages automatically and the brand has no ability to control the content. In April 2010, Facebook automatically created 6.5 million community pages by taking information from users’ “Likes and Interests” and “Work and Education” sections of their personal profile info tab. This means that any content in this section eventually resulted in a community page with that information in the title. We have seen a significant increase in community pages auto-generated by Facebook over the last few months.

Facebook presence regardless of page ownership

Even though Facebook introduced community pages over a year ago, the mystery continues and there is not much information about how Facebook creates these pages. During our research in July, we stumbled upon a large number of pages that seem not to have existed during our initial research earlier this year. While we can’t make all community pages go away, we have a few tips for you on how to make the most out of it:

  1. Merge them. Merging community pages with your official page is possible as long as your authenticated page has the exact same name as the community page. Up to five community pages can be merged with your official page.
  2. Ensure your Wikipedia content is accurate and up to date, as this will feed most community pages. Don’t miss our upcoming webinar on using Wikipedia with Pete Forsyth.
  3. Using our reports, keep an eye out for what pages are out there, how many followers they have, and what they say about you. Find out if they are serving an audience that you are not.
  4. Steer users to your official page. Things that help include having a social media icon on your official website, branding your fan page appropriately, and taking good care of your official page by keeping the content fresh and updated.

More on community pages can be found here:

In Big New Product Push, Facebook Set to Launch 6.5 Million New Community Pages (
Connecting to Everything You Care About (The Facebook Blog)

We were able to find 21 institutions with an official presence on Facebook. EHL has the most “likes” with 1672 fans, closely followed by EPFL and UZH.

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

Official Facebook pages

While some of you don’t have an official corporate Facebook presence that represents the entire institution, many of you have very active departments or sub schools on Facebook.

Number of official department, sub school, or event pages in Q2

Institutions like HSG and FHNW have an impressive number of pages on Facebook that represent a part of the institution for example. UZH and ZHAW have an active corporate presence on Facebook in addition to very engaged departments and sub schools. This may be linked to the size of these institutions. UZH is the largest university in Switzerland with around 24,000 students, and ZHAW is the largest sub school of the university of applied sciences in Zurich (ZFH), the largest of its kind in the German speaking part of Switzerland.

Please note that we are convinced that HESSO would have the largest presence on Facebook with its many sub schools, but since we only search for the main name of the participating institution and its abbreviation, all of the many sub schools are not included in this research.

Our monitoring and third party research shows plenty of activity on Facebook. Almost all participating institutions have official and/or unofficial pages, 60% even have an official corporate page.

Furthermore, contrary to popular belief that most Facebook users are under 16 years of age, data from shows that the age group best represented on Facebook is between 25 and 34 years of age in Switzerland.

User age distribution on Facebook in Switzerland

In addition to the audience, Facebook’s steady growth is another reason to invest in a well maintained official page on the social network. In the last six months alone, 200’000 new users signed up for Facebook in Switzerland. In light of Facebook’s practice to automatically create community pages when users add content to their profile info tab, the progress over the last few months also shows that users like to associate themselves with the participating institutions. We hope institutions take advantage of the opportunity to to connect with more than 2.6 million users in Switzerland (34.6% of the population) through a coordinated official presence.

Stay tuned and come back next week for more information about Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and iTunes U numbers.