When our Deputy Head of Student Development, Stuart Johnson, took on the role of ‘Acting Head of..’ I started to pick up more responsibility for our social media and general publicity.
When I picked this up, in August/September 2010, the accounts were already well formed, mainly due to Stu’s hard work. We had around 1728 ‘likes’ on Facebook and a high of 376 monthly active users. We were also followed by 598 people on Twitter.
I am happy with how we are progressing with sheer numbers; as of today, we have 743 followers on Twitter, an increase of 24%. Today we have 2120 Facebook ‘likes,’ which is an increase of 23%. Interesting to see that both have grown at pretty much exactly the same rate.
I think the really interesting figure is our Facebook monthly active users. In August 2010, the highest number was 376. The average for Jan 2011 is 1261. This is a whooping increase of 235%.
All this obviously shows we are doing something right. I wonder whether it was our decision to stop sending so many automated posts by decoupling our nifty events feed, back in October 2010. We still feed news items to Facebook and Twitter, but there are rarely more than two a day now, as opposed to up to six automated messages a day in September 2010.
Our ‘Impressions’ are better for the personally written items. On Jan 24th 2011, our average impressions on automated items was 1929 in comparison to average impressions for personally written items at 2466. Same pattern on Jan 28th; impressions on automated items = 1307, impressions on personally written items = 1842.
There could be other reasons for the increase; I am careful with the basics. I don’t post too often (maybe 2 updates a day on average?) so we don’t flood timelines. I try and keep the tone and language informal, see post below.
I also try and keep the posts relevant to what students might need/want at that time. The other key thing I try to do is respond promptly.
The main issue I’m facing however is this ‘getting beyond the likes’ thing. Stu blogged about this back in May 2010. Over the last three months or so, I have tried to make the accounts (especially Facebook) more engaging. I am posting questions rather than just statements and trying to get debate going. Ideally, I’d like to get Facebook especially, a genuine forum for question, discussion and debate, as well as a place to find out what we have going on etc.
So, I have now started planning what I post where possible. So for big events like Stand Out Week I have a schedule of things to mention that have been considered and appropriately timed. I still intersperse these with other items that might be less ‘thought out.’ We’ll see how this goes I guess.