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Since I work in a University of Applied Sciences and I’ve been interested in social media, I’ve wanted to get an overview of the social media usage on the Finnish university homepages. Inspired by the crowdsourced book by the activists around SomeTime2013 event about the state of social media in Finland, I finally decided to have it a go.

To get the data relatively quickly, I just checked the main pages, even though I knew that sometimes there would’ve been more examples deeper in the structure, eg on Library or Career Services pages.

Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS)

All but one UAS had some social media application on it’s homepage, the UAS that had most, had five.

The most popular social media applications used was Facebook: 25/26 UAS had it on their main page. Almost as popular was YouTube (19/26) – blogs (12/26) and Twitter (12/26) less so.

The range was quite wide: 11 different applications or formats (blogs, wiki). About half of the applications (Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo, VKontakte, wiki) were used only by one UAS.

2013-05-25 Social media on Finnish university homepages

UAS: Social media applications on the main page 24.5.2013 (Centria added 25.5.2013)

Universities

All universities had at least one social media application on it’s homepage, the one with most had six.

The most popular was Facebook (17/18 had), then came YouTube (13/18) and Twitter (12/18).

Universities had narrower range of applications than UAS: only seven. Flickr and Pinterest appeared only on one page each, LinkedIn on 3 pages and 4 had blogs.

Universities: Social media applications on the Finnish main page 24.5.2013

Universities: Social media applications on the main page 24.5.2013

Social media has come, but is it to stay?

I made a similar check in 2011 and there were much fewer mentions of social media then. I may have a closer look at the raise some time later.

It’s interesting to see, how the schools invest in the use of social media now that there are big funding cuts at least on the UAS sector. Even if the applications are free, the active content creation, curation and community management requires time and staff. Will the social media experiments melt away like spring ice, when the climate change?

Spring shore. Laaksolahti, Espoo, Finland 28.4.2013 (Edited with Picasa's Creative Kit: Rotation, exposure, colours, Reala 400, Lomo-ish & watermark, CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Spring shore. Laaksolahti, Espoo, Finland 28.4.2013
(Edited with Picasa’s Creative Kit: Rotation, exposure, colours, Reala 400, Lomo-ish & watermark,
CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Edit: Centria added to the UAS list afterwards on 25.5.2013, the numbers in the text corrected accordingly.

Edit 2: The University of the Arts Helsinki started 1.1.2013, the founding agreement was signed 15.11.2011.

Edit 3: Took out the word “Finnish” from few places, since the main page for Swedish schools is in Swedish.

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Related:

Metropolia UAS, News: Metropolia Initiates Information and Consultation Process

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland: Polytechnics aka Universities of Applied Sciences

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland: Universities

SomeTime2013

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Edit 23.7.2013: Statistics on Google url shortener http://goo.gl/QnVTW+

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2012-03-24 Sticker figure

Photo: Sticker figure. Sello Leppävaara, Espoo, Finland 24.3.2012 (SOOC except for watermark, CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

The elected are in public customer service and should be easily reachable. 

  1. The essence of social media is listening and discussing, not shouting your message in a traditional marketing way in a time limited campaign. To use the full power of social media, you should take it in long term use as a customer service tool alongside your phone and email.
  2. You’re promoting your services: your name should stick to people’s minds.
  3. If you plan to stay active in politics longer than just for the elections, you should not tie the name of your social media channel to a particular year or elections.
  4. If you are not sure, that you wish to profile yourself in a certain way for longer than just for the elections, you should not tie your social media channel name to a particular theme or slogan.
  5. If you wish to reach out for a heterogenic group and not send a message of limiting your communications to only one language, avoid using only one language in the name of your social media channel.
  6. Your social media channel should be as easily remembered as possible, avoid using multiple languages in the name of the channel.
  7. Take into account the technical limitations in your chosen social media channels. Eg currently you can change the name of your Facebook page only when you have less than 200 fans. This means usually, that a candidate can’t plan to change the year specific name of the page after the elections.

Did you already figure out, what my recommendation for a candidate usually is regarding naming their social media channels?

These were the first things I thought about after checking some Facebook pages of candidates running for the Espoo City Council in the coming municipal elections in Finland on 28.10.2012 .

For most part I’d  thought through these issues already when I helped a candidate in the Finnish Parliamentary Elections 2011 with her digital media campaigning (homepage, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

PS

I had a screenshot chosen for this post of an old school friend’s politician page, but luckily enough I checked the copyright policy of Facebook first (should’ve asked for brand permissions to use a screenshot).

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Related:

Facebook: Brand Permissions Center

Facebook: How do I change my Page name?

Facebook: Mika Levänen – Esteettömyysasiantuntija

Ministry of Justice, Finland: Municipal election on 28 October 2012

On Second Thought: Surprise for Facebook Admin

Vaalit.fi: Parliamentary Elections

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Edit 16.1.2013: Statistics on Google url shortener http://goo.gl/Ty4BG+

Content CC BY Tiina M Niskanen

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