LinkedIn University Pages: The vital statistics

LinkedIn University Pages: The vital statistics
LinkedIn University Pages were launched 19 August 2013.

Like most LinkedIn brand offerings (e.g. Company Pages and Groups) I am sure they will go through many iterations of functionality in the future, but 2 months in let’s look at what they offer universities in terms of features, functionality and performance so far…

Features

University pages display:

  1. Information about the University
  2. Updates from the University
  3. A count of people following the University Page
  4. Notable alumni on LinkedIn
  5. A featured group for the University
  6. A count of profiles on LinkedIn identifying as alumni and students – this is part of an explorative tool enabling people to explore careers of alumni on LinkedIn. The visual tool enables anyone on LinkedIn to drill down to where alumni live, where they work, what they do, what they studied, what they are skilled at and how you are connected to them

I have identified these fields on the screen shot of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) university page, below. It’s a combined screen shot as the page is quite long:

Combined screen shot of MIT University Page (Taken 17 October 2013)

Combined screen shot of MIT University Page (Taken 17 October 2013)

Claiming the University Page

Similar to Company pages, it’s possible to:

  • Claim your University Page (aka “adopting” in the post on the LinkedIn blog introducing the pages)
  • Add other staff as admin

However, while you can claim the page, it does not appear to be possible to proactively moderate or limit others posting to the University Page.

What this means:

  • Posts by third parties can appear on the page
  • There appears to be no notification when third parties post on the page (making management of these tricky)
  • Admins can retrospectively delete the posts

This appears to be deliberate on the part of LinkedIn, if we refer to the post on the LinkedIn blog introducing the University Pages:

Join the conversation: University Pages are a great place to get regular updates about campus news and activities from the schools themselves, to ask questions, and engage with both the campus community and alumni of schools.

(Source: LinkedIn Blog Introducing LinkedIn University Pages)

While deliberate, it does present as problematic given:

  • Company Pages on LinkedIn don’t allow third parties to post on the page
  • LinkedIn are encouraging Universities to adopt their pages on LinkedIn

From a purely customer service point of view: not being notified about posts means staff manually checking of the page to ensure any customer enquiries are addressed in a timely fashion. In a scan of a couple of Australian Universities, I saw several enquiries that do not appear to have been responded to, as well as someone who appears to be spamming University pages with their product.

Additionally: Consider in the context of Australia, where there have been previous court cases (e.g. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Allergy Pathway Pty Ltd (No 2) [2011] FCA 74) where it was found that “a company will be held responsible for posts by customers on its Facebook or Twitter page” (Hartley, L. Social Media: Aspects of the Australian Regulatory Landscape).

With these points in mind, ensuring admins are notified of any 3rd party posts in order to respond to or moderate posts on any real-estate claimed/owned by an organisation would seem to be important.

Behind the scenes

Admins on the page can add the following content:

  • Logo
  • Cover Photo
  • Photo Gallery
  • Video
  • Overview of the University (You can customise this by language)
  • Select/edit notable alumni
  • Address (Focused on single campus Universities)
  • Data about the University (very US focused), including
    • Fields of study
    • Years of Study
    • Degree levels
    • Financial aid
    • Tuition estimate
    • Population
    • Staff to Student ratio
    • Students admitted
    • % Male and Female students
    • % receiving financial aid
    • Graduation rate

You can see a screen shot of the admin interface on College Web Editor’s post How to request your LinkedIn University Page #highered #hesm.

Posting Updates

It’s possible to post updates (just as it’s possible to post updates from your Company page), points to note:

  • Character limit (including spaces): 700 characters
  • Will add link-related fields (title, image and description), if what you are linking to is optimised:
    • Availability of all/some link-related fields will depend on the content
    • Does not shorten unabbreviated links with the lnkd.in abbreviator (unlike Company pages)
  • It is possible to target these updates to subsections of your followers, by:
    • Location
    • Industry
    • Company
    • Seniority
    • Title*
    • Education*
    • Language*

(*Greyed out at the moment – had a play but couldn’t find a permutation of targeting that enabled these)

Analytics on updates

At the moment, the analytics for updates posted on University Pages are not as comprehensive or as long-lived as those for Company Updates.

If you post an update, you will see the targeted audience, but currently no analytics screen records this. So when you post a new update, you effectively lose that data (unless you are keeping a manual record of it).

While you can manually record targeting each time you post (and manually record the likes and comments the post generates), the following information is not currently available (based on information available for company status updates):

  • Clicks (on links in the update)
  • Impressions
  • Interations is currently available

It would be great to see these in future, as they will help in building measures for effective content to share.

Audience

The measure of the audience, like the Company Page, is the amount of LinkedIn profiles following the university page – (3) in the screen shot of the M.I.T. University Page on LinkedIn.

Not all University Pages display a number of followers, at a guess this indicates either whether:

  • the University has claimed its University Page (if yes, followers displayed)*, or
  • the University has started posting updates from its University page…

*Most likely, but will have to do a more comprehensive scan on more pages to confirm and document examples.

Separately, there is a count of the amount of LinkedIn profiles identified as students & alumni of the University on the explorative tool – (6) in the screen shot of the M.I.T. University Page on LinkedIn.

Benchmarking

To get an idea of engagement Universities are receiving for posts on University Pages, I looked at the likes and comments accrued for posts made by the 10 universities identified by Mashable as the Top 10 Social-Media Savvy Universities in 2012:

  • Harvard University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Michigan
  • Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • The University of Texas at Austin

I looked at all posts made by the University on their University Page since the pages were made live.

I wanted to look an engagement % per post, so used the following formula:

((Likes + Comments)/Followers*100)/Amount of Posts

Results and notes are tabled below:

Institution URL Alumni & Students Amount of Posts Likes Comments Engagement (Average % per post)
Harvard University www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=18483 117,852 6 185 34 0.02556
University of Pennsylvania www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=19328 101,152
Massachusetts Institute of Technology www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=18494 79,767 2 39 7 0.01835
University of Michigan www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=18633 195,140 4 112 7 0.01294
Stanford University www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=17926 122,665 7 344 26 0.03056
UC Berkeley www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=17939 234,240 9 781 103 0.03875
University of Oxford www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=12716 104,512 17 306 66 0.01830
University of Sheffield www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=12675 61,415 4 34 0.01189
University of Wisconsin-Madison www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=19689 166,374
The University of Texas at Austin www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=19518 228,662 9 92 11 0.00511
Averages 141,177.9 5.8 189.3 25.4 0.0161488616

Note: More recently UC Berkeley is responding to posts by others, rather than posting themselves.

Other articles

Some other articles on University Pages

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