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LSE scores well in social media while larger institutions appear to be just getting started

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is the most 'visible' Russell Group university in social media the LSE Impacts Blog has found.

The LSE Impacts Blog team has used data from an Econsultancy ranking, published last week, which lists 20 Russell Group universities in order of their social visibility. Each university's social visibility score was calculated based on the total number of links a web domain scored on six social sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.

According to the Econsultancy table, LSE is placed third, with a visibility score of 286,859. The University of Cambridge tops the table with a score of 462,823, followed by the University of Oxford at 442,758. However, when these scores are charted against the sizes of the universities involved, the results are reversed, with LSE placed prominently at the top of the table with Cambridge and Oxford in second and third place respectively. Newcastle University ranks fourth and Queens University Belfast, fifth.

"While these results may not be the last word in how one tracks social media, the data is plausible and may be able to give some useful insights" said Jane Tinkler of LSE's Public Policy Group. "What seemed interesting to us was how the ranking of these universities would fare when we standardized for their varying sizes. After all, the more students and staff universities have, the more people there are likely to link to the institution using social media.

"When we charted the universities' size-standardized visibility scores, not only did LSE move up the table, but a more became apparent, which is that it is the larger universities which appear to be having most difficulty in establishing themselves in the social media arena. There are exceptions to this, notably the University of Manchester, which is performing well considering its very large size, but by contrast some other well-known and sizeable universities seem to be having difficulty in getting their social media visibility off the ground, most notably Sheffield, but also Birmingham, Liverpool and King's College, London."

Social visibility

LSE Impact Blog's table of social media visibility scores and scores standardized for university size, for 20 Russell Group universities


The data was taken from analysis by Horst Jeopen from Searchmetrics. Using the weekly data that Searchmetrics collate in their social analytics database, they looked across the 207,900 links every week related to content on the websites of the Russell Group universities that are shared by social media.

Horst Joepen, CEO of Searchmetrics, writes: "16 -24 year olds are heavy users of social networks, so you'd expect universities to have been 'socially active' by generating and posting interesting, engaging content on their own websites, and then sharing it on social networks. Not surprisingly news page stories about new research studies and initiatives are quite common. While heavily shared links included software simulations, web cam images, jokes and podcasts.

"Most universities are very active with numerous social network accounts serving different departments and groups. Obviously much of the content is targeted at the current university population rather than prospective students, but it can provide some interesting insights to those wanting to know a little more about life at a particular institution."

For more from the LSE Impacts blog, see http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/

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The Econsultancy ranking of Social visibility of Russell Group universities

  1. University of Cambridge: 462,823.
  2. University of Oxford: 442,758.
  3. London School of Economics and Political Science: 286,859.
  4. Newcastle University: 186,184.
  5. University College London: 176,202.
  6. University of Warwick: 169,462.
  7. University of Manchester: 143,186.
  8. University of Edinburgh: 131,053.
  9. Queens University Belfast: 118,137.
  10. University of Glasgow: 72,211.
  11. University of Bristol: 70,656.
  12. University of Nottingham: 64,381.
  13. University of Leeds: 63,802.
  14. Imperial College London: 47,321.
  15. Cardiff University: 46,053.
  16. University of Southampton: 44,106.
  17. King's College London: 31,762.
  18. University of Liverpool: 20,444.
  19. University of Birmingham: 15,873.
  20. University of Sheffield: 9,912.

Read the full Econsultancy rankings article see http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/8829-how-visible-are-universities-on-social-networks?utm_campaign=blogtweets&utm_medium=socialnetwork&utm_source=twitter&CMP

6 February 2012