Is it time to start using social media to promote academic projects?

At SAS it is our role to promote and facilitate research. As part of a one-year JISC-funded SMART project, the central communications team has been working closely with staff across SAS to expand and develop the social media presence of the School and its 10 institutes as part of a broader communications strategy. One of the aims of the project is to increase awareness and engagement with the impact of individual research and research-related projects at SAS through integrated and focused social media activity. We are hoping to use social media channels to encourage a community of academics, subject specialists and members of the public to engage with the School’s projects and their outputs. Our Approach We defined a 3 step approach to using social media to create impact: Communication: We wanted to enable our academics to share real-time commentary on their projects and assisted by offering training sessions on blogging. Sharing assets: For the first time we shared multimedia research materials (i.e. images from the Miller Archive) on our Flickr page. Social bookmarking: Throughout June and July we shared our content and assets via Twitter and Facebook to find and engage subject specialists and key organisations who could help amplify our message. A Case Study One of our recent attempts as part of this initiative was the promotion of the exhibition ‘Theatrical Lives from Vienna to London: Treasures from the Martin Miller and Hannah Norbert-Miller Archive‘ at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies. Our involvement with the project began just before the launch of the exhibition. Two members of IGRS worked closely with us in the creation of online content...

Best practice for digital impact
Website and blogs (May-June 2013)

Key statistics for May and June 2013 for our main site www.sas.ac.uk are as follows. All stats listed below are collected with Google Analytics. Month Visits Unique Visits New Visits Pages per V Avg Visits Bounce Rate May-13 23,655 17,541 64.88% 2.1 00:01:44 65.50% Jun-13 20,058 15,625 65.68% 2.08 00:01:40 67.85% Top pages The call for submissions to a new anthology of poems about human rights announced by the Human Rights Consortium, in collaboration with the Keats House Poets and the Institute of English Studies continued to direct a large volume of traffic to the website in May and won the page a second place in our top 10. The competition was closed on 15 May and the Anthology will have its official launch at the 2013 Bloomsbury Festival in October. May-13 / Jun-13 / /hrc/projects/human-rights-poetry /support-research/events /support-research/events /ulcc-bin/htsearch /ulcc-bin/htsearch /graduate-study/masters-degrees /graduate-study/masters-degrees /hrc /support-research/fellowships/visiting-fellowships /about-us/contact-us /hrc /support-research/fellowships/visiting-fellowships /graduate-study/research-degrees /graduate-study/research-degrees /about-us/institutes /hrc/projects/human-rights-poetry /about-us/contact-us /graduate-study/masters-degrees/ma-taxation-law-administration-and-practice Top external referrers: May-13 Jun-13 london.ac.uk london.ac.uk warburg.sas.ac.uk warburg.sas.ac.uk events.sas.ac.uk events.sas.ac.uk facebook.com commonwealth.sas.ac.uk history.ac.uk facebook.com research.sas.ac.uk research.sas.ac.uk commonwealth.sas.ac.uk history.ac.uk americas.sas.ac.uk ials.sas.ac.uk poetrylibrary.org.uk americas.sas.ac.uk ials.sas.ac.uk ies.sas.ac.uk Social analytics for non-Google networks: May-13 Jun-13 Visits 812 Visits 635 FB 494 FB 399 Twitter 155 Twitter 116 WP 37 YouTube 39 Blogger 34 WP 31 LinkedIn 34 Blogger 27 YouTube 29 LinkedIn...

Best practice for digital impact
Podcasts (May-June 2013)

Introduction and Overview YouTube stats have remained roughly consistent over the past few months, between 8,500 and 9,500 views. The iTunes U stats show that we had a decent May but a particularly slow June.This could be linked to the end of the term and what will probably be a slow summer. Views and Downloads from our two podcasting platforms: Month Youtube iTunes No. Of videos (not exact) March 2012 2597 9798 36 April 2062 11159 25 May 2474 12820 36 June 2957 9142 31 July 3508 13209 14 August 4316 9045 18 September* 4254 7051 2 October 5160 8089 6 November 5192 8335 16 December 8114 12793 21 January 2013 8016 18676 24 February 6936 7455 28 March 9239 7801 56 April 8582 10768 36 May 9334 8511 33 June 8422 6781 30 * = Youtube estimate due to bot attack of about 12,200 extra views YouTube stats – Interesting bits Traffic Sources (External websites) – You can see from the graph and table bellow that podcasts during May and June were particularly successful on social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter.   Embedded players (External websites) – The graph and table below shows that, unsurprisingly, our website is the largest embedded player location. Once again, social media platforms are high up the list. Interestingly, there are a number of blogs in the list. This shows that our podcasts would get more views if we could get them embedded on more external blogs, like those of the speaker(s) or related organisations. iTunes U stats –  Interesting bits The tables of most popular podcasts show that popular videos are not necessarily long term...

SAS podcasting stats and key findings for April 2013

Introduction and Overview It has been a fairly successful month for our podcasting service. YouTube stats have remained roughly the same as last month (despite the Easter break). Whilst our iTunes U stats are starting to increase again after a slow couple of months. Views and Downloads from our two podcasting platforms: Month       Youtube          iTunes No. of videos added (not exact) March 2012 2597 9798 36 April 2062 11159 25 May 2474 12820 36 June 2957 9142 31 July 3508 13209 14 August 4316 9045 18 September* 4254 7051 2 October 5160 8089 6 November 5192 8335 16 December 8114 12793 21 January 2013 8016 18676 24 February 6936 7455 28 March 9239 7801 56 April 8582 10768 36 * = Youtube estimate due to bot attack of about 12,200 extra views  YouTube stats breakdown Graph 1 shows a steady increase in YouTube views over the last year. During the last few months there has also been a large increase in the number of podcasts uploaded, showing the growth of the service. Of those watching our videos, most are directed  via YouTube in some way or another, many using the YouTube search function or being suggested our videos. The 2 largest external website traffic sources are google.com and facebook.com. The playback location of our videos is predominantly in YouTube itself but also embedded players on our website, Facebook page and external blogs. From March 2012 – April 2013 the Institutes most viewed videos are as follows: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies – Transitional Justice in Colombia and the Victims and Land Restitution Law (166 views) Institute of Classical Studies –‘Ovid’s Janus...

SoundCloud – is it a good platform for academic podcasting?

SAS is currently considering using SoundCloud to promote our academic podcasts, but is it worthwhile? What is SoundCloud? For those who don’t know, SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows collaboration and promotion of audio recordings by users. Originally started by a sound engineer, it was aimed at musicians who wanted to share their music.The service has expanded and is being used by anyone wishing to release and promote audio. Why it could be a good tool for academic podcasting? Podcasts are a growing area of SoundCloud, with the number of people and organisations using it to promote their audio material on the rise. This includes academic Institutes like LSE, who have an account with 145,970 followers.This success shows that there is an available audience for academic podcasts. SoundCloud also allows for comments that can be linked to specific parts of the audio file. This can create a targeted debate around specific sections of a podcast. Or the comment function can be used for Q&As relating to a parts of a talk. And why it  might not be such a good tool…? However, unlike iTunesU, SoundCloud is still predominately used for music. This means that you are targeting a very narrow audience that may not be interested in your material. And using another platform to promote your material can be time consuming. At SAS, we use YouTube as a broader promotional platform. This allows us to reach audiences who may not use iTunesU. Finally, though SoundCloud offers a free service, it costs $99 a year if your wish to upload an unlimited quantity of material. Conclusion If you have the time to upload and promote your podcasts on SoundCloud then there seem to be no...

Academic podcasting at SAS

Why podcast Disseminating work to as wide an audience as possible is becoming an essential part of an academic’s day to day life, whether it be through social media, blogging or creating a podcast. Many funding opportunities or grants are won by proving that previous research has been viewed by a large number of people. Podcasting is a great way to get your research in the public domain. And at SAS we have been developing a service that supports this process. How do we podcast at SAS The Comms team at SAS offers a free podcasting service to all of its Institutes and their associated projects. These can be podcasts of events, conferences or short promo-videos to highlight the work which is being done by an Institute. We have attempted to make podcasting a day-to-day affair by integrating it with events. When booking a room it is now possible to let the conference office know that the event needs to be recorded as a podcast. That’s it! Some of the options we offer There are a number of options available for podcasting. As a standard all events will be recorded using a stationary camera. Once recorded, we add the SAS branding and upload the media to our Youtube and iTunesU channels. We also offer a staffed camera service if that is required. Results and success stories The SAS podcasting service has grown hugely over the last couple of years. We now release over 30 podcasts a month. Viewership is growing steadily across both platforms and we have just upgraded our equipment. Our most successful podcast has had over 5,000 views on Youtube alone, whilst our iTunesU platform has over 230,000 views & downloads....