Kalpana Chauhan and I recently presented a research paper at International Conference in Marketing organized by IIM – Lucknow. The focus of paper was to understand content strategy on Facebook pages of some of the leading management institutions in India. We analyzed firm generated content of four institutions’ Facebook pages – IMT Ghaziabad, IIM-Calcutta, MDI-Gurgaon & XLRI-Jamshedpur. We basically tried to answer three simple questions:
1) What was the context of content shared by these management institutes on their Facebook pages?
2) In what form was content shared?
3) What was the frequency at which content was shared?
We took a three month period of 2011, with the assumption that data would represent content strategy followed by brands for 25% of entire year. During the time period April – June, 2011 IIM-C made 10 posts, IMT –Ghaziabad made 42 posts, MDI-Gurgaon made 19 posts and XLRI-Jamshedpur made 83 posts. We did content analysis of these updates and answered above three questions. The results are as follows:
- 3 out of four institutions updated content about institution and current students’ achievements.
- XLRI was the only institution which updated content about management education domain that was informative and insightful in nature.
Content Agility (During Day)
- The content on XLRI and MDI’s pages were updated at odd hours of the day, either in early morning or during late night.
- IMT & IIM-C updated majority of their content from 8 am to 8 pm, which seems to be a reasonable time period.
Content Agility (During Week)
- Majority of content was shared during midweek, i.e. from Wednesday – Friday
- IIMC completely refrained from updating content on weekends.
- IIMC followed a Text + Weblink format for 80% of content, which is an effective manner where a brief about content shared is given in text form along with the link for further reference of fans.
- As MDI shared more internal news, they made use of images along with text that described the image.
- IMT made use of images but 21.4% of time they had no introductory text about the image, which is not an advisable way to share content.
- XLRI had even worse content sharing style; they just attached weblink and had no introductory text to the weblink. Moreover, these contents were shared through third party application, which clearly revealed lack of enthusiasm they had in sharing content with their fans.
The analysis reveals that management institutes in India are using Facebook in a diverse manner. The difference in number of posts shows that some are not very consistent in their approach, while others are. Also the automated posting of links (especially in case of XLRI) shows that there is no separate strategy behind use of Facebook, which doesn’t seem very effective communication /marketing practice. The results show the scope of improvement in the ways institutes use social media.
Some major content topics that we couldn’t find on any of the four Facebook page are:
- The focus has always been on their flagship program i.e. PGDBM. We rarely found content about other programs offered by these institutions. This could be a serious setback as stakeholders from other programs might feel left out.
- Employer branding aspect was completely missing in all pages. We rarely found any posts related to their faculty achievement. Given the fact that all these are large institutions, its hard to believe that none of the faculty from any of the college made an achievement over a period of 3 months!
- There was hardly any content for the administrative staff. Aren’t they part of the organization? We would like to know why any content about them wasn’t posted on the Facebook page.
- These organizations could also update about their collaborators.
- Management institutions are known for the intellectual property they create. The intellectual property in these institutions is generally created by either faculties or doctoral students. We noticed no such updates were made by any of the institution.
- There could be some information dissemination about the training and development programs aimed at external publics.
- Management institutes could also share knowledge created through consulting assignments handled by their faculty members.
- The integration between various social media channels should be leveraged effectively.