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Social Networking Strategy for the Facebook Generation. Presenters: Albert Kalim Webmaster UK Alumni Association Glenn Zimmerer VP, Sales Harris Connect. Topics. Facebook generation Who are they? View Facebook & MySpace College Sites Official or unofficial sites?

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social networking strategy for the facebook generation

Social Networking Strategy for the Facebook Generation


Albert Kalim


UK Alumni Association

Glenn Zimmerer

VP, Sales

Harris Connect

  • Facebook generation
    • Who are they?
  • View Facebook & MySpace College Sites
    • Official or unofficial sites?
    • Friend or Foe? What’s your strategy?
  • What advantages does the Advancement office have over these Social Networking sites and how to maximize these advantages
  • Developing Lifelong Relationships –“Cradle to Grave” thinking
  • Why you should expand your partnerships across campus
  • Best practices: engaging the Facebook generation, what some of your peers are doing on their sites
  • What the research tells us about student & alumni online service usage segmented by lifestage & what action you should take
  • Recommended action


28,000,000 members


188,000,000 members

Who are they?

What do they look like?

they are called millennials
They are called Millennials
  • Born: 1982 – 2001 Ages: 6 - 25
  • Millennials are computer experts and the most connected generation in history
      • email
      • instant messages
      • text messages
      • Internet



What are you doing to engage these future alumni?

What is your Facebook, MySpace and other

Social Networking sites strategy?


Friend Or Foe?

  • Assume Friend
  • What is your strategy?
  • - Events Promotion
  • Drive traffic to your site
  • How about staff time to proactively manage? (volunteers)?
  • If you proactively manage, what is acceptable and not acceptable content?
what advantages do you have over myspace facebook and all the others
What advantages do you have over MySpace, Facebook and all the others?
  • 1. What services are you providing today?
  • Alumni?
  • Students?
  • Perspective Students?
what advantages do you have over myspace facebook and all the others28
What advantages do you have over MySpace, Facebook and all the others?
  • Data (all of it for Students & Alumni, email, phone, postal)
    • Fully populated network (online directory/social network vs opt-in for Facebook & others
    • You have ability to reach a very high percentage (100% of students and many alums) via broadcast eCommunications and other communications)
  • Your constituents have a timeless connection to their alma mater, their connections on Facebook & MySpace may fade
    • Is there an incentive for a graduating senior or recent alumnus to participate in your online community?
    • They may be a current job seeker or networker looking for help in a new city, but participation in the alumni community is also their investment in their future relationship with the larger alumni community
    • I may abandon my Facebook friends for a MySpace page, but I will always be an alumnus and have a relationship with my alma mater.
  • Alumni will use Facebook and other tools as well, but the alumni office has unique advantages. The alumni office is not trying to "beat" facebook. It should be introducing the idea to current students and recent graduates that they can provide a unique and timeless service that no one else can.
  • How about Control & Reporting? (if your site vs relying on Facebook & MySpace)
    • Official site
    • Photo’s
    • Content
    • Notes
    • Services/Functionality
    • Reporting (trends, cause and effect? (without passive vs proactive management)

Best Practice

“I guess I just outgrew Facebook”

what advantages do you have over myspace facebook and all the others30
What advantages do you have over MySpace, Facebook and all the others?
  • Strategy:
    • Get alumni when they are young, preferable students
    • Educate/promote your alum’s timeless connection to the institution (a selling point for the alumni office)
    • Message to communicate:
      • The student or alumnus should join the alumni community as an investment for the future (e.g, Wellesley)
  • How to attract them:
    • Interaction (interactive services ( e.g. Harris Connect’s Social Networking Module)
    • Groups (let them create their own groups e.g., HC’s Discussion Groups)
    • Events (online & offline)
    • Value, value, value - all the alumni. (e.g. High quality relationships from Career Networking
    • Leverage your current programming and unique assets
    • Assess their needs as they migrate:
      • What are the needs of Junior & Seniors?
      • And then Graduation and their continued transition to young professionals and then family
the newest trends social networks geared for offline success
The newest trends“Social networks geared for offline success”

Social networks geared for offline success?

  • Online social networking has become a mainstay of the Digital Age, and it's now evident that Internet fads can appear and disappear faster than you can say "Friendster."
  • As a result…
    • Some sites are turning to a new strategy to keep their services "sticky" and their users satisfied
    • They're not just encouraging them to network online, but to attend offline events and parties in the real world as well.
    • Yelp now regularly hosts parties in big cities around the country.
  • Caroline McCarthy, for
  • Published: June 22, 2007

Isn’t that what you’ve been doing for years?


Best Practice

Re: online/offline connections

student alumni networks
Student/Alumni Networks

Developing Lifelong Relationships – “Cradle to Grave” Thinking


Developing Lifelong Relationships

“Cradle to Grave” Thinking – Some of this occurs today












Graduating Seniors




Expanding your partnershipsacross campus will enhance your connections to students, future alums and your alumni population

Recommended Strategy: pursue partnerships with:

  • Admissions
  • Student affairs
  • Development
  • Career Services
  • Athletics
  • Alumni Association
  • Academic departments & distance learning (iTunes - download courses, faculty lectures, interviews, sports and music)
  • Special interest groups/clubs

“Cradle to Grave” Thinking

Start a young alumni council

Get involved with student council


“Cradle to Grave” Thinkingfrom prospects to pre–admits to enrolled students to alumni

  • Pursue partnerships with:
  • Admissions
  • Student affairs
  • Development
  • Career Services
  • Athletics
  • Alumni Association
  • Academic departments
  • Special interest groups/clubs

Your focus:

bring them all

into your online

community network





  • Broadcast Email Communications
  • Online Directory
  • Career Advisor Network
  • Social Networking
  • ClassNotes -> Student Notes
  • Chapter/Club/Class/Affinity Sites
  • Special Interest Sites
  • Discussion Groups
  • Personal Page
  • Photo Gallery
  • Events Calendar & Events Registration
  • Polls & Surveys
  • Job and Resume Boards
  • Permanent email
  • Content Management

You define

the rules & the level of interaction



Graduating Seniors




  • Technology takes care of:
  • Access Controls
  • &
  • Single Sign-On

Best Practice

Emory University

Restricted Access for Students Lifted

All Students now have access to the same Online Community Services as all Alumni

one combined network


Best Practice

  • Undergrad Students and

Grad Students each have

their own version of My

Page (different

info than alumni)

  • Each has
  • specific calendars.
  • Each has different

Search and Advanced


  • Their profiles display




email for life

Not new but

a best practice


Personicx – a very powerful household-level segmentation service


  • Large, stable, household level source data from InfoBase
  • Utilized and validated from the 110,000,000 HH records
  • Optimized to recognize consumer differences between households – NOT just neighborhoods
  • 100% coverage for all U.S. households (typical household match rates between 90 – 95%)
  • Cluster assignments updated approx. monthly allowing for tracking changes over time
  • Accurately reflects our shared life stage experiences as we “grow-up” in the U.S.
  • Life stage framework more predictive of consumer behaviors
  • Ability to predict propensity to join, renew, convert, participate, donate, etc
  • Appends easily to constituent database

ROC (registered online community users)

large public research university


OBS (subscribe to their online newsletter)

this university requires alums to register to receive it

key take a ways
Key take a-ways

1. Life stage and life experience is what shapes us as alumni/consumers/people. 

All of the things that impact us growing up, play a role in how we view life today.  For the "Facebook" generation it is the technology that has enabled/controlled the mediums by which they prefer to communicate/participate.  Exposure and acceptance to and of the technology makes web technology an integral part of their lives.  It is these life experiences that will shape this generation for years to come. 

2. If you want to engage this generation today and for years to come, now is the time you must recognize, embrace and cater through the mediums they most respond to.  From a data perspective that is what we are showing with analyses from our clients.  This generation is choosing to be engaged via the web.  You either meet that need or risk losing them for ever.

3. As this "Facebook" generation matures, so will their use of web technologies.  While recent grads dominate the registered on-line users, (over from 1/3 & 1/4 of them engaged online at two clients, their usage, needs and wants will change.  You can see this in the fact that the Collegiate Crowd dominates registrants, but 5 years later it is the Career Builders that are now embracing the Career Network as an important tool to communicate professionally.   Because they grew up on the "social network", they will easily begin to maximize the potential of the career network as that earlier life experience has shaped who they are. 

4 Twenty years from now, this generation may only want to be engaged online.  That is how they will create and communicate to their donor/volunteer networks.  They will move with the technology.   Web will forever be a crucial medium to engage this segment of the population. 


Results: Columbia sent this email on Fri. Dec. 8, 2006. At that time they had 80 mentors under a pre-launch non-advertised link that was posted to their site. As a result of this email, by Mon. Dec 11, they had 652 mentors (an increase of 715%). 

  • Determine your strategy for Facebook, MySpace and others
  • Assess the online services you offer today & determine your future additions (consider)
    • Email for life
    • Career Mentoring (students/alumni)
    • Social Networking
    • Programming for Students
  • Build relations with other departments on campus
  • Start a young alumni council
  • Wrap your offline programming around online interactive services
  • Position & promote their timeless connection to you
  • RE data (Always collect/update, do data segmentation analysis, and leverage to develop new programming and facilitate more relevant one-to-one communications with the various segments you serve