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? • 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
Facebook 28,000,000 members MySpace 188,000,000 members Who are they? What do they look like?
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
Friend? Or Foe? 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? • 1. What services are you providing today? • Alumni? • Students? • Perspective Students?
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 http://www.iowalum.com/oniowa/Intro.html “I guess I just outgrew Facebook”
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” 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 News.com • Published: June 22, 2007 Isn’t that what you’ve been doing for years?
Best Practice Re: online/offline connections
Student/Alumni Networks Developing Lifelong Relationships – “Cradle to Grave” Thinking
Developing Lifelong Relationships “Cradle to Grave” Thinking – Some of this occurs today Parents/Friends & Others See some Of this today Alumni Students to Graduating Seniors Prospects to Pre-admit
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 Parents/Friends & Others Alumni • 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 Students to Graduating Seniors Prospects to Pre-admit • 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 Search. • Their profiles display differently.
RESULTS email for life Not new but a best practice
What does the research tell us? & How should that impact your decision making?
Personicx – a very powerful household-level segmentation service GET TO KNOW YOUR ALUMNI FOR A BETTER CONNECTION • 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