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Creating a Virtual Community: Using Social Media to Connect With Students, Prospects and Alumni

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Presented at the NCMPR District 3 Conference, October 7, 2010

Presented at the NCMPR District 3 Conference, October 7, 2010

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Creating a Virtual Community: Using Social Media to Connect With Students, Prospects and Alumni Creating a Virtual Community: Using Social Media to Connect With Students, Prospects and Alumni Presentation Transcript

  • Creating a Virtual Community
    Using Social Media to Connect With Students, Prospects and Alumni
    District 3 Conference
    October 7, 2010
    Anthony Juliano
  • Hello!
  • Anthony Juliano, MA, MBA
    • Social media strategist
    • Higher education
    marketing consultant
    • Adjunct faculty, Indiana
    Tech and IPFW
  • [and bad]
    Good
    news
  • “As more people have come online, the more online communication has become the norm. So it isn't thought of as a separate realm anymore, but as one that merges and overlaps with our daily activities.”
    - Caroline Haythornthwaite, Ph.D. University of Illinois
  • The key: use social media to serve as a resource to students, prospects and alumni
  • “You can buy attention (advertising).
    You can beg for attention from the media (public relations).
    You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales).
    Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an ebook, a Facebook page.”
    - David Meerman Scott
  • 10 sites and tools to connect with students, prospects and alumni
  • Having a Facebook page ≠
    Having a Facebook strategy
  • Why do Facebook users “Like” a page?
    • They want discounts/freebies
    • They want to celebrate their association with the brand
    • They want to be heard
    • They want to interact with their peers
  • What happens on a successful Facebook page?
    • The brand posts often enough to stimulate conversation, but…
    • Most of the conversation happens among the audience, and…
    • Questions are answered promptly (and sometimes even by the audience)
  • So, what’s the right strategy for your Facebook page?
    • Prospect cultivation? (Giving them a glass against the wall)
    • Answering student questions?
    • Engaging alumni?
    It’s up to you—what’s right for your audience, and
    what can you support with resources.
  • “You may not have thought about Blackboard as a social media tool, but it offers all the interactivity you can desire…”- The Web 2.0 in Education blog
  • Discussion boards
  • What Ivy Tech does well with its discussion group
    • Responds quickly
    • Filters spam but allows dissent
    • Connects posters to peers
    The result: efficiencies, thousands of questions answered and students satisfied
  • Potential blog topics
    Faculty authors – subject matter expertise
    Staff authors – giving the institution a name/face, answering FAQs
    Student authors – conversations about what they’re learning, giving prospects the chance to hear from peers
    Leadership authors
  • Best for:
    • Customer service
    • Short-shelf-life information
    - Events, important deadlines/dates
    • Listening
  • Pitfalls:
    • Tweets are VERY perishable
    • Labor intensive; many users burn out quickly
    • About 60% abandon Twitter within 6 mos.
    (controversy over this number)
    • 85.3% of all Twitter users post less than one
    update/day
    • 21% of users have never posted a Tweet
    • 10% of users account for 90% of tweets
    • Easy to get lost in the shuffle
    • Your audience may not be there
  • Benefits of a YouTube Channel
    • Good video is often more compelling than text
    • Great for demonstration, instruction, entertainment
    • You can cross promote
    • Promotes your brand
    • The audience is already there
  • Pitfalls
    • The bar is set very high
    • Requires bandwidth
    • Requires skill and an investment in technology
    • Comments won’t always be friendly
  • Pros
    Perfect if your primary goal is sharing photos
    Easy to use, limited labor
    Easy to collaborate and invite the audience to upload photos
    Cons
    • Hard to build a community around a Flickr page
    • Likely needs to be used as part of a larger strategy
  • Niche
    social networks
  • 2 MILLION MEMBERS
  • [F]orget about the Next Big Thing. What you want to be looking out for are the Awesome Little Things—networks with specialized functions, unique features and cool underlying technology that may not have the mass appeal that Facebook does but still have the capacity to push the social-media sphere to a new level.
    - Jesse Stanchak,SmartBlog on Social Media
  • LinkedIn for your current students
    • Helps students build their CV
    • Prepares students for the new job market
    • Gives you the opportunity to recommend outstanding work
  • 80% of companies use social media
    for recruitment
    95% of these companies use LinkedIn
    Source: Erik Qualman, Socialnomics
  • LinkedIn for alumni
    • Follow alumni progress
    • Cultivate alumni mentors
    • Create a group to stay connected
  • “Imagine a social networking site geared
    specifically toward connecting college students
    with their on-campus academic and social
    communities. Sound familiar? Those are
    Facebook's roots [and] they're also the roots
    of Scoop, a forthcoming mobile social app.”
    - “The Next Facebook: Scoop?” PC World, Aug. 24, 2010
  • Keys to success
    • Don’t try to do it all—use the tools that best fit your audience’s needs and available resources
    - Do 1 thing well first, then add
    • Have a clear leader—ideally CMO
    • Respect the audience’s time
    • Keep mindset in mind—mitigate distractions
    • Respect boundaries
    • Establish community standards
    • Remember: it’s a two-way street
    • HAVE A STRATEGY—don’t just throw something up against the wall (or the Facebook wall)
  • “Lack of engagement is one of the biggest problems we have today in getting more students through…college…If we don’t tackle the engagement problem…we’re not going to get more people through the system…And one of the great promises of social media in higher education…is about promoting engagement.”
    - Vineet Madan, Panelist, “The Future of Social Media in Higher Education”
  • Questions?
  • Thanks!
    ajjuliano@gmail.com
    (260) 615.3426
    AnthonyJuliano.WordPress.com
    If you enjoyed this presentation, please recommend me on