A REVIEW OF SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVIES BY UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS Prepared by Renegade interns Laura Burns and Zach Prager August, 2011
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This analysis was conducted by two Duke undergraduates as part of their internship at Renegade, LLC. ( http://renegade.com ) during the summer of 2011. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To gain an understanding of how various University Alumni Associations are currently using social media. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During the audit, the interns looked at the social media activities of 8 universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Northwestern (Kellogg), Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and UNC. </li></ul></ul>
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY <ul><li>The majority of Alumni Associations are not utilizing social media </li></ul><ul><li>channels effectively </li></ul><ul><li>There is potential for more genuine engagement between the Associations and intended audiences. Alumni Associations need to better facilitate and promote dialogue within the Alumni community. Organizations need to clearly define the purpose of each channel. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook programs and content posts need to be more compelling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Associations need to actively search for Twitter conversations and engage in them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LinkedIn can be better used for intellectual conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There is opportunity to develop a stronger brand personality for Universities. In addition to recognizing the individuals behind social media content, Alumni Associations need to define their own voice in the University landscape. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they promote? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who do they represent? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they want to be known for? </li></ul></ul>
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (continued) <ul><li>Universities could benefit from having a more collective approach to social media. There is little communication between the different offices on campus. Admissions, Alumni, Fundraising, Clubs, Student Organizations and Magazines should have an ongoing dialogue. </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni Associations should involve students in their social media approach. Current students can provide insight on the current college experience and contribute unique content. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photos and Videos of events on campus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement tweets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative ideas for new campaigns and contests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal voice and connection to the College experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social media needs to become a more integral part of Alumni Associations’ approach to maintaining and connecting alumni. It is becoming even more relevant as a method of communication because recent graduates will have used social media throughout their college experiences. Associations need to dedicate resources, write policies, and develop a clear social media strategy. </li></ul>
POTENTIAL ROLE FOR EACH SM CHANNEL Alumni Association Twitter “ Broadcasting Channel” Locating & Tracking Conversations about the school Facebook “ Celebration Channel” Social, charitable and cultural aspect of the Alumni Network LinkedIn “ Professional Channel” Intellectual conversation & professional resources YouTube “ Showcase Channel” Highlighting the best of the school (Events, Speakers, Alumni) Flickr “ Reunions Channel” Albums of Alumni and events at Class Reunions Blogs “ Community Channel” Space to feature Alumni and their successes
<ul><li>LINKS </li></ul><ul><li>Website: </li></ul><ul><li>http://alumni.stanford.edu </li></ul>BIO We're the official Stanford Alumni Twitter account, and we're all about YOU. We'll help you connect with other alums who tweet & we'll retweet you too. Welcome!http://alumni.stanford.edu INTERACTION Lots of alumni interaction. This association takes the initiative to thank new followers, congratulate alumni on recent successes, ask questions, and retweet relevant news articles. Stanford: TWITTER FOLLOW POLICY Stanford follows alumni, alumni businesses, non-profit organizations, and faculty/staff of Stanford University. Stanford’s followers are mainly Alumni. PERSONALIZATION No pictures to identify who is tweeting.
<ul><li>LINKS </li></ul><ul><li>Website: </li></ul><ul><li>http://alumni.harvard.edu </li></ul>INTERACTION Harvard tweets about recently published articles from professors, business news involving alumni, and they often retweet other related twitter accounts. They do not specifically address many alumni or engage in other conversations. Harvard: TWITTER FOLLOW POLICY Harvard follows alumni, alumni businesses, non-profit organizations, and faculty/staff of Harvard University. Harvard’s followers are mainly Alumni. Of the organizations surveyed, they have the largest follower base. BIO The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) maintains and enhances a highly engaged, vibrant community of alumni and friends worldwide. Connect today! email@example.com://alumni.harvard.edu
BIO I was founded in 1701, am quintessentially Ivy League, and have some powerful networking circles. In short, I'm kind of a big deal.http://www.yale.edu LINKS & CONTACT Website: http://www.yale.edu (doesn’t link directly to Alumni page) PERSONALIZATION There are no team names, pictures, or personalized wallpaper. FOLLOW POLICY Yale follows several other Yale related accounts in addition to other alumni associations. The vast majority of followers are the personal accounts of Yale Alumni. Yale: TWITTER CONTENT Tweets consist of latest events/ news at Yale, related news articles for alumni, and some questions. This account has some sense of humor, however, with a more personal voice in the tweets rather than strictly information.
UNC: TWITTER BIO Your General Alumni Association exists to keep you informed about and connected to The University of North Carolina, your classmates and Tar Heel friends.http://alumni.unc.edu CONTENT They retweet from several other sources- not all directly related to UNC. They post news articles and events related to UNC. Little direct engagement with alumni. LINKS Alumni Website PERSONALIZATION The UNC General Alumni Association uses a personalized background.
Notre Dame: TWITTER The Notre Dame Alumni Association does an amazing job of retweeting people who mention anything to do with Notre Dame. Even a tweet about the famous Notre Dame football player Rudy is retweeted. The Notre Dame Alumni Association uses a cool image of Notre Dame’s beautiful campus. PERSONALIZATION INTERACTION
Notre Dame: TWITTER (cont) Notre Dame Club of Chicago PERSONALIZATION An example of a great, eye catching Twitter background. PERSONALIZATION Another example of a great Twitter background. BIO An example of a solid Twitter bio. It’s short, animated and includes a link to their website.
Northwestern: TWITTER Northwestern Magazine: TWITTER INTERACTION The Northwestern Alumni Association does a great job of replying to others’ tweets. INTERACTION Here the Northwestern Magazine reaches out to its alumni on a personal level. Not only does the Twitter account wish happy birthday and happy anniversary to alumni, but it also says goodbye to alumni who are leaving the area.
Kellogg: TWITTER Kellogg Alumni NYC: TWITTER CONTENT Constant updates on events in NYC. The KACNY Twitter account is extremely reliable and frequently updated. BIO Another example of a good bio. It explains exactly what the purpose of the Twitter account really is. CONTENT Here the Twitter account shows some personality, giving its following some feelings of warmth and compassion.
Vanderbilt: TWITTER CONTENT Here the Vanderbilt Alumni Association tweeted a picture of a professional baseball player, who is also an alum, that was sent in by an alum. CONTENT This Twitter account often tweets its location by posting via foursquare. This way alums always know where to go if they want to meet up with other alums.
BIO Example- The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) maintains and enhances a highly engaged, vibrant community of alumni and friends worldwide. Connect today! [email_address] The bio should directly state the purpose of the account, invite people to become involved, and provide a link to the main website. CONTENT Strategy- Develop a plan for content, and stick to it so your followers know what to expect. Information- Keep posts fresh and constantly update. Become involved in the conversation by retweeting others discussing Duke and replying to relevant questions. Personality- Posts should have some personality behind them so followers can see there is a real person maintaining the account. TWITTER: BEST PRACTICES <ul><li>PAGE COMPONENTS: </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul><ul><li>Bio </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: Interaction & Stats </li></ul>PERSONALIZATION Identification- clearly show who is tweeting and personalize each reply PHOTOS Of the team (no organization currently practices this)- brings a human element into what can be an impersonal medium. LINKS (Best Practice: available in sidebar) Facebook- link to social media YouTube- provide content Flickr- link to pictures directly STATS Followers- Will only increase with responsiveness to relevant questions and fresh content. Following- Clearly established follow strategy that increases visibility, hits relevant demographic and leads to more followers.
<ul><li>“ Likes”: 5,144 </li></ul><ul><li>COMPANY INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>Join our virtual come-as-you-are party for Stanford </li></ul><ul><li>alums. We're all about YOU. You can also follow us on </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter to connect with fellow alums: @StanfordAlumni </li></ul><ul><li>Who we are: The official (but not overly formal) </li></ul><ul><li>Stanford Alumni Facebook Page </li></ul><ul><li>What we're about: Extending a wide welcome mat to all </li></ul><ul><li>alums, no matter where you are in life now </li></ul><ul><li>Where to find us: Here on </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook, or link to us through alumni.stanford.edu, or </li></ul><ul><li>email us at firstname.lastname@example.org </li></ul><ul><li>When we're available: Whenever you are </li></ul><ul><li>How we can help you: Connect, reflect, and rediscover </li></ul><ul><li>your Farm friends right here </li></ul>FEEDBACK The majority of posts attract several comments/likes. They often post trivia about Stanford Alumni and have a weekly photo identification contest. Stanford: FACEBOOK OTHER Featured Videos Quizzes Photo of the Week Tab SOCIAL MEDIA YouTube and Blog feeds each get their own customized tabs connecting alumni to other media channels they might use. CONTENT Daily updates, relevant events (posts etc), alumni news, and mini-competitions (Photo identification)
<ul><li>“ Likes”: 40,730 </li></ul><ul><li>CONTENT </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions on current topics </li></ul><ul><li>News article posts </li></ul><ul><li>General events at UNC </li></ul>FEEDBACK The Alumni association is involved in most every conversation. The page is very active. GUIDELINES Clearly posted community rules posted under the information tab. UNC Alumni: FACEBOOK INFO Overly detailed information including links to their website, Twitter and YouTube as well as detailed history.
Notre Dame: FACEBOOK CONTENT Who doesn’t love summer? Here the Notre Dame Alumni Association is engaging alumni by asking them to share their summer plans. CONTENT Notre Dame alumni love their football team. Here alumni are pointed towards the official twitter of their football coach, Brian Kelly. It’s a good strategy to use one social media channel to promote another social media channel. Content Great way for Notre Dame alumni to show how much they love their school on a big website like www.espn.com. CONTENT Engaging alumni with a question regarding their experience as a student
Notre Dame: FACEBOOK (cont) CONTENT 2011 Challenge: a tab that encourages and challenges alumni to support the university. The Notre Dame Alumni Association uses football coach, Brian Kelly, as the “spokesman” for the 201 challenge. CONTENT A poll is a great way to keep alumni engaged. The Notre Dame Alumni Association added a tab on the page specifically for polls.
Notre Dame: FACEBOOK (cont) CONTENT The Notre Dame Alumni Association has posted a few videos concerning members of their staff, events that took place at Notre Dame, and alumni related events that already took place
Northwestern: FACEBOOK CONTENT This is a great way to engage alumni. Here the Northwestern Alumni Association shows a picture of a campus building and quizzes alumni about what building it is. CONTENT Another great example.
Northwestern: FACEBOOK (cont) CONTENT Quite a unique idea. The Northwestern Alumni Association offers Northwestern themed ringtones for their alumni. CONTENT The Northwestern Alumni Association has posted hundreds of pictures of alumni events that they have sponsored over the years.
Princeton: FACEBOOK CONTENT Every week the Alumni Association of Princeton posts a link to the Princeton Alumni Weekly’s “Tiger of the Week”. This way alumni are able to see the great accomplishments of their fellow alumni on a weekly basis. CONTENT Another great example of Princeton’s “Tiger of the Week”.
Vanderbilt: FACEBOOK CONTENT The Vanderbilt Alumni Association has set up a tab on their Facebook page that makes it very easy to learn about their Travel Program. The tab even has a video that talks about the program. CONTENT The Vanderbilt Alumni Association also created a tab where alumni can give money just by clicking one button
<ul><li>PAGE COMPONENTS: </li></ul><ul><li>-Custom Landing Page </li></ul><ul><li>-Engaging Wall Content </li></ul><ul><li>-Company Information </li></ul><ul><li>-Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>-Sweepstakes/ Promotions </li></ul><ul><li>-Video/ Photos/ other media </li></ul><ul><li>-Favorites </li></ul><ul><li>-Apps </li></ul>FACEBOOK: BEST PRACTICES CUSTOM LANDING PAGE Visitors should be brought to a page that encourages them to “Like” the page (some call to action). Also provide relevant tabs such as Polls, Photo of the Week, Challenges (donation/support), Photos, Videos, Ringtones, and Travel Programs. FAVORITES Favorites can be used to help support other relevant pages (Magazines, Sports Pages, Causes). GUIDELINES Clearly posted community expectations for alumni, students, and others. VIDEO/ PHOTOS/ OTHER MEDIA Posting video and photos to a Facebook page can improve quality and visitor experience. Take advantage of the exposure by linking various social media channels to tabs (YouTube, Twitter). You can also encourage viewers to post their own content to increase interaction. CONTENT Content strategy should include a frequent posting calendar and relevant links, engaging articles and conversational messaging such as quizzing alumni (photo of the week), asking for summer plans, or featuring an Alumni of the Week.
Info page should be shorter with welcoming information that looks simple with the basic information and stated purpose of the page. Provide links to sites with other information. UNC Stanford FACEBOOK: BEST PRACTICES (Information Page)
<ul><li>Total views: 5,579 </li></ul><ul><li>CONTENT </li></ul><ul><li>Student videos and alumni interviews. There are few uploads and most all of them have the same format. </li></ul><ul><li>INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni Association information. </li></ul><ul><li>COMMENTS </li></ul><ul><li>Only one channel comment- very little interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>LINKS </li></ul><ul><li>No links to other social media or evidence of involvement in anything beyond YouTube. </li></ul><ul><li>ORGANIZATION </li></ul><ul><li>Only basic All, Uploads, Favorites options. </li></ul><ul><li>FAVORITES </li></ul><ul><li>Not used. </li></ul>Harvard: YOUTUBE
UNC: YOUTUBE CONTENT Instead of linking to a YouTube channel for the Alumni Association, UNC has a directory of every program that offers videos online with an easy way to search.
<ul><li>Total views: 32,358 </li></ul><ul><li>CONTENT </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni reunion weekends, student videos, alumni interviews, sports games, campus events, and keynote speakers. There are 23 uploads. </li></ul><ul><li>INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>Basic information on the Princeton Alumni Weekly. </li></ul><ul><li>COMMENTS </li></ul><ul><li>No comments on the page. </li></ul>Princeton: YOUTUBE FAVORITES 19 videos are listed under “favorites” ORGANIZATION Only basic All, Uploads, Favorites options. LINKS No links to other social media or evidence of involvement in anything beyond YouTube.
Kellogg: YOUTUBE Total Upload Views: 5, 992 CONTENT The Kellogg School of Management posts videos of news that showcases the impressive members of their faculty as well as student profiles. INFORMATION None. LINKS One link to the home website. COMMENTS None. ORGANIZATION They have Uploads and a Playlists tab, with only two subcategories. FAVORITES Not used.
<ul><li>PAGE COMPONENTS: </li></ul><ul><li>-Content (Videos) </li></ul><ul><li>-Company Information </li></ul><ul><li>-Organization Options </li></ul><ul><li>-Links to Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>-Favorites </li></ul>YOUTUBE: BEST PRACTICES <ul><li>ORGANIZATION OPTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>Implement a specialized background with a campus image and social media links </li></ul><ul><li>Playlist option allows viewers to search by video series based on customization and tags </li></ul><ul><li>Favorites used to play other peoples videos on the page and should host most interesting or relevant videos. </li></ul>COMPANY INFORMATION Basic information about the association and links to the home website. CONTENT (VIDEOS) Student videos Alumni Interviews Campus Events Speakers “ Viral” Videos (Kyle Singler Gets Buckets) The University of Phoenix has incredible engagement, organization, links, and 1,329,526 total upload views. Their feature video is a filmed lecture.
<ul><li>CONTENT </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions range from job seeking/advice, current events with UNC, and political/financial discussions. There is a lot of daily engagement on the group. </li></ul><ul><li>PROMOTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>There is a tab specifically dedicated to promotions. Alumni can advertise their own company’s products/services as well as any upcoming events. This is heavily used. </li></ul><ul><li>ADDITIONAL INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>The jobs tab is used little. There are only 2 jobs posted with 13,287 members. </li></ul>UNC Alumni: LINKEDIN
<ul><li>PAGE COMPONENTS: </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Organization Options </li></ul>LINKEDIN: BEST PRACTICES CONTENT There is opportunity for more engaging conversation on the group page. Periodically posting questions or referencing articles and asking for opinions could encourage more alumni to engage in the group page. OF NOTE A recent question surrounding education posed in the TED group attracted 1,432 comments and 517 likes.
<ul><li>CONTENT </li></ul><ul><li>10 total uploads from one user. </li></ul><ul><li>INTENT </li></ul><ul><li>This is an initial attempt to post videos of events held in New York. There is zero engagement and only 2 members. </li></ul><ul><li>ORGANIZATION </li></ul><ul><li>No event titles, just several photos. </li></ul>YAAMNY (Yale Alumni Association of Metropolitan New York): FLICKR
CONTENT On the Princeton Reunions Flickr page, photos of alumni and the many events at Princeton reunions are posted. Princeton: FLICKR
INTERACTION In the “Discussion” section of the Princetonians Flickr page, alumni have taken it upon themselves to start discussions. This section of the page is a great source of engagement for alumni. Princeton: FLICKR (cont)
<ul><li>PAGE COMPONENTS: </li></ul><ul><li>Content (Photos) </li></ul><ul><li>Company Information </li></ul><ul><li>Organization Options </li></ul>FLICKR: BEST PRACTICES ORGANIZATION (ALBUMS) Organize by interest, for example: Reunions, In the Community and Campus Events making it very easy for browsers to determine what they want to look at and find it without hassle. One album per event, each event promoted by date, most recent highest ranking. CONTENT Include albums not just devoted to Reunions, but also to other events involving alumni. COMPANY INFORMATION Include information about the Association and associated links on the home Flickr page.
<ul><li>ABOUT </li></ul><ul><li>Stanford does not run a blog of its own, but it provides a directory of other related blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>CONTENT </li></ul><ul><li>General opinion blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Advice on traveling/parenting </li></ul><ul><li>News related commentary </li></ul>Stanford: BLOG
Princeton: BLOG CONTENT Here “The Weekly Blog” tests its alumni’s knowledge of the Princeton campus by displaying an image and asking alumni what part of Princeton’s campus this image refers to. CONTENT Quite often a blog post is about the “Tiger of the Week”. In these posts, the bloggers choose an alumni and highlight that alum’s successes. LINKS To Twitter and Facebook are provided. PERSONALIZATION Pictures of the actual bloggers are displayed on the side of the page.
BLOG: BEST PRACTICES TITLE Clearly define the purpose STATS Track your views and other information with ALEXA and other software. FUNTIONALITY Easy to use RSS feed Easy to navigate organization Use of tags and archive LINKS Clearly links out to all other active forms of Social Media Twitter Facebook LinkedIn YouTube ABOUT Clearly identify the author(s) Gives a bio of authors as well as describing the relationship of the author to the company. CONTENT Regularly posted articles Interactive content to engage the reader
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION SOCIAL MEDIA SCORE CARD Name Twitter Account Twitter Followers Facebook “Likes” YouTube views Flickr Linked In Blog Mobile Harvard Alumni Association @HarvardAlumni @HarvardMagazing 6,899 9,882 X 5,651 X 2,647 14,896 (unofficial) X 2 Princeton Alumni Association (Princeton Alumni Weekly) @princetonalumni @PrincetonClubNY @PrincetonNYC @pawprinceton @ptonreunions 1,902 208 265 920 784 3,485 1,043 X 32,601 Y 3,731 X X Association of Yale Alumni (Yale Alumni Magazine) @YaleAlumni @Yalealumnimag 1,254 818 X 1,959 X X 1,579 X X Stanford Alumni Association (Stanford Magazine) @StanfordAlumni @stanfordmag @StanfordCareers 1,427 622 183 5,198 X X 17,514 X 1 UNC General Alumni Association @UNCGAA 3,220 40,862 X X 3,546 X X Northwestern Alumni Association @nualums @Northwesternmag 1,538 1,291 7784 51,379 X 21,961 X X Notre Dame Alumni Association @NDAlumni 2,301 6,744 X X 21,138 X Y Vanderbilt Alumni Association @VanderbiltAlum 394 3,307 300 Y 8,190 X X