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Social Media Analytics of Linked-In Network Identifies Key Prospects


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This case study describes a strategy and tactic to use Linked In to identify highly targeted leads in the world of fund-raising.

Published in: Business, Education, Technology

Social Media Analytics of Linked-In Network Identifies Key Prospects

  1. 1. C ASE S TUDY:S TR ATEGY Social Network Analysis Reveals Hidden Gems & Landmines How One Institution Used Linked-In To Identify Good Prospective Donors Summary: As it prepared for a big fund raising effort, one university applied social network strategy to use Linked-In to fine tune its pre-launch prospecting and hone its targeting. As a result, it uncovered alumni who knew which other alumni to approach, found new prospective donors to approach and revealed potential donor landmines to avoid. C ASE T H E C HALLENGE S TUDY: A university prepared for a major fundraising effort. With a donor base in the tens or S TR ATEGY hundreds of thousands it needed to determine the most efficient way to make sure it had current and accurate information about the capacity of potential donors to give. O C T. 2008 NO. 1003 The goal is to identify which active donors are prospects to increase their contribution and which are at risk of decreasing it? This information lets the school evaluate the total amount it can raise and determine the number of gifts it needs at specific dollar amounts– i.e. how to define its donor pyramid; especially the top and middle. It needs to identify discretely and confidentially new and past alumni donors who may or may not be financially able to make medium or large donations. The school had to find alumni likely to know which other alumni to solicit, and which to leave alone. In the past, it asked alumni who made big donations these questions. C O M PA N Y: UN- T H E S OL UTION –W H AT W E DID DISCLOSED But, using social network analysis, we demonstrated that the size of a donation does I N D U S T R Y: not correlate highly to knowing a person’s donation capacity. We used networking FUND websites, a.k.a. “social media,” to develop innovations to 50% R AISING; identify prospective donors. 45% 46% 40% HIGHER First, we applied the strategic insight taught by social 35% E D U C AT I O N network analysis; that highly connected alumni should be % a g e o f Alu m n i 30% chosen early to ask these questions; regardless of how PROFILE: much money they gave. They know who feels close to the 25% TOP R ANKED school or to classmates, who started a new business or lost 20% 20% 19% U.S. a job, and who is focused on finance-affecting family issues; 15% COLLEGE e.g. divorce or health. “Connectors” are likely to know who in 10% 10% 5% the alumni body are open to being approached and those 0% who are not. 10 35 3% 1% 1% 75 150 250 400 Connection Range The school did not systematically identify any alumni as 500 Source: Bruce E. Segal “Connectors.” We showed they are easy to find on Linked-In and are as well connected off-line to other alumni. Then we developed a process to build several lists using Linked-In to find alumni with the top 60 Linked-In networks, and thus let the institution discreetly and confidentially approach them. Bruce E. Segal ● 610-667-8188 ●
  2. 2. Page 2 of 2 Second, we developed a process to use Linked-In to sub-segment the highly connected alumni into those who feel an affinity for the institution, and those who do not. In the 5.0% 4.5% process, we revealed alumni the school did not 4.0% know felt close affinity because they connect 3.5% through classmates and were inactive alumni. 3.0% We used this process to create a contact list 2.5% of alumni with warm feelings for the school. 2.0% 1.5% Lastly, we developed a systematic and 1.0% repeatable business process using Linked-In to 0.5% 5 WW2 4 Boomer 3 Millenial/Gen X 2 Gen Y update these lists and the school’s internal 0.0% data with current information. On an on-gong 1950 1963 1966 1967 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 basis, the school could validate and update its Source: Bruce E. Segal internal information against data from Linked-In. Plus we showed the generational distribution of alumni on Linked-In. It looms large. Did you just ask yourself How did he do…that? Would you like to learn the details? Call or email Bruce for “How We Did It,” the companion piece. See “How We Did It” below. T H E R ESULT – S T R AT E G Y. TA C T I C S . A C T I O N ! In a short time, the school found alumni most likely to know which other alumni to approach for medium to large donations. It discovered alumni to approach it previously did not know, found known alumni it might have otherwise skipped and revealed landmines of alumni not to ask. It updated its database with current information as well as expanded it with new information. And it began to understand generational differences in alumni with profiles on a major social networking website. Strategy: Identify alumni most likely to know who to approach for donations based on social network analysis–who is a connector outside of the alumni body–and not solely how much money they last gave. Connectors are likely to know many people across the alumni body. Tactics: Identify alumni who Use Linked-In (an online networking or “social media” channel) to augment the internal database. Use it to identify connected and trusted alumni it did not know existed and add them to its database. And use it to update alumni already in its database with new information from Linked-In. Results: Use Linked-In social network analysis to fine tune pre-launch prospecting and hone targeting. Generate targeted and focused list of donor prospects, additional connector-sources and validate them against house list. Identify alumni with Linked-In profiles by generation. Expand initial list from the top 60 alumni connectors to the top 150 or more. Use the consolidated lists of connectors, donors to approach or leave alone to start campaign. Then after launch, measure results by money generated. H O W W E D ID I T Did you ask yourself “How’d he do that?” Want to learn the details? Call or email Bruce E. Segal for the companion piece “How We Did It.” To include those details here makes this Case Study too long. To learn how Bruce Segal can put strategic insights like this to work for you and help you achieve similar results, call Bruce at 610-667-8188, or e-mail . Bruce E. Segal ● 610-667-8188 ● 1003 ESQunltd Case Study Strat Using LinkedIn.doc