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

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

  1. 1. Creating a Virtual Community<br />Using Social Media to Connect With Students, Prospects and Alumni<br />District 3 Conference <br /> October 7, 2010<br /> Anthony Juliano <br />
  2. 2. Hello!<br />
  3. 3. Anthony Juliano, MA, MBA<br /><ul><li> Social media strategist
  4. 4. Higher education</li></ul> marketing consultant<br /><ul><li> Adjunct faculty, Indiana</li></ul> Tech and IPFW<br />
  5. 5. [and bad]<br />Good <br />news<br />
  6. 6. “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.”<br />- Caroline Haythornthwaite, Ph.D. University of Illinois<br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8. The key: use social media to serve as a resource to students, prospects and alumni<br />
  9. 9. “You can buy attention (advertising).<br />You can beg for attention from the media (public relations).<br />You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales).<br />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.”<br />- David Meerman Scott<br />
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12. 10 sites and tools to connect with students, prospects and alumni<br />
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15. Having a Facebook page ≠<br />Having a Facebook strategy<br />
  16. 16. Why do Facebook users “Like” a page?<br /><ul><li>They want discounts/freebies
  17. 17. They want to celebrate their association with the brand
  18. 18. They want to be heard
  19. 19. They want to interact with their peers</li></li></ul><li>What happens on a successful Facebook page?<br /><ul><li>The brand posts often enough to stimulate conversation, but…
  20. 20. Most of the conversation happens among the audience, and…
  21. 21. Questions are answered promptly (and sometimes even by the audience)</li></li></ul><li>So, what’s the right strategy for your Facebook page?<br /><ul><li>Prospect cultivation? (Giving them a glass against the wall)
  22. 22. Answering student questions?
  23. 23. Engaging alumni?</li></ul>It’s up to you—what’s right for your audience, and<br />what can you support with resources.<br />
  24. 24.
  25. 25. “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<br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27. Discussion boards<br />
  28. 28.
  29. 29.
  30. 30. What Ivy Tech does well with its discussion group<br /><ul><li>Responds quickly
  31. 31. Filters spam but allows dissent
  32. 32. Connects posters to peers</li></ul>The result: efficiencies, thousands of questions answered and students satisfied<br />
  33. 33.
  34. 34. Potential blog topics<br />Faculty authors – subject matter expertise<br />Staff authors – giving the institution a name/face, answering FAQs<br />Student authors – conversations about what they’re learning, giving prospects the chance to hear from peers<br />Leadership authors<br />
  35. 35.
  36. 36.
  37. 37. Best for:<br /><ul><li>Customer service
  38. 38. Short-shelf-life information</li></ul>- Events, important deadlines/dates<br /><ul><li>Listening</li></li></ul><li>
  39. 39. Pitfalls:<br /><ul><li>Tweets are VERY perishable
  40. 40. Labor intensive; many users burn out quickly
  41. 41. About 60% abandon Twitter within 6 mos.</li></ul>(controversy over this number)<br /><ul><li>85.3% of all Twitter users post less than one</li></ul>update/day<br /><ul><li>21% of users have never posted a Tweet
  42. 42. 10% of users account for 90% of tweets
  43. 43. Easy to get lost in the shuffle
  44. 44. Your audience may not be there</li></li></ul><li>
  45. 45.
  46. 46. Benefits of a YouTube Channel<br /><ul><li>Good video is often more compelling than text
  47. 47. Great for demonstration, instruction, entertainment
  48. 48. You can cross promote
  49. 49. Promotes your brand
  50. 50. The audience is already there</li></li></ul><li>Pitfalls<br /><ul><li>The bar is set very high
  51. 51. Requires bandwidth
  52. 52. Requires skill and an investment in technology
  53. 53. Comments won’t always be friendly</li></li></ul><li>
  54. 54.
  55. 55. Pros<br />Perfect if your primary goal is sharing photos<br />Easy to use, limited labor<br />Easy to collaborate and invite the audience to upload photos<br />Cons<br /><ul><li>Hard to build a community around a Flickr page
  56. 56. Likely needs to be used as part of a larger strategy</li></li></ul><li>Niche<br />social networks<br />
  57. 57. 2 MILLION MEMBERS<br />
  58. 58.
  59. 59. [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.<br />- Jesse Stanchak,SmartBlog on Social Media<br />
  60. 60.
  61. 61. LinkedIn for your current students<br /><ul><li>Helps students build their CV
  62. 62. Prepares students for the new job market
  63. 63. Gives you the opportunity to recommend outstanding work</li></li></ul><li>80% of companies use social media <br />for recruitment<br />95% of these companies use LinkedIn<br />Source: Erik Qualman, Socialnomics<br />
  64. 64. LinkedIn for alumni<br /><ul><li>Follow alumni progress
  65. 65. Cultivate alumni mentors
  66. 66. Create a group to stay connected</li></li></ul><li>
  67. 67.
  68. 68. “Imagine a social networking site geared<br />specifically toward connecting college students<br />with their on-campus academic and social<br />communities. Sound familiar? Those are<br />Facebook's roots [and] they're also the roots<br />of Scoop, a forthcoming mobile social app.”<br />- “The Next Facebook: Scoop?” PC World, Aug. 24, 2010<br />
  69. 69.
  70. 70. Keys to success<br /><ul><li>Don’t try to do it all—use the tools that best fit your audience’s needs and available resources</li></ul>- Do 1 thing well first, then add<br /><ul><li>Have a clear leader—ideally CMO
  71. 71. Respect the audience’s time
  72. 72. Keep mindset in mind—mitigate distractions
  73. 73. Respect boundaries
  74. 74. Establish community standards
  75. 75. Remember: it’s a two-way street
  76. 76. HAVE A STRATEGY—don’t just throw something up against the wall (or the Facebook wall)</li></li></ul><li>“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.”<br />- Vineet Madan, Panelist, “The Future of Social Media in Higher Education”<br />
  77. 77.
  78. 78. Questions?<br />
  79. 79. Thanks!<br /><br />(260) 615.3426<br /><br /> If you enjoyed this presentation, please recommend me on<br />