Generational Online Activity Differences
12-17 18-28 29-40 41-50 51-59 60-69 70+
Send Email Instant Message Research a School Text Message Read Blogs
Pew Internet and American Life, 2005
Today the most important conversation
is not the marketing monologue but
the dialogue between your audience.
0.0 1.0 1.5 2.0
In the Beginning Adult Enrollment Growth The Internet Today
Admissions as Aggressive Marketing Campaigns College Websites
Paper-Processing Brochures, Catalogs, Corporate Visits Online Apps
Department Open House Programs, Outdoor Ads Email Campaigns
2.0 Recruiting Revolution
You are no longer in control of the conversation.
who, when & how
It’s all about making
Which is different from just being “interactive”
Fix Your Website
Strong, consistent brand image
Focus on future customers
Obvious, consistent navigation (from home page)
Stories, not just facts
Update frequently (reason to return)
Tell Better Stories
Stories not Stats. People not Programs.
Must be real, unique and recent.
Let “them” tell the story!
BTW: Can’t be authentic & have editorial control
Online diary where readers may comment
on posts made on typically focused topics.
Blogs & Diaries
Entries should be short
More than just text - add pictures!
Hire bloggers with interesting things to tell
Create expectations - don’t censor
Encourage interaction through comment posts
Offer RSS feed option
Single location for sharing, connecting
and meeting online.
e.g. MySpace, Facebook, Beebo, Ning
It’s called MySpace, not YourSpace
Trend is away from MySpace -> Facebook
Encourage grad assistants to share info on their Facebook
Create your own college’s branded social site
(possibly replacing blogs & message boards)
More than 110 million unique users
Heavy emphasis on “fantasy”, multiple personalities
Showcases interests in music or film
1/2 of MySpace users are over 35 years old!
Age 18-24 make up only 17% of users
Transition to Facebook as students enter High School
60 million active users (250,000 new per day)
Begins with relationships & limits multiple personalities
6th highest trafficked site in USA
Fastest growth are those over 25 years old
Lots of free “applications” to enhance sharing
New focus on social advertising & brand sharing
Synchronous text conversations
Can also be audio or video too!
What’s So Unique About it?
Compared to Email ... it’s realtime (synchronous)
Compared to the Phone ... it’s text only
Compared to a Letter ... it’s very short
Compared to In-Person ... location doesn’t matter
Why They Choose One Over the Other
Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology, July 2005
What We Use to Talk
Email to “Old People”
IM Conversations with
Make it an available option
It’s an Opportunity, not a Disruption
Use away message (include email address)
Promote screen name (bcards, website, etc.)
AIM at least (MSN & Yahoo as options)
Distributed Digital Media File
Often Audio & Sometimes Video
Ability to Subscribe & Automatically Receive
What makes it unique?
The ability to subscribe to a “podcast show”
Receive new “shows” when they become available
Started around August 2004
by Dave Winer & Adam Curry
Do I need an Apple iPod to listen to Podcasts?
You don’t even need a portable MP3 player
You can listen to Podcasts on your computer
Number of Podcasts Available in iTunes
Apple Quarterly Earnings Webcast, January 2008
22% Have Heard of Podcasting
11% Listen to Podcasts (27 million people)
50+% 35 Years or Younger
Arbitron, April 2006
What are Colleges Doing?
Still in “testing” mode
Effectiveness is still unknown
Student Interviews/Roundtable Discussions
What’s Happening on Campus
Sports, Music, Department Talkshows
Events & Presentations On-Campus
Do other things well first
Consider time to record, produce and host
Determine frequency you can commit to
Make it real (um’s and ah’s are ok)
Promote it on iTunes
Short & sweet content
Strong, targeted call-to-action
“From” familiar to recipients
Obvious subject line - not cute
Limited HTML (or text-only)
Measure results & adjust accordingly
Collect their Name & Email Address
Get Student’s Permission, of course
Expect them and Embrace them at events
Invite them to online chats, blogs, etc.
Stage Better Experiences
Recreate Campus Visits, Receptions and Events
Make them Memorable. Make them Interesting.
Set the Expectations. Understand Visitor’s Needs.
Customize the Visit When Possible.
Eliminate Negative Cues - Now!
Get Together with Undergraduate Admissions on This
Remember, you’re not in control.
Remember, they don’t trust marketers.
Remember, they are talking about you anyways.
Remember, they want to figure out the truth.
Remember, their parents are talking about you too.