What do we mean when we say we want to “engage our alumni”? It depends on the institution and where you sit within the institution. If you’re operating your social channels from a Public Affairs or a campaign perspective, you may be trying to get university messaging about campaign priorities in front of alumni. If you’re doing it from an Annual Fund perspective, you could be taking baby steps towards actual solicitation via social channels, or you could be conveying stewardship messaging. If you’re doing it from an Alumni Affairs perspective, you might be trying to generate a critical mass of audience around a particular affinity or help promote an upcoming reunion. The point being, of course, that each of these units has goals that contribute toward broader institutional priorities. And unless you’re using the social platforms to advance these goals, you’re always going to have a hard time answering questions about ROI. It’s very easy to get distracted by new tools that are bright and shiny and treat them as ends in-and-of themselves, but as Andy Shaindlin has observed, your ultimate focus needs to be the behavior you want to cultivate, not the technology.
…Despite the current court battle that’s trying to quantify the value of a follower on Twitter, I don’t think we’re ever going to get anywhere trying to persuade people that there’s an innate value to a “like” on a fan page or a follower on Pinterest. If we’re being strategic, we need to ask the follow-up question of “Great. So how does that follower help you advance your unit’s goals?” From my team’s vantage point in Alumni Affairs and Development, we’ve concluded that we need to focus on using our suite of tools to enhance the footprint and amplify the impact of things that our organization is already doing well. For instance, we’ve spent lots of time and energy over the past year figuring out how to livestream live events to our Facebook audience. These are events that are already aligned with strategic priorities – if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be happening to start with. With just a modest, incremental investment of effort, we can take that event and make it available to an audience that is much broader than the live audience. The content that is already important enough to warrant an event is now accessible in real time around the globe.
Being able to report that we increased the size of the audience for an event by 175% and had viewers in 24 different countries lines up with existing metrics and goals in a way that saying that we increased our number of followers on Twitter by 8% simply does not. Sure, the two are related – the larger the audience on the social channels, the larger the audience for livestreams in that space – but one deals with priorities around which there is already consensus and one does not.
Social technologies “may become the most powerful tools yet developed to raise the productivity of high-skill knowledge workers — the kind of workers who help drive innovation and growth, and who are going to be in increasingly short supply.
This is one of the surprising takeaways from our recent research on the economic impact of social technologies. The business world knows (or thinks it knows) a lot about how social technologies are changing the world. With consumers spending gobs of time in online communities (more than 1.5 billion consumers around the globe have an account on a social networking site and almost one in five online hours is spent on social networks), marketing departments have increasingly shifted their attention to social media. They’re not only advertising and creating their own social sites, they’re engaging with consumers, listening in on unfiltered conversations, and soaking up huge amounts of data on consumer behavior — all of which is producing nifty new insights for fine-tuning product requirements and marketing messages.
It’s powerful stuff that will continue to evolve and change the way that companies market to consumers and B2B customers. But, it turns out that there’s something even more powerful at play: the potential for value creation when social technologies are used to improve collaboration and communication within and across enterprises is twice as big as the value that can be created through all other uses across the value chain.
In their Digital Journalism Study, Oriella surveyed 600 journalists and discovered that more than half (55 percent) used social channels such as Twitter and Facebook to find stories from known sources, and 43 percent verified existing stories using these tools.
26 percent of respondents said that they used social media to find stories from sources they did not know, and almost one in five (19 percent) verified work in progress from sources unknown to them.
The figures are even higher in the UK, with 75 percent of journalists using social media to research news from known sources.
It’s as if your clients or customers had called you on the phone to tell you how awesome they thought you were, and you said, “Hey thanks!” and then hung up.
In social media, your audience can’t see that you’re actually still standing there waiting for the next engagement volley. “Thanks!” pretty much says, “We’re done here,” so they move on. In order to get them to stick around, it’s up to you to add cues or prompts to your initial answer to keep the conversation moving forward (now, or in the future).
For example these are door opening comments …
Thanks for your comment! What’s the link to the post you wrote on this topic?
LOL! Next time you’re in town, let me know. I’d love to buy you coffee.
That’s a great suggestion. What else can we do to improve our site?
Too true. You have such great insights on this. Ever consider guest blogging?
You can find that info on our website. Are there any questions I could answer for you right now?
The spreading of a trend or behavior in a social network is a very active area of research. One very important model of trend spreading is the “tipping” model. With tipping, an individual in a network adopts a trend if at least half (or some other proportion) of his or her friends have previously done so. An important problem in viral marketing is to find a “seed set” of individuals in the social network. If all members of a “seed set” in a social network initially adopt a certain trend, then a cascade initiates through the tipping model which results in the entire population adopting that trend. So, if a viral marketer wants to provide free samples of a product to certain individuals, a seed set is likely a good place to start.
The dirty secret social-media gurus won’t reveal is that Facebook likes are becoming a devalued currency. Facebook now receives 1.17 trillion likes and comments from consumers annually, which works out to 3.5 per Facebook user per day. Forty-two million Facebook pages now have 10 or more likes. In a world where liking is as common as blinking, a like no longer signals that a consumer loves your brand.
The third, most glaring challenge regarding Facebook is that most brands stink at maintaining coherent conversations with Facebook users after they are liked. I recently tested a dozen big brands, including Apple (AAPL), Bank of America (BAC), Starbucks (SBUX), and others, “liking” them on Facebook to see how they would respond. I then checked into Facebook 31 times over the next week, each time scrolling back through several hours of friends’ posts, to see which brands would reach out to me. On average, the brands I had liked engaged with me 0.6 times over seven days—an awful performance, given the basic marketing precept that three or four interactions are required per week to trigger consumer response. I liked you, Zappos (AMZN)—and you didn’t return my call.
Finally, personalizing brand interactions on Facebook is difficult. When brands respond to Facebook users who like them, what consumers typically get is a one-size-fits-all promotion for everyone. University of Phoenix (APOL) showed up in my Facebook feed after I liked them; the school offered teaching certification, while my Facebook profile says I work in advertising. Um, no thanks. Pepsi (PEP) popped up with an extended version of its latest TV ad. Thanks, Pepsi, but if I want your TV spot, I’ll turn on the tube. Liking these brands and receiving this level of “engagement” felt like asking a girl for a kiss and being handed a business card.
- RT @nathanvickers: I am having a great day and this is still awesome. twitter.com/BabyAnimalPics… cc @ayhiggs @bekiweki @Jenny_Newman 1 year ago
- RT @starfishncoffee: Not helpful if you just avoid rejection altogether by not bothering to try. psychcentral.com/blog/archives/… 1 year ago
- Is there a way to anchor the snipping tool to my task tray??? @ohdeargodwhy #HelpDesk 1 year ago
- @spaceappsnextgen Are non-high school students welcome to observe Space Apps Next Gen NYC? 1 year ago
- RT @arrenbas: Caffeinated pacifiers. #BadSharkTankPitches @midnight 1 year ago
- RT @trendtopicsusa: Omaha 1 #SHESKINDAHOTMUSICVIDEO 2 Drake 3 #TOU15 4 #Nebraska 5 #StoryOfMyLifeIn4Words 6 #BachelorInParadise 1 year ago
- RT @trendtopicsusa: Phoenix 1 #BadSharkTankPitches 2 Rihanna 3 #OVOFest 4 #SYTYCD 5 #SHESKINDAHOTMUSICVIDEO 7 Hayden 8 Waymo 1 year ago
- RT @KristinMCoppens: A1: A brand only becomes social when they engage and build relationships on social media. Just having accounts isn't... 1 year ago