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Social Networking: What is it and where does it fit in the Alumni world? HigherEdBlogCon April 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Networking: What is it and where does it fit in the Alumni world? HigherEdBlogCon April 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Networking: What is it and where does it fit in the Alumni world? HigherEdBlogCon April 2006

2 Go Gators! 2006 NCAA Mens Basketball National Champions

3 What is Social Networking? What are the benefits to the alum? What are the benefits to Alumni Organizations? Where does the Social Network fit? Case Study: University of Florida Agenda

4 Social Network: A structure made of nodes (individuals) which are connected to one another through various social relationships -Small World Experiment, Stanley Milgram -Strength of Weak Ties, Mark Granovetter 6 Degrees of Separation (or Kevin Bacon) Definition

5 Primary Functions Search -Beyond static Communicate -Alum to alum Concept: Who I am and who I know Functionality

6 Open/Public: Anyone can join -Facebook (.edu address doesnt authenticate a name and class year) -Linkedin -MySpace -Friendster Closed and Branded: Restricted access and branded for a specific organization Based on trusted University brand Integration with University database -inCircle Privacy Settings: Strict opt-in settings keep information private until user opts to share with friends, friends of friends, etc. Types

7 Social Networking in Higher Education Private Networks Combine * Dynamic * Branded * Authenticated * Secure * Integrated * Scalable No Authentication Lack Privacy Lack Security Lack Affinity Advertising Public Social Networks Traditional Alumni Solutions Print Focus Static Directories Slow Development Not Scalable Not User Friendly Authenticated, Trusted Social Network with your Brand at the center

8 Technology Attitude Place a high value on science and technology Take technological advances of the 90s for granted Think not enough technology in the world today They are the now generation; have not learned to be patient Generational Shift In greater world and higher ed Impact on Communication Styles -Want electronic, online communications Definitions of Community are changing Community Connectivity Availability Understanding Millennials

9 Generational Landscape WW Silent Boomers X-ers Millennials Books Newspapers Radio Newspapers Radio TV Pinball wizards TV Audiotapes VCRs Videogames Cell phones Personalized multimedia Instant communication Internet Source: Narissa Bentley, University of Melbourne

10 Technology Trends Ubiquitous Technology Technology is being embraced by your constituents - now take advantage of it! AOL Survey, November 2005 Two-thirds of year olds use IM more than Forrester Research, December % of year olds use IM compared to 32% of adults

11 Recent Graduate Trends US population of college graduates continues to rise Between 1990 and 2004 the proportion of adults with a bachelors degree increased from 21% to 28% -Institute of Education Sciences U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics: Digest of Education Statistics, % of US population = approximately 84 million alumni Single biggest concern of recent college graduates is finding a job/career 83% ranked a career center as somewhat or very important for web sites targeting recent college graduates 2005 eGrad Graduate Survey, Y2M: Youth Media and Marketing Networks, January 2006

12 Applicant Student Recent (0-15yrs) Mature (Professional/Family) Senior (Retired) Alumni Distribution Alumni Life Cycle Santa Clara University 45% 50% 5% - Santa Clara University, 2005

13 Where does a Social Network fit? Alumni Communications: Organization to Alumni Alumni to Alumni Static Applications will no longer attract your alumni The Centerpiece of your offering must be dynamic and individualized

14 Thank You

15 University of Florida Alumni AssociationGator Nation Network Katie Seay Director of Membership and Marketing, UF Alumni Association Case Study

16 UFAA Case Study Background Motivations Social Networking Value Implementation Measuring Success

17 Who is the UFAA? Established in 1906 Over 300,000 Alumni 50 States 100 Countries Successful Programs Gator Clubs Student Alumni Association Back to College Affinity credit card, travel, merchandise

18 Our Mission Foster and enhance the relationship between the University of Florida and its alumni and friends Support the University's mission of teaching, research, and service

19 Overall goals for Alumni Services Build & Sustain relationships among alumni Increase interaction between alumni and current students Gather updated information Satisfy alumni needs Services offered need to be functional Services must be consistent with our overall mission

20 Previous Offerings UFAA web site Online Directory UF Today Magazine Gator Clubs Gator News newsletter Outreach Speakers Program

21 Changing Trends Successful Outreach requires new methods Increasing demand for electronic and online communication Need to have compelling features/services that are actually useful Services need to be real-time to match user expectations

22 GNN Value Exclusive social networking environment Find and communicate with fellow alumni Simple, fun, always available Share photos, blogs, thoughts Find jobs, housing, advice, etc. Stay in touch/re-connect with fellow alumni Offer valuable service to our students and alumni Integration with our legacy database for data collection Promotes our Brand Scalable technology allows for rapid feature enhancements, no work for UFAA staff Easy to launch, very minimal setup time/effort, maintained by AEI Content created by users, no work for UFAA staff For the UserFor the UFAA

23 Value to Alum User-centric Relevant & Individualized Dynamic Content Valuable Information and Opportunities Private & Trusted All Users are Authenticated Relationship Based

24 Reconnect Classmates Organization Relocate Regional Chapters Roommates Advice Find Services Jobs Experts Share Media Photos Blogs Journals Messages Alum Use Cases

25 User Profile

26 Industry Groups

27 Mapping your network

28 Jobs

29 Value to Institution Mission Connecting alumni with each other and university Data Contact updates collected Integration with backend database Integration with institutional communication tools Brand All value derived by users goes to us Leverage Alums helping alums Scale Technology moves fast We want to stay on the forefront

30 Alumni Participation More and Better Alumni Data Engaging Alumni Services Better Services = More User Data = Enhanced Marketing Efficacy Value to Association GNN

31 Social Networking & UFAA June 1, 2005: UFAA online offerings Web site Broadcast communications Online Directory Gator Clubs Why social networking? Grassroots alumni connections Targeted pre-qualified networking Updated contact information Connect Undergrads and Alumni for professional opportunities Why Affinity Engines? Market leader for private label social networks Established product and customer list Closed and exclusive to Alumni & Friends from Florida All users are authenticated The UFAA receives all resulting data updates Strengthens Gator Nation Brand

32 Affinity Engines Implementation Evaluation process Technology that works Staying current, incorporating new technology Vendor relationship Technology Partnership Product enhancements Client Services Implementation timeline Signed: June 2005 Site delivered: August 2005 Launched: November 2005 Additional In-office Resources 10 hours of customer service a week (registration and other issues)

33 Measuring Success More Alumni involvement On & Off-line Helping Alumni find jobs Data Updates User Registrations Site Traffic

34 GNN Stats Over 13,500 Registered Users Over 800,000 Profile views Over 220,500 Personal information updates (phone, , interest, etc.) Over 150,000 friend invites sent with 85% acceptance rate Over 500 Groups created 385,000 page views in March

35 Customer Feedback Jason, Class of 91 The Gator Nation Network is the most effective way to communicate and network with fellow Gators. It has been an excellent tool for me to make connections. Mark, Class of 90 I wanted to let you know that GNN is a great way for alums to stay connected with old friends and to UF. I live in South Florida and really enjoy the social and professional networking opportunities afforded through this tool. Thanks for creating this fabulous network. Stefanie, Class of '98 Being out of the country, GNN is the best way to stay connected to the Gator Nation. It has also been helpful in finding Gators in other parts of the world. I love it! Sarah, Class of 2006 Being in school when facebook was popular, GNN is a great way for younger alumni to stay connected to UF. It is also the best professional and social community out there.

36 Thank You! Go Gators!

37 Affinity Engines, Inc. Abe Geiger (650) UFAA Katie Seay Director of Membership and Marketing (352)

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