Facebook Class of 2012: 6 Months Later

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Free, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Social Media, Technology, Thoughts | Posted on 07-03-2008

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I have now been tracking the Butler Class of 2012 Facebook Group for 6 months. For more background, check these posts:

I have also set up a new page that will dynamically refresh as the weeks continue, and include more in-depth charts by month. You can find the Class of 2012 Research page here.

Here’s the chart after 6 months, which is tracking Members, Wall Posts, and Discussion Posts:


(Click to enlarge)

(View full spreadsheet here)
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(While you’re at it, Subscribe to SquaredPeg here. :) )

Again, for reference, the Butler Class of 2011 group ended with: 750 members, 2817 wall posts, and 2135 discussion posts. The Class of 2012 group stands at 405 members, 820 wall posts, and 719 discussion posts with 2 months remaining until move-in. I am not sure if this group will reach the same numbers as last year’s group. Neither of the 2 years have been promoted/mentioned by Butler Admission, it is all word-of-mouth by the students.

They even gave me a title in the group: Tha Govna.

Overall the discussion has been going great, and there is a lot of cross-collaboration going on between the Facebook group and the BUForums. Here are just a few examples:

1) Student asks what to bring. I direct to a post on the forums from a blogger that compiled a list. I could have also directed the student to another thread started by incoming students, but it was a week after the post on Facebook.

As a result, we had 80 students in 4 days click through from Facebook to the BUForums. They stuck around and averaged nearly 16 other pages on their visit.

The conversation swings both ways. Students are gathering information from the BUForums and then using it on the Facebook group to help answer questions.

I wonder where she got that information? :)

I love how ‘I saved nearly’ became ‘it will save you nearly’. Close enough.

So it just goes to show, communities on an Admission site and Facebook can coexist peacefully.

But seriously, check out the timestamps on the Facebook discussion. One student asks the question at 8:33pm, and the other student answers it at 10:11pm. Less than 2 hours on a Tuesday night. Shame on me for not getting to it first. I blame it on not having my iPhone.

I will be compiling a mini-case study on the BUForums and Facebook group for the ‘Join the Conversation’ pre-conference workshop at eduWeb in a few weeks. I hope to see you there!

Comments posted (4)

So, what have you hypothesized about the lower numbers year to year?

Do your counselors participate in the BUForums or in the class group?

“communities on an Admission site and Facebook can coexist peacefully”

No doubt that is true.

Here’s my bias. By active promotion, the number of incoming students a college can get to join and participate in a group on a popular social network (i.e. Facebook at the moment) is likely greater than the COMBINED number of students joining a college’s officially promoted in-house Web community and an outside, non-promoted Facebook group.

When you’re putting in the time and effort, might as well get the best results out of it :)

How many people in the Facebook group at the moment? How many deposits for the 2012 class?

It would be interesting to see the percentage in the group, even though some of the Facebook group members have probably opted to go elsewhere and simply haven’t removed themselves from the group yet. (It’s simple to leave a group in Facebook. Some remember to leave the group eventually, some don’t. Admins can remove these people, of course.)

That’s a distinction from school-hosted forums, where members can’t easily leave. (Again, admins can removes their account.) In essence, membership in school-hosted forums is inflated, and the ratio of members-to-deposits is probably less useful for the forums.

Has anyone posted a link from the BUForums to the Facebook group. That’s promotion of the Facebook group in a somewhat-sanctioned manner, even if not done by a Butler staffer.

here’s a neat concept we’re actually working through currently. We’re building a tool that will allow our clients to have their own application they can offer to students via facebook (OR through the admissions site).

Students can use the app to tell the school their interests and it will push related content (program info, events, etc) to the student’s facebook page. OH yea..and log all that data in a CRM for stats/reporting.

Sorry if that came off like a pitch!! It’s vapor-ware currently, but obviously we’re excited about a launch!

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