Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Alumni, Analytics, Facebook, Higher Education, Recruitment, Research, Thoughts | Posted on 07-15-2008
I’ve been wracking my brains for a month now trying to figure out what happened, but it’s just an unexplained mystery. Nothing we did, just user-generated growth.
While presenting at the Innovative Educators Conference, I mentioned the Butler Facebook Page. I talked about how we had the name reserved, but weren’t really using it. And as I opened it, I said “I think it went over 200 Fans last night.” Sure enough, it was sitting there at 207 fans.
And during the days after the conference, I noticed the page views went way up. From 3-6/day to 80-100. “They must just be checking it out”, I figured. But the Fans were rising just as quickly. Surely the conference attendees weren’t become Fans of Butler University? So I check the recent fans, and sure enough they are all in the Butler network.
And the list keeps growing. And growing. It doubles within a week. I ask the Alumni office, they said nothing. No one in the Admission office did anything. When it hit 440 members on June 23rd, I figured I’d throw it into the Butler Class of 2012 group for fun. Now, my post is extremely outdated.
So what is the cause of this growth? And the bigger question, what should we do about it? Nothing? Are people joining the group to show their Butler pride on their Facebook profile? Do they like the group because there is no content?
The majority of members seem to be current students or alumni. Not exactly what I set out for it to be at first, but it’s still good that we have it in possession to utilize if we choose to. It seems that the group just snowballed one day. When you add the group, it puts the event on your mini-feed and other friends might see it on their home page.
I think right now I want to continue to grow the membership, add a little bit of content, and in a few years, hand it the keys over to the Alumni Office. What a resource that could be for them.