This post was originally published on .eduGuru on August 22, 2011.
We at Emerson College created and tracked multiple Facebook communities for our applicants accepted for 2011 enrollment. They included Facebook Pages, a Facebook Group, and Inigral’s Schools App:
- Emerson College Class of 2015 Facebook Page
- Emerson Class of 2015 Facebook Group (created by accepted students)
- Emerson College Inigral Schools App on Facebook (more information on Schools App)
- Emerson College Orientation 2011-2012 Facebook Page
To get a better understanding of the use of these communities, I reached out to our accepted students through Facebook with a brief survey. The findings below are compiled from the 93 accepted students that completed the survey.
Among the findings:
- 59% of respondents joined all three of the major communities: Emerson College Class of 2015 Facebook Page, Emerson Class of 2015 Facebook Group, and the Emerson College Inigral Schools App on Facebook.
- 52% of respondents followed @EmersonCollege on Twitter
- The most popular use of the Emerson College Class of 2015 Facebook Page was to “Ask questions and get answers from Emerson staff and current students”
- The Emerson Class of 2015 Facebook Group was popular for “General conversation with other accepted students”
- Accepted students found the Emerson College Inigral Schools App on Facebook most helpful in “Finding other accepted students on Facebook”
Social Media Community Membership
- Social Media Community Membership Totals
Breakdown of Facebook Community Activities
- Most popular activities of accepted students on our Facebook Page
- Most popular activities of accepted students on the Facebook Group
- Most popular activities of accepted students on Emerson College’s Inigral Schools App
Facebook Community Membership and Impact on College Choice
Accepted students responded with very distinct uses for each Facebook community. Our accepted students primarily visited the Facebook Page to get answers and updates from the Admission Office while using the Facebook Group for general conversation and the Inigral Schools App to find each other on Facebook.
The Schools App was presented to the students as an easier way to connect with others on Facebook by major, hometown or interest – a task often tedious when searching through a Facebook Page or Group wall. A benefit of the Schools App for the Admission Office was the ability to export data on student membership and usage within the app. For example, if you wanted to use Schools App data to assist with enrollment modeling, you could find trends in a student’s “join date” or “Facebook friends at Emerson” and use it to help calculate their likelihood of enrolling.
Now that we know accepted students want to join Facebook communities before entering college, our next step is to use the right platform for the right goals. In a previous post, I had a conversation with Lougan Bishop about differences between running Facebook Pages and Groups for accepted students. How are you using Facebook to welcome your students? Are you noticing differences in how students use Facebook Pages vs. Groups? Are you using a Facebook app like Inigral’s Schools App to utilize more features or assist with enrollment prediction? Please give your thoughts in the comments below.