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Topline Report on 2012 Social Media & Advancement Research


Topline Report on 2012 Social Media & Advancement Research

Jun 19, 2012By Michael Stoner

I’m delighted to share the just-released topline findings from the third annual Survey of Social Media in Advancement, conducted by mStoner in partnership with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Slover Linett Strategies. This document contains demographic data from respondents and a raft of tables and data.

This study, which focuses on how institutions manage social media activities related to advancement, was designed and conducted by Slover Linett. The 2012 survey was distributed to CASE members in the US and abroad. Most are college and university professionals working in advancement, development, marketing, alumni relations, and other areas. This year’s response was the largest to date, with 1,187 respondents.

We’re working with our partners there and at CASE on a white paper to be released in July. The white paper will provide a look at deeper some of these results, with a strong focus on how institutions are using social media in campaigns. Half the institutions that responded are using social media channels as an integral part of campaigns, with outcomes that range from boosting attendance at events to raising money. We’ll include about half-a-dozen case studies of campaigns in the white paper.

In addition, the findings offer a view into the practices that the top 25 per cent of respondents are using to achieve success in their social media activities. Here are some factors that contribute to their success:

  • Having a plan: Institutions are more likely to see success if they have specific goals, developed policies and act with focus when using social media tools.
  • Being supported: Institutional buy-in, in-house expertise and departmental control of social media efforts all contribute to feelings of success. More staffing doesn’t hurt either.
  • Thinking outside the box: Going beyond just Facebook (incorporating Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, blogs, etc.) and targeting audiences other than students (including media, employers, guidance counselors and parents) also lead to success with social media.

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  • Michael Stoner Co-Founder and Co-Owner Was I born a skeptic or did I become one as I watched the hypestorm gather during the dotcom years, recede, and congeal once more as we come to terms with our online, social, mobile world? Whatever. I'm not much interested in cutting edge but what actually works for real people in the real world. Does that make me a bad person?