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1 American Marketing Association 2010 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education Me, Text Me, Facebook Me: Mobile and Social Communication Preferences in the Neomillennial College Search Presented by Robert J. Alexander, Associate Provost for Enrollment, University of the Pacific Anne Dodson, Senior Analyst, Royall & Company

2 To explore: Research Objectives students use of different communication technologies the role of social media and Web 2.0 technologies in students college search students expectations regarding social media use for student recruitment best channels for communicating with prospective students

3 Definitions of Key Terms Neomillennials commonly used to refer to the latest generation; youth particularly immersed in new communication technologies Web 2.0 associated with Web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, user-centered design, and collaboration on the Web Social Media accessible media or user-generated content for social interactions (e.g., Twitter, YouTube, Flickr) Social Networking Web applications that facilitate a conversation or sharing of information between individuals (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning)

4 About the Student Sample N = 1,708 College-bound high school seniors (Entering Class 2010) 63% female 22% first-generation students 41% students of color Geographically diverse 97% with reported grade averages of B/B- or higher Study conducted in March 2010

5 Key Findings: Student Use of Technology

6 Overview of Technology Use Students are active technology users; most reported regular use (i.e., at least once per week) of multiple technologies/channels. Percent on computer 93.0 Online search from computer 88.3 Cell phone calls 81.8 Text messaging 78.9 Social network/media sites on computer 77.3 Web-based applications on computer 55.4

7 Current Use of Technology In School For Fun Online search from computer 88.3% 74.9% on computer 85.7% 76.2% Cell phone calls 36.0% 79.5% Text messaging 28.5% 78.4% Social network/media sites on computer 20.8% 76.8% Web-based applications on computer 16.4% 54.0% Instant messaging on computer 13.7% 41.4% on cell phone 11.7% 14.9% Online search from cell phone 9.9% 14.7% Social network/media sites on cell phone 2.9% 21.3% Instant messaging on cell phone 2.5% 13.0% Web-based applications on smartphone 2.3% 10.3%

8 Cell Phone Ownership and Use 93.8% of students surveyed have cell phones; 18.1% have smartphones. Caucasians were most likely to own some type of cell phone (96.3%); significantly more African Americans (25.3%) than Caucasians (18.4%), Hispanics (17.5%), and Asians (12.9%) reported owning smartphones. Males are more likely than females to own smartphones. 9% of all Royall & Company programs in were completed using a smartphone, an increase of 350% from last year s 2%.

9 Pop Quiz What percentage of students currently have a profile on a social network? What are the most popular social media sites among students?

10 Social Media Use 87% have a profile on a social network. A higher percentage of African Americans (94.6%) than Asians (83.8%), Caucasians (88.0%), and Hispanics (82.0%) have profiles on social networking sites. Facebook (84%) and YouTube (78%) are the most popular social media sites; 27.8% have visited MySpace. In 2007, we found the most popular social media sites were MySpace (86.4%), Facebook (79.6%), and Xanga (41.9%); 2.2% reported they had visited Xanga in % reported using itunes U; 18% reported using Twitter.

11 Social Media Activities What I do most frequently on social networking sites Percent View and read other peoples profiles and pictures 56.7 Keep in touch with friends I don t see very often 53.2 Communicate with friends I see a lot 48.6 Instant message with friends on the site 39.9 Get announcements about upcoming events and news 33.1 Update status to alert friends to what I'm doing 32.1 Search for old friends 23.6 Work with classmates on school assignments and/or projects 20.7 Become a friend or a fan of a specific entity 17.3 Share Internet links with friends 16.7

12 Use 93% of participants use on their computers on a regular basis; 18% use on their cell phones on a regular basis. African Americans (23.9%) and Hispanics (23.7%) are more likely to use their cell phones for than are Asians (10.5%) and Caucasians (17.6%). 62% have 2-3 addresses. 57% check their accounts at least several times a day.

13 Communication Tools Used by Relationship Type Students are more likely to use texting and social networks to communicate with their classmates and more likely to use to communicate with their teachers, coaches, and counselors. Teachers Coaches Guidance Counselors Classmates s 76.1% 40.0% 80.5% 6.1% Texts 8.6% 26.0% 4.5% 51.0% Social networks 5.5% 6.4% 1.5% 20.9% Cell phones 5.2% 25.2% 7.5% 12.2% Websites 4.2% 1.6% 5.3% 1.2% Instant messages 0.4% 0.8% 0.8% 8.7%

14 Key Findings: Student Experiences and Expectations for Recruitment and Enrollment Activities

15 Student Use of Technology During College Search Which of the following have you done during your college search? Percent Searched for a school using a general search engine (e.g., Google, Yahoo) ed an admission counselor and/or faculty member at a school 65.6 Called an admission counselor and/or faculty member at a school 47.8 Used a link to a school s Website from another site 47.7 Became a friend or a fan of a college or university on a social networking site 30.3 Watched YouTube video created by the school 28.6 Read student blogs on the school s Website 28.5 Read about the school through posts on a social networking site 27.3 Linked to a social media site from a school s Web page 20.2 Chatted online with students enrolled at a school 15.6 Chatted online with an official at a school 13.5 Linked to information about a school from a friend s page 9.4 Subscribed to a school s news feed (RSS) 8.4 Used Facebook Connect to share personal information with a school 5.1 Followed the school on Twitter 3.1

16 Expectations for Use of Technology in Student Recruitment What should schools do when recruiting prospective students? Mean* College Websites should include online applications College Websites should include virtual tours of the campus Colleges should maintain a group on social networks like Facebook so students can network with one another. Colleges should maintain mobile platforms for their Websites for easy viewing from smartphones Colleges should maintain their own blogs Colleges should maintain a profile on social networks like Facebook Colleges should use Facebook Connect to populate basic information on requests or applications Colleges should post students blogs Colleges should use text messages to contact students Colleges should use instant messages to connect with students *Scale: 1 = definitely necessary; 5 = not necessary

17 Use of Text Messaging Students think it is okay for schools to text them with specific information. It is okay for schools to text me if Percent the text was about a deadline related to my application the text was a reminder about an event for which I was registered the text was in response to a specific question I asked the text confirmed receipt of my test scores or other materials related to my application. the text provided information about my financial aid award from the school. I would not give a college permission to send me text messages

18 Recommendations Use social media as an enhancement rather than a replacement of traditional communications channels. Offer students a variety of communication channels. Consider texting students when information is timely and important. Make all online experiences convenient for students. While the use of social media may seem like free advertising and PR for your institution, don t overlook the costs associated with executing it effectively.

19 Implementation of Social Media and New Technologies

20 Students Use of Texting, smartphones, and social media is leading us to reexamine their communication preferences Text Messaging was on pace to replace until delivery with rich content arrived on smartphones. Students are clearly active in social media sites, but we need to ask whether they want to be contacted by colleges that way.

21 How Pacific is addressing students expectations for use of technology in recruitment Online applications Virtual tours of the campus A group on social networks Mobile platforms for Websites Blogs; students and school A profile on social networks Facebook Connect

22 How Pacific is addressing students expectations Online applications

23 How Pacific is addressing students expectations Virtual tours

24 How Pacific is addressing students expectations Student and school blogs Group on social networks

25 How Pacific is addressing students expectations Colleges should maintain mobile platforms for their Websites for easy viewing from smartphones. Pacific s institutional Website is undergoing a major redesign: mobile enhancement. Pacific s online application is being enhanced for ease of use on mobile devices.

26 How Pacific is addressing students expectations

27 How Pacific is addressing students expectations Profiles on social networks

28 How Pacific is addressing students expectations Use Facebook Connect to populate basic information

29 When submitting their application, highly desirable students are allowed to recommend their Facebook friends also apply to Pacific Other Implementations

30 Other Implementations Text-message capability for deadline reminders

31 Discussion

32 For a copy of the University Research Partners white paper Student Use and Expectations for Communication Technologies in Higher Education please contact Anne Dodson or

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