Students use Facebook for communication more than e-mail. Anecdotally, I hear about students deleting official institution e-mail all the time. They just don’t think it is relevant.
So what do you do to get a quick message out to all your incoming freshmen?
You could try to friend them all, but this would take forever . . .
At every school on our fall tour there has been a “Class of 2011” group on Facebook.
Just like this one:
This particular freshmen group has 239 members (roughly 70% of the entire freshmen class – it’s a small school):
What do they talk about? Well, all kinds of stuff. Sure, there is party talk, but there are also bright spots, such as random peer tech support:
And students taking student activities organization into their own hands:
The activity on these groups, it’s possibilities and limitations, deserves its own post.
For the moment, I want to focus on this person:
Because of the way Facebook works, the creator of the group can message everyone in the group through Facebook. That means that this person, this one, random freshman who happened to start the “class of 2011” group at their school first, is the only person who can message most of the freshmen through the medium they use most.
This one person has their finger on probably the most effective communication delivery mechanism currently available to schools.
This is hilarious.
In a non-scientific sampling, these folks are diverse. Sometimes they are geeks/ computerish folks. Sometimes they just got accepted early to the school and happened to be bored one night.
I think that you as an activities advisor should makes friends with this person.
Of course, you could perhaps talk them into spamming everyone for the school, but that wouldn’t do that kid any favors. Being a stooge is no good for anyone’s rep.
Some creativity is needed. Maybe that kid becomes the editor of the once a month freshmen news letter? And you as the activities department get a good shot at including your info . . .
Point is, if you use the student to spam the group he or she created, you will make everyone look bad.
If you can empower the student to see the power they have (most don’t realize it) and make positive use of it, then the student can be pulled into the student leadership position and everyone wins.
Either way, at every campus across the country, there is one person that can Facebook the majority of their class. This is a strange power lying dormant.