Once again, I've updated the matrix of Social Networks' Impacts on Alumni Organizations. This collections of ways in which alumni organizations can use online social platforms now lists 20 different cases.
The primary purpose is to help you spur creative thinking about how to use online networks to help your institution achieve its mission. It can also serve as a management checklist, to see how you are doing overall. And you can use it as a road map when crafting the online components for your alumni communications strategy (you have that, right?).
The updated matrix adds two additional uses for social networks:
1. Conduct alumni prospect research
Cornell's Andrew Gossen recently analyzed the pros and cons of using graduates' social network profiles for prospect research. While each service has its own characteristics, the most important thing to understand about all these platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others) is that the ethical and legal landscape is murky. Proceed with extreme caution, and in the company of legal and research experts before collecting alumni data from individuals' online profiles.
2. Manage crisis communications
This addition was spurred by further conversation with Reed College's Mike Teskey. Mike and his colleague Robin Tovey blogged here last August about their own experiences in this realm, and you can read their original article for Alumni Futures to understand some of the specifics.
Leave a comment with your own observations and additions to the matrix. Or email me: email@example.com.
Note: The matrix is designed to print on US legal size paper, 8.5 x 14 inches.
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