September 8, 2010 in Facebook
A recent post on All Facebook, Kentucky University Uses Facebook Places For Marketing, got me thinking about how higher education organizations can be using Facebook Places or other geolocation services as part of their student recruitment efforts.
Facebook Places for Recruitment
The University of Kentucky’s Facebook Places marketing campaign is designed to recruit new undergraduate students to the school. The idea is simple: Get your current students to update their status showing their whereabouts on campus, and have this appear in the news feeds of their high school friends to build awareness of the school. College student checks in = high school friends see the update on Facebook = brand awareness of the school is increased = high school student decides to enroll.
In order to encourage current students to checkin on Facebook Places, the university has placed large wooden pointers around campus that replicate the pointer on the Facebook Places page that marks a location on a map. Privacy issues aside (certainly these issues could be debated when a university is encouraging students to check in to certain locations), this is an interesting way of trying to reach your target audience using a geolocation service.
Building Your Fan Base with Facebook Marketing
This is not the first Facebook marketing effort introduced by the University of Kentucky, however the appeal is that the school is one of the first to create a campaign that is focused solely on checkins through Facebook Places, Facebook’s newest initiative launched August 18th.
Previously, the school launched a “Big Blue Bucket List” contest giving Kentucky Wildcats fans the chance to win prizes and a season pass to all athletic events through its official Facebook fan page. To win, fans “like” the Kentucky Wildcats fan page and post comments or click “like” on bucket list posts. This contest is part of a quest for the school to become the number one Facebook fan page in college athletics (Kentucky currently has the second-highest fan base in college athletics after Ohio State).
I’d love to get your thoughts on how other universities are using Facebook for marketing. Or, do you have any examples of other geolocation campaigns on Facebook Places, Foursquare or Gowalla? I will be curious to see how this effort works for the University of Kentucky. Will this be a creative strategy replicated by other schools for student recruitment? Or not?