Mining Social Media Data

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Mining Social Media Data July 16, 2015

Tim Ponisciak

• Director of Graduate Alumni Relations • Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame • 11 years in marketing, annual giving and alumni relations • MBA from Notre Dame

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Agenda • Current Social Media Landscape • Finding, Listening and Gathering Alumni Information • Creating Your Own Social Media Buzz • Identifying Trends • Q&A

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Current Social Media Landscape Facebook: 1.4 billion users, 5 billion pieces of content shared daily (2%) Twitter: 288 million users (26%) LinkedIn: 340 million users (54%) Pinterest:70 million users (111%) Instagram: 300 million users (64%) Google Plus: 300 million users (16%) Snapchat: 200 million users (55%) Percentage indicates growth from 2013 to 2014 *

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Current Social Media Landscape - Corporations Social media being used to: • Determine customer preferences • Create unique content

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Key Questions for Higher Ed • How can social media be used to enhance what we know about our alumni? • What types of information do our alumni most want to hear about from their alma mater? • How can social media be leveraged to not only keep alumni connected, but to amplify alumni interest in one’s school and to increase giving?

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Finding Alumni on Social Media – Donor Information – New Board Members – Matching Gift Volunteers

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Enriching Your Donor’s Profile LinkedIn Profile Data • • • • •

Company Industry Title Location Email

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Finding Potential Board Members Utilize LinkedIn Advanced Search

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Finding Potential Board Members Results:

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Searching for Matching Gifts Volunteers

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Searching for Matching Gifts Volunteers Results:

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Listening to Alumni #EKUStrong • Feedback from alumni • Creation of alumni contact information update campaign • Leverage alumni passion on social media • Ask “Why is this question being asked?”

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Poll #1: Did your school have a giving day last year? •Yes •No •No, but we are planning one for the upcoming fiscal year

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Gathering Alumni Information Giving Day Challenges • ONU: Various hourly challenges that encouraged alumni interaction on Twitter

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Giving Day Challenges

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Giving Day Challenges • Allows university to increase number of followers • Provides insights into where alumni interests lie

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Informing Future Annual Giving Strategy Ask questions about your school that can help you with future fundraising campaigns • Beloved places on campus • Favorite professors • Best campus traditions

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Poll #2: Do you have a formal social media ambassador program? • Yes, we have a student ambassador team • Yes, we have an alumni ambassador team • No, we do not

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Social Media Ambassadors • RIT – Volunteer program for alumni to spread school messages, including fundraising • American – Alumni ambassadors volunteer to disseminate and generate content for alumni association social media platforms • Babson – Students paid to be the “online tour guides” of Babson. Audience includes prospective students, parents, friends and alumni

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Allegheny College Alumni Ambassadors

• Regularly share content from College social media accounts that interest them and which they believe would resonate with alumni in their social networks. • Promote time sensitive initiatives and programs. These may include major campus events, fundraising campaigns, and admissions related information. Page 23

Allegheny College Alumni Ambassadors

• Time commitment • Upfront goals • List of official hashtags Page 24

Allegheny College Alumni Ambassadors

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Facebook Ads • Affordable • Customizable • Not a replacement for email or direct mail • Direct users to your Facebook page or giving page

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Targeting Your Facebook Ad • Visitors of your general school page or online donation form page • Upload custom email list: nondonors, lybunts, recognition society members • Those who have liked your Facebook page

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Boosting Your Posts

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Our Social Media Focus – College of Business related information – Notre Dame related content – Business related articles of interest

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Poll #3: How far ahead do you plan your social media posts? • No planning, we post what is topical each day • 1 week, and adapt when necessary • 2 weeks or more, with flexibility to adapt when necessary

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How We Talk • Odd fact – unique news story • Invitation • Well wishes • Excitement

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The Approach • Break down our Facebook posts by topic • Break down our posts by tone • See if we can determine any particular types of posts that are most appealing to our alumni, so we can create an informed social media plan for the future • Inform other areas of our work based off of our findings

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Our Typical Social Media Topics • College of Business • Notre Dame • Football • Alumni Info • Fundraising • General business

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Breakdown of Facebook Post Topics

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Our Typical Social Media Tones • Congratulatory/ Well Wishes • Fun • Informative • Nostalgic/ Student Life • Questioning • Reminder

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Breakdown of Facebook Post Tones

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Sorting Everything Out

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Sorting Everything Out

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Top Clicks Rank

Link Type




Field & Field – Alumna startup




Chicago Alumni Reception




Want a Happy Office? Article featuring Professor

College of Business



Student startup wins awards at competition

College of Business



Mendoza Dialogues video – CIO Scott Malpass

College of Business



ND launches first open online courses

Notre Dame


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Informing Decisions

• Highlighting video featuring Chief Investment Officer in most recent recognition societies newsletter • Next video to be created will focus on entrepreneurship • Focusing on online courses currently available

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How does this help formulate social media strategy? • Ensure we have photos and videos of events • Focus more on messages about the College of Business, and less on general business articles • Plan each week to have: 2-3 College of Business posts, one post that is either football or ND related, and then fill in with events and reminders as appropriate • Find more news to make people feel proud to be a part of our College

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Survey Summary • Types of pages • 26 alumni • 12 institution • 4 giving • Alumni pages • Fans per Alumni – 5%

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Topics for Top Posts

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Topics for Recent Posts

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Tones for Top Posts

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Tones for Recent Posts

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Westminster Schools

Topic: Faculty Tone: Congratulatory/Well Wishing Page 49

NC State Recent Grads

Topic: Athletics Tone: Informative Page 50

Del Mar College Alumni Association

Topic: Local Tone: Fun

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UIS (University of Illinois Springfield) Giving

Topic: Fundraising Tone: Persuasive

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James Madison University

Topic: Holiday Tone: Congratulatory/Well Wishing Page 53

Top Words

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Key Takeaways • Don’t restrict yourself to data in your database • Listen to your alumni on social media, and be nimble in your response • Don’t just answer alumni questions, figure out why they are asking in the first place • Utilize Facebook/Twitter to ask for feedback from alumni to inform future campaigns • Analyze past social media posts to determine what topics and tones appeal to alumni and will get your alumni interacting with you and with each other Page 55

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