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  • signaltonoise 1:22 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gen x,   

    The Multi-task Generation 

    The youth of today sure do love to multitask.  Forrester Research recently asked a group of U.S.-based 18-24 year-olds which activities they’re typically doing while surfing the Internet.  As the graphic below demonstrates, this generation is full of multitaskers who do anything from talk on the phone to read a newspaper while on the Web.  

    Oh, but Forrester adds, “…consumers don’t just multitask across different channels; they also do many different things on the PC at the same time.”  

    This begs the question, what (else) are they doing when they’re reading that email from your college or filling out that online application?  What are the chances that your presence will stand out?  You better hope they’re supertaskers.

  • signaltonoise 1:08 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gen x, , tweens,   

    Tweens on Twitter 

    As usual, Brad J. Ward offers some interesting insight today on his blog about Twitter trends in higher ed. He finds that more than 400 institutions of higher education now have some presence on the micro-blogging site. However, he also notes that “Admission offices usually have the lowest # of followers out of all types of accounts.”

    This made me wonder why this might be, so I did a quick search on Quantcast to see what the demographics are of Twitter users. Not surprisingly, there were very few teens (approx. 1%) currently using the site and more than 2/3 of users do not have children between 12-17 in their household.

    This could mean Twitter may need some time to develop before it has a big impact on traditional undergraduate recruitment.

    So why haven’t teens embraced Twitter yet?

    Youth Marketing blog YPulse offered a sound explanation recently stating that, “As long as teens can update their status via MySpace and Facebook for their friends as well as IM and text, Twitter doesn’t really add to the existing technology.”

    Does this mean Twitter won’t ever catch on for teens?  YPulse suggests that as more pop icons begin to build their Twitter presence younger audiences will follow in time.

    However, until that happens, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.  Twitter’s growth, as Brad alludes to in his post, is a force to be reconed with. There’s still a role for Twitter in higher ed recruitment, admissions and marketing to constituencies besides prospects…just look at how may young professsionals are on there.  Might be worth cultivating your alumni groups or even building a following for your graduate and executive programs.  

  • signaltonoise 4:37 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gen x, ,   

    Don’t worry, kids are still using Facebook…and growing up 

    Much ado was made this week when a study by iStrategy Labs found that 35-54 year olds are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook with 276% growth over the last 6 months.

    No big news to us here, we’ve reported on this demographic shift here, here, and here.  But this week’s study prompted some to claim that the “aging of Facebook” would result in a mass exodus of students.

    So, does this mean it’s time to sound the alarm and abandon your public social networking initiatives and stop all recruitment efforts on Facebook?  Only if you’re willing to dismiss what is (by far) still the largest demographic on Facebook  (teens and young adults)…a demographic that continues to grow at a rate of 15% according the iStrategy Labs report.  

    Now this isn’t to say that Facebook will forever remain the dominant place where kids come to play (that honor’s been held in this decade by at least two other social networks), but its appeal to younger generations is still very strong, even if mom and dad are there too. 

    According to recent Quantcast figures (see below) nearly 1/3 of the Facebook audience is between the ages of 12 and 17. So why avoid a venue where millions of pre-college and college students visit every single day?

    Ultimately, what attracts young people to one social network or another is not whether old people are on there or not, but whether their friends are there or not.  For the most part, from what I’ve seen, their friends are still on Facebook.

    Don’t worry, if you’re looking to recruit students on social networks like Facebook, the water’s still warm and the younger audience is still there.  And, on the upside, you may have a growing pool of prospective adult learners to market to on Facebook as well.  Enjoy!


  • signaltonoise 4:35 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gen x, , ,   

    Kids’ stuff? I don’t think so. 

    Think social networks are only good for recruiting undergraduate students?  Think again. 

    Conventional wisdom indicates that professional networking sites like LinkedIn are where adults spend their time while sites like Facebook and MySpace are where the kids hang out.  This may be true to a certain extent, however, Karine Joly points out an interesting study today from the Pew Internet and American Life Project that finds adults are rapidly buying into the non-professional social networks, and it may make some higher education recruiters rethink how they approach the social web. 

    Here are some stats that Joly highlights:

    • 75% of our college crowd, young adults aged 18-24 have a profile (no big scoop here, but always nice to have some recent data, don’t you think?), 57% of online adults 25-34, 30% of online adults 35-44
    • In February 2005, just 2% of adult internet users had visited an online social network “yesterday” while 19% of adult internet users had done so in December 2008.
    • Social network users are also more likely to be students — 68% of full time students and 71% of part-time students have a social network profile, while just 28% of adults who are not students use social networks.

    • Nearly one third 31% of online white adults have a social networking profile, compared with 43% of African-Americans and 48% of Hispanics.
    • So, where are those networking adults?
      • 50% of adult social network users have a profile on MySpace
      • 22% have a profile on Facebook
      • 6% have a profile on LinkedIn

    Now, demographics can only tell you so much. Context also matters quite a bit. For example, professional networking sites like LinkedIn are a natural fit for graduate and executive education programs looking for motivated participants seeking to advance their careers. 

    However, as Facebook users mature and expand their networks beyond their circle of friends sites like Facebook have the potential to turn into powerful professional networking tools as well. LinkedIn’s appeal amongst professional networkers is one of the reasons why so many MBA and executive programs have begun to advertise there. What if Facebook begins to attract a similar crowd? Some have already noted that Facebook may indeed have LinkedIn in its crosshairs.

    Certainly worth keeping an eye on. The lines between social networking and professional networking are beginning to blur.  Quite simply, it’s not just for undergrad anymore.

  • signaltonoise 4:21 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gen x, ,   

    Talkin’ Bout Which Generation? 

    Harris Interactive released  the results of a new study a couple of weeks ago that aimed to investigate some of the widely held attitudes across generational lines.  The study looked at several stereotypes across generations, such as “Baby Boomers are Self Indulgent”, to see how members of each generation are actually perceived.  According to the researchers, “These findings show that two widely held views are false. One is that
    America is riddled with ageism and that younger people have no respect
    for older people.”

    Also, something of note to higher education recruitment professionals out there…be conscious of which labels you use to refer to your constituents.  I’ve heard the word “millennial” used quite a bit in recent years, but guess what…they don’t like being called that.  Here are some names that each generation would prefer, according to the Harris study:

    • Gen Y would like to rename themselves the “Internet Generation” (32%). They really dislike being called “Generation Y” or “Millennials.”


    • Gen X would choose to rename themselves “Generation Tech” (25%). They dislike being called “Generation X.”


    • Baby Boomers are the only generation which seems to really like the name given to them (27%).


    • The Silent Generation would re-name themselves the “Responsible Generation” (44%). They strongly dislike being called “Silent” or “Invisible.”


    The images above are from MarketingCharts.com.

    I think this video sums it up well…

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