Outlook

Facebook.com/stcloudstate aims for 10,000 fans

Friday, June 25, 2010

10,000 fans in 2010.

That’s the goal for one of the best and largest university Facebook pages in Minnesota.

Since its launch in December 2007, http://facebook.com/stcloudstate has earned more than 7,000 fans and a growing reputation for making the most of what Facebook has to offer.

Announcement of the site’s fan total caused a stir at a recent Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) marketing and communication conference in St. Paul, said Jeff Wood, director of web communications.

“At the start of the conference we were asked to introduce ourselves and share a success story. We shared that our Facebook page had 6,800 fans,” said Wood. “Heads turned. During the first break four people approached our table asking why our Facebook site is so successful.”

Wood cites these as the main reasons:

  • Unique content found nowhere else
  • Image-rich content postings weekdays and sometimes weekends
  • Questions posted by visitors are promptly answered
  • A full-time employee and a graduate student to maintain the site

Facebook is a highly cost-effective way of communicating with multiple audiences, including prospective students and alumni, according to Loren Boone, assistant vice president of marketing and communication.

“We have 50 fans in Malaysia,” Boone said. “We can’t afford, much less staff, telephone or mail interaction with them. But with Facebook and a little sweat equity they can talk to us and we can talk to them.”

In the week the site surpassed 7,000 fans, there were nearly 2,500 visits. By spring 2010 wall posts were averaging more than 50 a week, said Wood.

The site is a key tool for communicating with alumni and older students because nearly half the fans are 25 and older and nearly one in four fans is 35 and older, according to Boone.

“If you are not a part of the St. Cloud State Facebook community, then join up. Help us get to 10,000 fans in 2010,” said Wood. “The benefits to you are a sense of belonging and an easy connection to campus life and university news.”

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