Back in the day…before joining Facebook

My original plan was to generate my own study using the five high schools and five colleges I have had some connection to over the years, much like Michalis Gerolimos’ article: Academic Libraries on Facebook: An Analysis of Users’ Comments.

Of my five high schools, none have a library specific FB account, and four of the five are pitiful with their pages: average posts 3-11 a year, and half of those are self-serving advertisements targeted at students. Few were liked, and only staff posted comments.

However, one really stood out as jumping into the deep end of Facebook: CVA. It is a private high school in northwestern Maine supporting winter ski and snowboarding athletes. Many of the alum have gone on to national and international acclaim: Bode Miller, Seth Wescott, Kirsten Clark, and Emily Cook.

In the old days (1982 through 2011), they had morning meetings (entire school); they still do. It always ended with Haggie giving an eclectic Maine ‘word of the day’. Now, he creates YouTube videos to share through FB. They used to pay a service to mine for alum (professional and athletically) in newspapers, journals, media across the world. Now, with social media it is shared with them and they pass it on – all with the click of a button.

Students travel the planet for training and competition, during the season formerly only bringing video equipment to analyze techniques to improve. Now, all trips post photo albums on FB. Teachers used to be left behind (and paid only 1/3 of a coach!). Now, they are spotlighted on Vimeo for both in the classroom and personal acclaim that reflects well on the school. They used to mail out newsletters (with donation envelopes) four times a year, then via email. Now, they use PayPal and FB to make financial support requests. They cross-connect with local, state and national media and push them out via FB links. The students upload to Flickr and share new albums of what is important to them: events, silly fun, prom, graduations, etc. 

Since CVA dove into FB in May 2012, they have gained 872 likes with 42 friends talking about them and another 38 were here. Between May and December 2012, they posted 101 status updates, earning 392 likes, 35 comments and 15 shares (mostly from family of students). All of this with one person coordinating for a school of 65 students and about 30 staff. Not too bad of an investment of time…the marketing/public relations is priceless.

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2 thoughts on “Back in the day…before joining Facebook

  1. Michelle Chimento

    When I was preparing my Social Media Evaluation document, I discovered Facebook statistics. The demographics surprised me. The Pingdom website quoted that 65% of Facebook users are 35 or older and the average age is 40.5 years old (http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/08/21/report-social-network-demographics-in-2012/) and the demographics that about 82% of the users of Facebook are between 35-44 years old. (Ken Burbary, Socialmedia today online magazine http://socialmediatoday.com/kenburbary/276356/facebook-demographics-revisited-2011-statistics).
    The company that I studied ,LibraryThing, had only 2,632 members following their Facebook page which is 1% of membership. I think that is pitiful!
    If the statistics are true, why do younger students frequent Facebook? It is a conundrum and difficult to prepare a site to do what is required.
    Kudos for your research on school use of Social Media.

    Reply
    1. photofellow08 Post author

      To chat…to stay closely connected with their “peeps” and those they choose to keep tabs on. They may accept friend requests, but it doesn’t always equate to them being interested enough to check many of those people/groups pages or status updates. Now with grouping, it is pretty easy to be a Facebook friend, but never fit into any group they follow. I personally send messages to mine, especially those in the 18 to 35 age range. They aren’t following me, and I don’t need them to. However, I am still interested in hearing about them. I prefer message contact back and forth; it is almost as good as when they were here as a student. Hope this helps.

      Reply

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