Facebook: growing old gracefully?

Are you banking on Facebook as a strategy for reaching prospective students? How about as a means to connect with current students? If so, you may be missing the mark.

More than half of Facebook’s members in the United States are age 35 or older — and fewer than 1 of every 4 are younger than 24, according to a comScore Media Metrix study cited in a recent New York Times piece. With these statistics in mind, it may make more sense to see Facebook as a platform for reaching alumni than prospective students.

But the question lingers: Which social media tool works best for reaching the traditional college-bound market? I don’t think Facebook is completely irrelevant, but neither is it the silver bullet.

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

3 thoughts on “Facebook: growing old gracefully?”

  1. Great NYT article, thanks for the reference. I agree with you that any social network that includes one’s parents certainly isn’t going to be the trendy space for younger users. I agree even more with the bigger point that you touch on: that a lot of institutions are looking for a silver bullet, as if one exists. But each medium has its strength, and it takes a comprehensive approach to accomplish results. The good news: if there was an easy, no-brainer silver bullet, then why would anyone bother keeping a talented marketing staff?

  2. I agree that facebook is not really for the younger age group. I am looking for the 35+ age group to serve as an Academic Advisor. There are so many people considering going back to school and I prefer to assist those who have a desire but maybe not know the frist step to take after they decide they want to go back to school. All of my contacts typically that I service are on Facebook (FB).

    The ones that are younger in my FB network are my adult children and some of their friends. Those in my community that are out of work and looking at going back to school. FB seems to be the tool to fhelp connect you to people like myself who will do it for free.Finally, those relationships you want to keep up with that may have drifted apart due to moving to another state or part of the world. FB is a platform for reaching the 35 + age group:-)

    BH

  3. The reality is that Facebook is a great platform to reach your audience across the student lifecycle, and can be a great too from recruiting to academic advising and fundraising. Never before has there been such a large audience captivated in one place.

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