The SUNY Oswego Fans page keeps its subscriber base current with a feed of recent campus news, upcoming events and athletics articles, plus photos and announcements.
With mainly a small push of niche marketing, SUNY Oswego is consistently among the most-popular official Fans sites in the SUNY system, said Tim Nekritz, the college’s associate director of public affairs.
Founded at Harvard University in 2004, and for a long time focused on the educational community, Facebook currently boasts more than 70 million active users worldwide (more than twice the population of Canada) with an average of 250,000 new users creating free accounts daily. Facebook’s popularity owes much to its clean and user-friendly look, clever ways of connecting users’ interests, consistent content management system and constant generation of new applications and features, Nekritz said.
New in December was the opportunity for institutions to develop an official presence through Fans pages. Oswego’s Office of Public Affairs spent some time exploring the site’s capabilities before announcing the page in its Feb. 20 e-newsletter—and the number of SUNY Oswego Fans ballooned from 44 to 186 in one week ... climbing steadily ever since. Unique content includes photos of the Feb. 20 lunar eclipse by Dr. Shashi Kanbur’s astronony students, posted Feb. 21, and photos and video from Commencement in May.
The team doesn’t see Facebook replacing existing efforts, but instead serving as a complement—one more area where recently accepted students and current students, faculty and staff can go to make connections, find information, and keep pace with what’s happening at Oswego. Alumni from around the world—including Louis A. Borrelli Jr., founder of the college’s annual media summit—have become fans who can use the page to stay connected with their alma mater.
“You can find more than 10,400 members in the greater SUNY Oswego Facebook network, with people joining every day, and millions more users on the whole of Facebook,” Nekritz said. “In today’s fragmented media landscape, that’s a pretty large audience. With all those potential eyes looking for information about the college, we think having an official presence with reliable information is worth the effort.”
Numbers continue to climb as admitted students join, ask when other students will attend orientation and pose questions about the process. Web-savvy students have found the Fans page “a less formal space where potential students are comfortable asking quick questions,” Nekritz noted.
In the spring, Sue Borden of Oswego’s Financial Aid Office spoke to a family whose daughter chose Oswego based on what she found on Facebook.
“She said she was impressed with the academic activities at Oswego she saw on Facebook,” Borden said. “We were aware that more students were checking Oswego out through Facebook, but this was a first.”
Users can find the SUNY Oswego Fans page at www.facebook.com/pages/Oswego-NY/SUNY-Oswego/19148818048.
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(Posted: Jun 20, 2008)