College students represent a segment of the nation that mirrors the population of some small countries; according to the most current U.S. Census Bureau, over 20 million Americans 18 years and older are enrolled in college. With the consistency of this market, it isn’t surprising that some companies are increasing their collegiate investments.
According to SocialWorld.com Executive Vice President Ed LeMire, “College students are a highly identifiable demographic. Every year you’re introducing a fresh, new 25% of your target market to your product.”
LeMire’s renewed partnership with collegiate marketing company UD OnCampus affirms his belief in the college market. SocialWorld and UD OnCampus expanded their on-campus partnership to 35 universities and 70 campus marketing interns nationwide in January.
“We wanted to engage students for a long period of time,” said LeMire. “We didn’t just want a team to take pictures of one tabling event and move on; the exciting piece that UD OnCampus offers is the relationship the ambassadors are building with their peers.”
SocialWorld provides standard social-networking functions such as messaging, blogging and image posting and sharing, thereby allowing members to communicate with each other. Unique in the world of social networks, SocialWorld is also designed to cater to the speciﬁc online needs of individual organizations and clubs, such as the Greek system, athletic clubs, student committees and various other groups on campus.
“SocialWorld takes sites like Facebook further. Instead of being just for individuals, it lets organizations manage themselves online, and it does so without all the clutter of Facebook,” said Jennifer Cork, one of the University of Georgia student reps for SocialWorld.
One of the primary distinguishing features of SocialWorld is that it allows organization administrators to create a master calendar of their events and meetings. They can then send out invitations and reminders to members, as well as other students, and sell tickets to events in advance through their partner website Acteva, an online event registration and payment service. This element also allows organizations to collect membership dues electronically, as well as fundraise for various causes.
“College students aren’t recession proof,” says Managing Director of UD OnCampus, Alex McComber. “But they are definitely recession resistant.”
In fact, in the current economy students are still spending on the necessities, as well as items for play. Student feedback gathered by UD OnCampus affirms the optimistic college mindset.
“I think about my spending more often, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I end up not making a purchase that I intended on making.” says Penn State Junior, Heidi Stubler. “If the product seems interesting, and the price is reasonable, then I will try a new product. I love to experiment with new brands/products!”
This mentality is shared by Heidi’s peers, too. The socially-active college market admits to dedicating 3-5 hours per day online, or at their computer. SocialWorld has seen consistent adoption and a growing user base on their social networking sites. The company has used tongue-in-cheek language to leverage their brand within the clever college segment. T-shirts featuring saying like “I Can Get You In,” and “Socially Active,” have been a favorite on campuses nationwide.
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UD OnCampus is a collegiate marketing agency backed by 35 years of experience in the college market. The company maintains a network of proactive, pre-selected college students, and specializes in peer-to-peer, grassroots marketing nationwide.