Lebanese American University

Update: Advancement

Building a sense of community

Community is one of the most pervasive notions in our lives. When you really think about it, we rely on communities everywhere—our friends and neighbors, our co-workers, our fellow citizens and our fellow countrymen all make up communities in which we take part.

That’s one of the reasons why I have become fascinated by the explosive rise of social networking. From Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter, each service provides a unique platform to connect, network, share information and learn, regardless of our physical location. The opportunities seem endless, and like so many other things in our lives, social networking is almost entirely about building a sense of community.

A couple of months ago, the Advancement division began wading into this exciting world. Just recently, we introduced our news and information social media program which includes LAU-branded Facebook and Twitter pages. With these sites, we distribute LAU-related news and information and general news related to Lebanon, the Middle East and higher education. Our goal is to create an online community where our friends can go to get current news about LAU, as well as engage and share information with each other.

But another important goal of this new social media program is to expand the size of LAU’s community worldwide and I am happy to say that, in the less-than-two weeks since we publicly launched the program, we have seen remarkable success. We’ve already had more than 5,300 fans join our Facebook community, and our Twitter page is ranked as one of the most influential news sources on Lebanon! No other institution can make that claim. Also, through targeted ads, we have exposed our Facebook page to over 14 million Facebook users! And we’re working to build social media networks that will specifically promote our fundraising campaign and focus on our alumni as well. This is an exciting opportunity to expand LAU’s reach in ways that we never thought possible and we’re seeing firsthand what a remarkable community-building tool social media can be. I invite each of you to check out how LAU has become a part of this amazing revolution.

Rich Rumsey

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