Think LinkedIn for teens. Zinch launched in 2007 with the intention of better connecting aspiring college entrants with schools. Today at UVEF, founder Brad Hagen reported impressive demand for Zinch with 800 schools (universities/colleges) on board and 2.5 million student profiles online. Yes, I said million. Does that rock your world or what?!
Brad reported that while only 10% of high schoolers used social media like FaceBook to search for colleges in 2008, that number exploded to 40% in 2009. Zinch seeks to exploit that social phenomenon.
After a couple of roller coaster startup years, and at least one month when Zinch asked employees to take stock in lieu of pay (translated-the checkbook is empty), Brad and co-founders brought on veteran social media CEO, Anne Dwane. Anne’s previous success launching Military.com with its subsequent acquisition by Monster.com prepared her to take Zinch to the next level.
Anne described the Zinch target market as Digital Natives who were born after mass adoption of email. She indicated many of them don’t check email regularly, but rather visit their FaceBook account to see what people are saying to them. According to Anne, this group has grown up with virtual relationships that are just as real to them as any in-person acquaintance they may have. This dramatically changes communications with this demographic-this trend validates what PilmerPR has found with the social media revolutionary impact to public relations strategy.Share