Closer Look: Facebook

Posted on 10/21/2011 8:49:24 AM

Social media offers a way to directly interact with your audience. But it is more than simply posting messages; social media should be managed, planned, and well thought out.

Facebook is a great way to reach current and prospective students and alumni. It lets you reach a specific audience of people interested in you, and its many users offer good networking possibilities.

Make a Page

If you are planning on entering Facebook, then you need to do it using a Page. Pages offer many things that Profiles do not, and they are the correct way to go if you want to represent your department or organization effectively, letting you maintain a professional presence on the site. Pages may only be created to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative, for example, IUP’s Facebook page. Note: Remember that once you have gathered one hundred or more fans, you cannot change the title of your page. Therefore, it is best to make sure the title you choose can be effective long-term and easily found.

  • Good: IUP Journalism Department
  • Not so good: JRNL Dept. (IUP)

Even though you need a profile to create a page, a page is the best practice for engaging your audience with Facebook.

Posting Tips

For the best success with Facebook, it’s recommended that you publish no more than one post every day or two. Users typically don’t like to see their news feed flooded with redundant or excessive posts. And don’t write in headlines—instead, keep your posts conversational while maintaining a professional demeanor.

  • Good: The IUP Alumni Association, with cooperation from alumni who’ve created IUP-related LinkedIn groups, is consolidating all current alumni groups on LinkedIn to create one extensive career network. Join today.
  • Not so good: IUP Alumni Association to consolidate all current alumni LinkedIn groups.

While it may not seem to leave you much time to plan, write, and publish the post, the time will be required when you measure the success of your product. Facebook helps you do this with its “Insights” feature, which gives you information about who is viewing your material and how often it is being viewed.

Social Media Guide

The Web Team has put together a Social Media Guide that goes into more detail about how to run a successful Facebook campaign. There’s also information about using Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. The guide can help you decide if social media is right for your area, decide what type(s) to use, and focus your goals for using social media. You want the results to be worth the time invested, and the Social Media Guide is a great place to start.

See all the Web Team’s blog posts specifically for Web maintainers, or visit the How-to section for more information and help.