The Social Side of College Admissions

A Facebook Page... Not Just Another Admissions Website

June 29, 2009

Unlike the ethereal voice from Field of Dreams repeating "If you build it, they will come" to Ray Kinsella, your strategy for Facebook should not just stop when you create a Fan Page. That is just the first step in an iterative, evolving presence to establish a thriving community around your school.

Don't Just Recreate Your Admissions Website

If all you do with your Facebook Page is re-post content that is on your admissions website, you're missing a major opportunity. If all a student wants to learn about your college or university is the application deadline date or your admissions requirements, they'll go directly to your admissions website or they'll do a Google search and find it. I doubt their first thought is to turn to your Facebook Page. Don't waste a lot of space on your Facebook Page providing information that is easily accessible on your admissions website. Post a link to your admissions website so students who want to find this information can easily do so.

Don't Forget the Social in Social Networking

A Facebook Page should provide them a chance to make connections around your school, keep up with the latest happenings on campus, participate in conversations, and get their questions answered. These are all social activities.

Keep Them Coming Back for More

Just getting a Facebook user to become a fan of your Facebook Page should not be the end goal. You want them checking back periodically, building a relationship with your college or university, and, ultimately contributing to the community. Getting a user to become a fan should just be the first step in this process.

Take Advantage of the Hooks that Facebook Offers

Facebook gives you several mechanisms to re-engage fans of your Facebook Page. Understanding these mechanisms can help you make the most of your Facebook efforts.

Access to the Facebook Stream
When users become fans of your Facebook Page, your status updates (what you post in the box at the top of the page that says "What's on your mind?") show up in their Facebook Stream. The Facebook Stream is front and center on every user's homepage. It's the first thing they see when they log in. That's prime real estate to get your message out to your fans.

Notifications When People Reply to Comments
Make sure you allow fans to post on your Page's wall. If not, you are shutting off an avenue for them to interact with your school and you are losing an opportunity to get them to revisit the Page. When a fan posts a comment on your wall, they will receive notifications when others respond to that comment. It's like they're being given a little nudge to come back to your Facebook Page, and maybe even share another comment or respond to someone else's post.

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