If you are thinking about creating a Facebook page or are looking for advice on an existing page then there are some questions you might want to consider.
For what purpose?
It is important to have a clear aim and not just start a page because it seems like ‘a good idea.’
If used properly Facebook can bring many benefits to the University and the departments/faculties within it. Some examples of the benefits and usages of a page might be:
- Student engagement – eg sharing student experiences and posting up to date news from the student community
- Student recruitment – eg responding to enquiries
- Brand awareness – If someone ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ a story it appears in their friends’ newsfeeds. Use Facebook as promotional tool for University key messages.
- Search engine optimisation – Search engines such as Google will recognise pages which are up to date and users are engaging with
Note: Facebook has different options such as closed groups and ‘fan’ pages – each has its own benefits and uses. See Facebook for guidance on the difference between a group and a page
Who is your audience?
You need to define your audience. Who are they? Some examples of audiences might be:
- Current students
- Prospective students
There may be a wide variety of possible groupings from the above such as schools/faculties, departments, undergrad/postgrad etc.
Building your audience is also important to the success of your presence. Starting a page or group will not automatically generate an audience – you need to be prepared to work at building this up. You can build your audience organically through posting information which is relevant and interesting. You can promote you page through other channels such as posters or emails and there are also paid options available to give your page more coverage.
What does your audience want/need?
Your Facebook posts should be based on what your target audience want to hear about or want to do.
You can take simple steps like asking them what they want you to post about, for example through a survey.
Some examples of the type of thing you could post about might be;
- News & events
- Human interest stories – eg graduations & case studies
- Competitions – a great way to grow your audience!
Facebook insights will show you whether people are interacting with your content. If people are ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ things then it is working! If they are not interacting then you are posting about the wrong things. Insights also allow you to take an in depth look at you audience demographics such as where people live and their age and this may influence the kind of thing you post about.
What rules are there?
There needs to be a resource dedicated to maintaining all RGU Facebook pages, it is a poor reflection on the University if pages are not maintained and content is out of date.
Planning your posts in advance will help to ensure that your page is updated regularly with content that is relevant to your audience. It is crucial that administrators respond to enquiries on their pages, we recommend that all enquiries are responded to within 24hrs.
Facebook page administrators should always measure how effective a channel is. You can measure simple KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as the number of followers you have, the number of site visits you get from Facebook, the number of likes, comments and shares. These measures will help you understand more about building your audience. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more advice on how to be successful.
Hints and tips for posting
- You can time your posts to send at a desired time which is handy for example if you are on holiday or not in at the weekend and would like a post to go at a certain time/date
- People are far more likely to engage with a post if there is an image or a video to go with it. It will make it stand out more in newsfeeds (in particular on mobile phones) than if it was just text for example.
- We strongly recommend wherever possible to link your posts to the RGU website. It is a good way to direct prospective students to the website so they can find more information about the university.
- There are lots of official RGU Facebook pages managed by various departments across the campus. We recommend that all official RGU pages ‘like’ each other and where possible/relevant to share each other’s content.