Using Facebook to Boost Your University's Social Media Engagement and Reach
With more than 2.45 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social network worldwide. And with the highest percentage of its audience in the 25 to 34 age range, universities should consider how they can use Facebook to market to this influential and engaging audience. In this article, Claire White, social media manager for Wiley Education Services, shares industry-tested tips on how to boost your school’s social media presence through some of Facebook’s most useful features.
Be Active on Facebook Messenger
It’s no secret that communication is changing, and universities need to utilize digital platforms to engage with students. As text messaging and social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram become more popular, universities can use Facebook Messenger to engage with students. This messaging platform works like a chat bot, allowing prospective and current students to send a direct message to the university’s communication team for general inquiries.
When using Messenger, make sure you respond quickly to establish a connection with students right away. You can also use Facebook’s responsive assistant to send an instant reply or send notifications to communicate that someone will be in touch soon.
Use Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a great way to use video on your page and reach a larger audience. Afterall, live video is one of social media’s top trends: Posts with video have 48% more views than those without it. With 75 million people visiting Facebook’s video platform each day, incorporating video into your posts creates the potential for an impressively broad reach. Plus, utilizing Facebook Live is easy — all you need is a smartphone.
Your followers will receive notifications when you go live so they can tune in and view in real-time. Viewers can also chat and ask questions as you stream. If they are unable to join live, they can always watch later. These videos can also be repurposed for other marketing materials since the videos are saved when the live broadcast ends.
Facebook Live can be used in a variety of ways. You can highlight faculty and programs, as well as reach out to students and ask them to be guest hosts for an afternoon. They can do campus tours, talk about their experiences, and share what they love about being a student at your university.
Post Facebook Stories
Facebook Stories are another option for engaging with your audience throughout the day. The Stories tool allows you to post timely photos, videos, and posts that are visible for 24 hours. This is a great way to share content from events, speaking engagements, and classes.
Videos in Facebook Stories are short, making it easy for users to view at their convenience. It's important to note that Facebook Stories aren't saved and will expire after 24 hours. Be sure to download any content you may want to reuse.
Create Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are a great way to connect audiences with similar needs and wants. For example, each year your university can start a group page for new students. By posting upcoming activities and events, you give students the chance to interact easily with you and their peers. This is a great way to build a sense of community.
You can also offer groups for various degree programs, residence halls, online programs, alumni, and career and support services. These groups can be either public or private, so you can protect sensitive information while encouraging students to connect.
Facebook’s Milestones feature is a terrific way to share the accomplishments of the school, students, and alumni. Your university can add these to the page’s About section. Create a Milestone for the founding date of your university and start building from there.
Perhaps your institution opened a new campus, began a popular ad campaign, or an alumnus achieved an impressive career goal – opportunities like these are ideal for sharing via Milestones. This tool can show how your institution has evolved throughout the years.
Promote University Happenings Using Facebook Events
By using Facebook Events, you can easily add, organize, and market upcoming events at your institution. You can use this feature for sporting events, job fairs, conferences, and so much more.
Plus, when a follower responds to an event or chooses to check in while attending, their activity will show up in Facebook's news feed. Their friends will see they are present at your event, expanding your reach and targeting audiences that may not have known otherwise. Attendees can tag their friends in a post about the event, so the post will appear in the friend's news feed, increasing your reach even further.
By using some of Facebook’s basic features, you can significantly impact your university’s engagement goals. The tips and strategies outlined here will help you leverage Facebook’s growing platform. For more ideas and guidance around other higher education marketing strategies, like content marketing tips or engaging on LinkedIn, visit our Resources page.