Higher Education Marketing

5 daily habits to increase your students’ engagement on Facebook

Date posted: November 7, 2012

Facebook has been making changes to what your fans can see of your updates and you wish there were a few simple steps you could take daily to maintain or increase engagement with your students on Facebook? Here are 5 daily habits for that:

1. Update your profile with content that is relevant to your students, not to your school

Your Facebook page is a marketing tool but it is first and foremost meant to help your students. Be it for entertainment, for the latest news about campus or the community, your students come back to your page and interact with it because it offers them relevant information they are interested in.

  • Actively research and create fresh content : Use a reader to centralize all the news and blogs from key sources in your community or industries your students are interested in. Do not rely on Facebook only. Twitter is a great platform to discover leaders and hear about new trends.
  • Create your own original content to be relayed in social media: a video tutorial about how to apply for a program, a blog post about research going on at your school, a video calendar about activities to come, an infographic about one of the careers for which they are prepare, all are great content ideas.
  • Create a content calendar to help you manage all the content to be shared on Facebook. Dedicate specific days for research and brainstorm and other days for creating content. You can use this Social Media Strategy Worksheet to guide you.

2. Make your content easy to share

Make sure your content is visual, and makes sure the visual always conveys the feeling of your piece to engage students and trigger them to share:

  • Tap on the fun:
    • Post posters for events for students to like and share
    • Post pictures of events and ask students to tag themselves
    • Share content that is funny and ask students to find a title
    • Have a picture-based content
  • Tap on the pride: if your students are proud of your message, they will be more likely to share.
    • Feature what is going on at your school: maybe some research a teacher is doing, a project a student is involved in, etc.
    • Create contests to encourage students to share their experience at your school
    • Highlight your students’ and faculty successes on and off campus.
  • Simply ask your students to share:Ask them to share your content or ask them for their opinion. From our experience, text posts tend to do better on Facebook. These posts are especially useful if they focus on the common experience of students: snowstorm, study week, holiday, weekend, etc.

  3. Share at peak times

  • Make sure your content reaches your students when they are most active on Facebook. Many social media management tools (Hootsuite, Sprout Social, etc.) now integrate an Autoschedule feature that computes the best time to post for your audience. Try them and see what times they are usually posted. Once you are aware of the times they are most active, try to post some of your content manually for best results on Facebook.
  • Remember that peak times may not be the peak activity times for your school: your students also spend time on Facebook on weekends. Why not try and share some content on the weekend as well and see what type of response you receive?

  4. Test the New Facebook Engagement Features 

In an effort to customize the information each and every member receives, Facebook is continuously making changes to how fans receive info. There are now features almost every day. We recommend that you test these new features as they roll out to determine what works for your school. Recent features include:

  • If your page has fewer than 5,000 fans, you can target some of your posts to a specific part of your student audience to engage with them only: Edit Page > Manage Permissions > Post privacy gating.

Once you will be posting, it will allow you to choose who will receive your posts:

  • Let students know about these new features and invite them to try them out: for instance, ask students to add your page to an Interest List and see how it impacts your engagement. Keep building your school’s community by talking about your own interest lists or mentioning pages you have come across that may be of use to them.
  • Ask your students to use the new Pages Feed feature to have direct access to updates from pages they liked.

5. Keep an eye your Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights offers data that will help you determine which of your efforts are paying off.

  • Look for the number of
    • New Fans
    • Fan growth from prior week
    • Unlikes
    • Weekly Activity
    • Activity growth from prior week
  • You can also use info directly from EdgeRank, the algorithm Facebook uses.

What do you do every day to increase engagement on your Facebook page?

 


Passionate about web and content marketing, I write about all things social media in higher education.