Till very recently, Facebook’s strict terms of service did not allow us to use text or calls to action in banners. A few weeks ago, the company made some changes to its page covers guidelines that could have an impact on your school’s marketing efforts. With these new guidelines, the cover image of your college’s Facebook page is now a great social media marketing asset in itself. Here are a few ways you can use your banner to promote your college and its activities:
1. Add a Call-to-action
This one is very simple, but since many schools are still applying the previous Terms of Services, many do not use text on their banners. Calls to action are a simple yet effective way to drive your visitors’ actions on your page. Whether your goal is to increase the number of sign-ups for an Open House or the number of page Likes, adding a call to action will certainly increase your chances of conversion. Getting them in the right place can make all the difference. Here are various examples to get Likes, promote a new program or event, or simply ask your students to share what they like on your page.
In fact, you can now use as much text as you’d like on your banner, and can even include your website URL. Here are a few examples:
If your college has a newsletter, you can also invite them to sign up for it here, as in this commercial example:
2. Share your college’s stories on your banner
A lot of colleges only change their cover image for graduation time and new courses. Once students or alumni have already Liked your page, very few of them will go back to it. Changing your cover image can enable you to share what is happening at your college and more. You can choose to share your students’ or staff’s success stories. Changing these often will increase the chances of appearing in your audience’s feed and enticing interaction. York University has launched an encompassing campaign called “this is my time” that uses dates to share the path traveled by alumni, but also the career their current students envision. Each banner includes a date, a large photo, and the simple tag line “this is my time”.
See their whole campaign here.
Here is another way colleges encourage engagement, by pushing their students to share stories through their Facebook banner:
3. Promote your college’s contests on your banner
For the longest time, Facebook required that you used an application to promote your contests on the platform. Late August, these terms changed again to allow businesses of all sizes to leverage their Facebook account for promotional purposes. What does it mean for your contests? That you can now use Facebook assets to carry out a contest, namely, you can now:
- Require that fans Like a page and comment to be counted as an entry
- Use Likes to determine who the winner is
You can find more about the new rules here.
Some schools are already promoting contests through their banners, such as photo contests.
4. Promote your other social media platforms
Perhaps your college is doing well on Facebook, but some of your other accounts are not as successful? Why not use your Facebook banner to promote your other accounts and entice students to take action on them? Your Facebook banner is also the perfect place to promote a campaign you are carrying out across platforms. The growing importance of hashtags also makes them a great tool to increase your community’s visibility.
For more info on what you can and cannot do with your college’s Facebook banner, read this Karine Joly’s blog post about Facebook’s newest Terms of Services.