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As we’ve said many times before, a comprehensive social media plan is becoming a fundamental component of a well-rounded education marketing strategy. No matter how well intentioned this plan may be, however, its success is contingent on how well you have setup and maintained your social media profiles and pages.

There are, for example, many small techniques you can use to help create a more user-friendly, engaging and effective Facebook page.

Here are a few tips on how to create a great Facebook page:

Branding and Naming
Facebook recently removed restrictions they had on renaming urls, so there’s really no excuse to have a series of numbers at the end of your Facebook page URL. Your college’s name should be right there in the page’s URL.

Similarly, make sure that the name you’ve set for the title of your page is relevant to your college or program (and ideally the actual name of your college or program). Similarly, try to avoid any titles that may be confusing or inaccurate. Any confusion will have a direct impact on the number of friends or likes your college will attract. Also, once you have 100 friends, Facebook will no longer allow you to change it, which means that a bad initial choice can live on and on.

Be Welcoming
You want to have a lively wall, full of comments, posts and discussions, but you don’t want this to be the first page people land on. Create a welcome tab made specifically to greet visitors to the page and encourage them to become fans. Welcome text, pictures and videos can all be used to make a good first impression.

Create Community Ties Through Content
You’ve properly branded and named your Facebook page, and you’ve put in a welcome tab. Now what? Now you need exciting content.

Your Facebook page should be a place for students, alumni, staff and prospective students to ask questions and comment, find out about upcoming events (it would be a good idea to create an events tab) and interact with the school (liking pictures, comments, videos, taking part in discussions, etc).

Remember that while people on Facebook want to stay in touch with what’s happening, they also want to have fun. To have a lively Facebook page that is fun and informative, try to:

  • Create a variety of posts (including text, picture galleries, video, surveys, etc.)
  • Feature articles and podcasts about subjects that interest your audience
  • Highlight job announcements in relevant industries
  • Set up and promote workshops, webinars and seminars
  • Initiate light, fun discussion (e.g. ask “What are your weekend plans?” on a Friday and ““How was your weekend in one word?” on Mondays)
  • Use pop culture references, where appropriate (e.g. funny/inspirational quotes from movies and music, life lessons from TV shows, etc.)

Be Engaging
Now that you have a fun variety of content to share, you have to engage your Facebook audience. Here are few things to keep in mind:

  • Share relevant blog posts – know what is relevant to your Facebook audience and share it!
  • Frequency – the more often you post, the more likely you will have more friends and more lively discussions.
  • Ask questions – if you want a lively community of people commenting and discussing, you need to ask questions. Polls and contests, for example, can be a fun, interactive way to get people talking.
  • Use multimedia – galleries, videos, audio recordings and more are all great ways to highlight the multitude of great things happening at your college campus. It also makes for a dynamic Facebook page.
  • Reply to wall posts in a timely manner – This requires that you closely monitor what is being said online.
  • Be positive – remember that the Facebook page is representing the school. Posts and status updates must always be positive and friendly.

What other suggestions do you have for a great Facebook page?