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There has been quite a bit going on in the Facebook world lately, with the social media giant rolling out Timeline and a host of other new features. We’ve posted some Facebook tips for college marketing departments in the past, but the new changes at Facebook give colleges and universities a bit more options and flexibility.

These changes include:

  • Cover, “headline” photos
  • Highlighted, or “pinned” stories
  • Schools Milestones
  • Applications
  • Facebook Offers
  • Insights
  • And more

As you can see, there has been substantial revision to the Facebook platform, and while it may seem like additional work for the marketing department, these changes actually will help streamline your marketing and recruiting message. It will also help make your Facebook page a much more lively and interesting place for prospects, students and alumni.

Here are some of the advantages to the Facebook changes:

Create a mood
The great thing about the 851 x 315 pixel cover photo is that it helps create a visual look and feel for the whole page. Sure, you can’t include contact information or calls-to-action in these photos, but it does give your college some prime real estate to represent your campus in the best possible way. Choose, if possible, a high quality photo that showcases some element or place of your school that is especially important, well-liked or iconic. It’s an easy way to set a mood and remind people of why they love (or want to attend) your college.

Highlight what’s important
Highlighted or pinned stories provides an opportunity for your marketing or recruiting departments to showcase open houses, campus tours, seminars, workshops and other special events that can be used to connect with prospective students. It’s also a great way to promote any great press or attention the school and its students may have recently received.

Emphasize the past
The milestones feature can help your college or university write out its history in a creative and visually stimulating way. Why send prospects to a boring “About Us” page of text when you can highlight the most important moments of your college’s history with a series of milestones on Facebook? It’s more interactive and playful, and more importantly, it’s on the platform most used by prospective students.

Probably the biggest advantage to the changes at Facebook is the ability to truly customize the look of your school’s page, with the addition of new applications and the ability to move stories and pics. Make the most of it and help your school page stand out.

As you should know by now, we’re big fans of analytics, and anything that provides more information on your visitors (and how they’re using your page) is a real advantage. The new Facebook Insights (along with the admin panel and the ability to let users message the “brand” directly) provide much more flexibility and information with which to make future decisions.

Check out this video for more on the changes at Facebook:

YouTube video

What Facebook changes are you most excited about?