In the context of online marketing, Facebook can be an effective tool to promote your school. A Facebook page can have a broad and positive reach and can be used as a platform to show off the “hidden gem” that is your school.
But how does a novice go about setting up a Facebook page for their school? What if you’ve never done it before, but you were just asked to handle it?
Sign in to your personal facebook account
In order to set up a Facebook page for a school or other organization, you will need to create a personal Facebook account first.
(To sign up, visit Facebook’s home page, www.facebook.com. Follow the prompts on the right side of the page, under the words “Sign Up.” Facebook will guide you through the steps you will need to set up and verify your personal account. The look and feel of Facebook changes often, but the essential steps to creating an account remain mostly unchanged.)
Once you have set up your personal Facebook page, you are able to add “friends.” This will be your network when you eventually create the page to promote your school.
Create a “Page”
Next, create a Page for your school. This is done by clicking, “Create Page,” typically found on the right side of your profile page. Facebook will guide you through the steps of creating the page for your school.
Add approved marketing content (text, headlines, calls to action, photos, video, etc.)
Make sure you enter your school’s official name (as listed in yellow pages and other directory listings), street address and mailing address (if different), phone number, and a brief summary in the “About” section.
Think about prospective families when writing the content for this page. What might they want to know first? What questions is the school commonly asked? What are the reasons parents usually opt to send their kids there? (Ask a school employee for guidance here, if needed.)
Be sure to upload good quality pictures of your school, but be careful when including pictures of children. It is best to have parents sign photo releases before publishing any pictures, group or individual. Many schools include this type of “model release” in their registration materials, but it is good to check before you post photos.
Grow your Network
You are able to “invite” your Facebook friends to “Like” your new page. In turn, your friends will invite others to “Like” the page.
You can start with your own Facebook friends, but if you know of others who would help share your page link, you can enter names or email addresses associated with other accounts.
You can control who can post to the page, under “Settings” at the top right of the page. It is a good idea to have multiple “administrators,” which can be set under “Page Roles” in Settings (this can also help with page promotion, as each different administrator will have different “friends” in their network to share with).
Post new content to the school Facebook page regularly. You can promote upcoming events. You can alert parents and interested parties about needs your school has. You can post important reminders through this Facebook page.
And be Careful!
Much has been written regarding the problems with using Facebook, or any social media. But when used effectively and conscientiously, it is a wonderful way to increase interest in your school. You can also direct traffic to your school web page. All of this will hopefully lead to a boost in enrollment.