I recently gave a talk to a super engaged group of people who work in the education space as part of our Schools out for Summer Series - You can find out about upcoming sessions here. Our focus was Facebook.

With over 900 Million users Facebook is the top social media site on the planet.

It’s the place to be for most nonprofits.

Especially those in the education sector.

Schools have a unique opportunity to build their Facebook following and stay connected with alumni due to the captive audience and deep relationships that are built with students, families and faculty.

That said, simply creating a Facebook page will not cut it.  Once you have you page you’ve got to put in the time, effort and creativity to build a vibrant community of engaged fans.

Here are a few tips that will help you get started and/or enable you to take your Facebook community to new levels of engagement.

(You’ll find 10 of the 22 tips right here. The other 12 are in the slides - Social Media for Schools: 22+ Ways to Stay Connected with Your Alumni on Facebook - located at the very bottom of this post. Make sure to check them out.)

Get “Likes” from Students & Families

Before you can engage alumni on the worlds most popular social media site you’ve got to build a relationship with them there.

The best time to build that relationship is while they’re a student at your school. From the first time you interact all the way through graduation – take every opportunity you can to get them to engage with you on Facebook.

How do you do that? Well…

One of the most proven ways to get people liking your Facebook page it to give them something really enticing. Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Give them access to video that’s only available on your Facebook page.

  • Teachers doing something silly/funny/fun.
  • Past students sharing their stories.
  • Virtual campus tour.

Run a competition.

  • If you like the page you’ll be entered to win _____ !!! (everyone likes a fancy new iPad)

Provide enticing high-resolution photos.

  • Class photos.
  • Teacher photos (meet the faculty).
  • Students in memorable locations.
  • Sporting events.
  • Alumni success shots.

Offer “Specials”.

  • Get 10% off your books.
  • Get early registration for a semester.
  • Get half off your first 10 meals in the cafeteria.

ProTip: Advertise what your doing from the first time you interact with a prospective student all the way through their graduation.

Build your EdgeRank

Making sure your alumni, students and families (i.e. your Facebook fans) see what you post and engage with you on a regular basis can be challenging.

Based on research done by Buddymedia and official comments from Facebook we know that what you post on your page only lasts for about three hours and shows up to a skimpy seventeen percent of your audience.

Not encouraging.

But there’s hope.

Knowing what Facebooks EdgeRank is based allows you to start thinking more strategically about what you post, when you post it and the type of engagement you’re trying to drive.

And, at the end of the day, better EdgeRank equates to more of your Facebook fans seeing your posts. Stay connected with your Alumni on Facebook is much simpler when they are seeing your updates consistently.

Here’s a few tips on how to increase your Facebook EdgeRank. Make sure to check out the slides below for a bunch more.

Building EdgeRank Relies on 3 Things

Increasing Affinity - Actions such as Commenting, Liking, Sharing, Clicking, and Viewing will increase a fan’s Affinity with your school. Focusing on increasing the number of interactions fans have with you.

Building Weight – Comments have a higher value than a Like. Likes have a higher value than a view. Focus on getting fans to take higher value actions.

  • Content type weight: Videos. Photos. Status Updates. Links.
  • Engagement type: Shares. Comments. Likes. Clicks. Views.

Optimize for Time Decay – The older the post the less valuable it is. Keep your schools page fresh with interesting new content, but don’t over do it.

Pro Tip: Check out these EdgeRank tools - http://edgerankchecker.com and http://pagelever.com

Focus on User Generated Content

Facebook is a great way for students and alumni to stay connected. Do everything you can to foster those connections on your fan page by getting them to share content with you and with their friends.

Building a connected community like this has incredible impact on your ability to stay in touch when students graduate and become alumni.

Here’s a few ways schools are getting their students to share content on their Facebook page…

Pictures (the key is to have them tag friends/family):

  • Of them selves in their school apparel.
  • With classmates.
  • Interesting/unique/famous spots on campus (with them in it).
  • Working on projects.
  • On class trips.

Videos:

  • From graduation.
  • Sharing what they loved about going to school at your institution.

Polls:

  • Ask poll questions using the poll features.
  • Gather the results and share with the group.

Pro Tip: Make sure to respond, engage, and treat those interactions as if someone approaching you on campus. It’s a two way street  when it comes to social media.

Social Media for Schools: 22+ Ways to Stay Connected with Alumni on Facebook

If you’re looking to connect with your Schools Alumni on Facebook then you’ve found the right resource. Learn tactics that will help you get more likes, increase Facebook EdgeRank and create posts that go “viral”. Download the full presentation - (Download button is above the slides when you click on the link).



 

Hopefully this tips give you what you need to increase the engagement level on your schools Facebook page. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below …

 

Tagged: