With approximately 1 in every 13 people over the world now on Facebook, there is no question it has been a social revolution. But with over 70% of US web users on the social networking platform, are you taking advantage of this engaged audience? Let’s look at how you can quickly and easily create a Facebook school page and bring your community online.
What Can A Facebook Page Do For Your School?
There are many reasons why a Facebook school page is a better way to engage with your school community:
- Share and get feedback on school news
- Run polls to to understand school community needs
- Schedule school events
- Share school photos and videos
- Let the school community drive conversations
For more ideas on how Facebook can be used in the classroom check out our article “Top 10 Tips For Using Facebook In The Classroom“. Mashable also has a great article on “How Schools Can Use Facebook to Build an Online Community“.
How To Set Up Your Facebook School Page
1. Log in or create account
When creating a page for your school, you will automatically be the administrator for this site. So, as an administrator, you can administrate under your current Facebook account, or create a new one (perhaps using a school email address). The choice is yours, but I find it easier to use my single personal account rather than switch between logins.
Creating a page with your existing personal Facebook account:
Ensure you are logged in to Facebook and visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Creating a page with a new Facebook account:
Ensure you are logged out of your personal account and visit: https://www.facebook.com/
You will then see the standard Facebook log in screen where under “Sign Up” there is an option to create a page:
2. Select page type
The first decision you need to make is what type of page you want to set up. As we are making a Facebook school page, this is a pretty straight forward decision. Select the box labeled “Company, organisation or institution” and choose the drop-down “School/University”. Enter your school name and click “Get Started” to continue.
3. Set a profile image
Much like a personal profile page, a school page needs a profile picture. Most schools use the school logo or a photo of the school itself, but this is completely up to you. Make sure the picture you use is of high quality. Nothing looks worse than a low resolution logo or a dull, lifeless photo.
4. Getting fans
Hopefully your Facebook school page will naturally grow its fan-base over time, but it helps to give it a little push start. Facebook gives you a few options to invite friends/contacts to become fans of your school page:
- Invite friends – This lets you invite your current Facebook friends to ‘Like’ your new page. A very good way to get early fans, particularly if you are friends with those in your school community.
- Import contacts – Another good way to build your early fan-base, this lets you import contacts from email lists. This works great if you have school database of contact email addresses, and permission to use them.
- Share on my wall – This will post a link to your Facebook wall, advertising your new page. It will appear in friends news feeds and as friends ‘Like’ the page, it will hopefully spread virally through your network
- Like this page – By checking this tick box, you are becoming the first person to ‘Like’ your page. In truth, if you don’t ‘Like’ your page, it is unlikely other will too. Leave this one checked.
5. Basic info
There are two basic pieces of information requested here:
- Website – Most schools place a link to their school site or blog here.
- About – With a 255 character limit, this is a good place to put your school motto, values or overview.
Click ” Continue”, and hey presto! Your Facebook school page is created.
6. A few handy hints
On your new Facebook school page you will see an “Edit page” button in the top right of the profile:
Click “Edit page” to go to admin options. There are many options in administering your page and with a little time you will easily become familiar with all of them. Until then, some of the more important administration tasks to get right are:
- Manage permissions – This tab will help you set who can view and edit what on your page. Check the section on “Posting Ability” carefully to make sure it is set as you need.
- Basic information – Make sure to fill this tab out as thoroughly as possible. One of the first things users do when visiting a new page is check the information tab. The more details there are about your school, the more legitimate your page will feel.
- Manage admins – You may want to administer the page with another, or a group of others. In this tab you can add and remove administrators as you please.
- Insights – Insights are not essential but very interesting to help you see who is accessing and interacting with your page.
[quote] Interested in helping your school get up to speed with Facebook? Check out our new Introduction To Social Media In Education online training course! [/quote]
Image courtesy of Flickr, kudumomo