Facebook is described as a “social network.” Users on Facebook create profiles for themselves that allow them to share information with other people in their region, business or school. Users can post updates, share links and events with others in a intuitive format that updates their friends and family in real time about everything going on in their network.
About Facebook Pages
A Facebook “Page” is essentially a Facebook profile designed for an institution, like a business or a university. Pages are free to build and can be built by anyone. Once built, pages can be shared with your friends on Facebook, who are likely to share it with their friends and so on. These users become “fans” of the page, which means that they opt-in to receive information that the page sends to them. This information is integrated into the flow of their normal “feed” of information from their other friends on Facebook.
What this means is that having a Facebook Page allows an entity to instantly share information with hundreds or even thousands of users in a non-intrusive way, all instantaneously and for free.
Ultimately how effective your Facebook Page is depends on a few factors. You can only invite your Facebook friends to be fans of the page, and so unless you purchase an ad from Facebook you are relying on them to spread the word to some extent. Still, it is surprising how powerful this free tool can be.
Beyond the fact that Pages make it very easy to share information with an audience, they also allow the audience to provide quick and meaningful feedback to the content that you post. Fans of your page can share approval of items that you post, as well as make comments. There are also options that allow fans to share photos and videos with a page, allowing you access to content generated by your constituents.
Creating a Page for Your Department or Unit
If you are Facebook savvy, you’ll find it very easy to set up a page. Just click on the “Create a Page” link at the bottom of any Facebook page to get started. If you are new to Facebook, you can contact us and we’ll help you get started.
As you set up your page, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Naming your page: The name of a Southeast department on Facebook should follow this format: “Department at Southeast Missouri State University.” For example, “Music at Southeast Missouri State University” or “Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University.”
IMPORTANT: Once you create a page it is impossible to change its name, so double and triple check the name of your page before you finalize it. If you make a mistake when naming your page the only way to fix the error is to create a new page with a correct name. This means that you would lose all of your posts and fans from the old page and have to start from scratch.
- Profile Picture: When you create a Facebook page, or if you have a Facebook page already, please let us know. We can answer any questions you have about managing your page and help you create a profile picture for your Facebook page.
Please do not use the University’s official logo as your social media profile picture; use of this logo is restricted to the official University social media accounts.
Instead, find a picture of your staff, students or an event that helps communicate the mission of your department. We can take a new picture for you if you don’t have one already.
After you have selected a picture we will apply a small university logo in the corner of the picture to let users know that your Facebook page is officially affiliated with Southeast.
- Style and Voice: When you update your page, make sure you check the spelling and punctuation of your text. The page is a representation of your department and the University as a whole, so it is important that the communication style is professional. Having said that, do not be afraid to have a personality or feel excited about what you are sharing. Be friendly and passionate about what your department is up to! Just be careful that you are obeying the rules of punctuation and grammar.
- Embrace Cross-Promotion: Facebook makes it easy to cross-promote one page from another page. After you set up your department page, please visit the University’s Facebook page and click on the link “Add this to my Page’s Favorites” link below the university’s dome logo image. This will add a box to your page with a link to the official University Facebook Page. After you have done this, or if you’re not sure how, let us know so we can help you out and return the favor by adding your page to the University’s “Favorites” section.