I was browsing the web this morning and looking to see how schools are using Facebook to interact with students and prospective students. Some were better than others. In fact, I even found one school that used Facebook to only give a history lesson on their school and there was no way to interact with the site. There is not a lot of value in that, unless you are just a history buff. There is still a lot of confusion from educational institutions on how they should use Facebook and social media in general. I wanted to share a few of the good examples that I found in this morning’s Facebook tour.
I started with the University of North Florida International Center’s Facebook page. A future student from Belgium was able to interact with a current student and ask a housing question. They also use Facebook to get information out about their study abroad programs.
Next stop was San Diego State University International Center’s Facebook page. They have a very active site where an incoming master’s student was able to ask a question about immunization requirements and someone from the International Center was able to respond within an hour. Another incoming student was able to ask a question about a housing deadline and another was able to find out about insurance requirements.
Sticking with the West Coast, National University used their Facebook page to put a face with a name and introduce their new admissions representative, Rebecca, where she received a warm welcome from many fans. She is very active on the site and addressees questions about admissions requirements in some cases, in real time. They are doing a fantastic job interacting and creating a comfortable environment to interact with their current and prospective students.
Back on the East Coast, Mercer University has a Facebook page dedicated to orientation and they use this as a way to get information out about upcoming sessions. The used this Facebook page to help a student coming in town for orientation with hotel recommendations. They were also able to confirm another student’s orientation date all from Facebook.
Last stop on my Facebook tour was Johnson & Wales University. They used Facebook to remind their students of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) deadline, ensuring their students would not miss it. They even provide their school code!
While I had other stops on my international student Facebook tour this morning, the schools above did the best job interacting with their students and prospective students. Facebook is where your students are most comfortable. As you can see, it is a place for them to get information and for you to share information. How does your school interact with students on Facebook?