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Creating a Facebook page for your school or college isn’t as simple as it is when you’re just creating a personal page. There are several pitfalls that I came across when doing so that Facebook simply hasn’t addressed, and the administration process involved in adding schools on Facebook is more complex than a normal profile.
Firstly, you don’t sign up a school on Facebook as you normally would when making a Facebook page for a school. Although you do need to have a normal profile to do so. On the homepage, when logged out, there is a link underneath the normal “˜Sign-Up’ option pictured below. Click on it.
This will take you into the registration process which will ask you to name the institution and give other details such as the location. Make sure you select “˜Education’ from the drop-down menu when asked for the type of organisation you’re registering. The reason why you must click on this particular link is because Facebook’s name recognition technology won’t allow you to enter in a school’s name on a personal profile. Another reason is because much of the personal aspects of an organization’s page is taken away and replaced with more formal functions such as the ability to be a fan of the organization’s profile such as that of a band or a club – or in this case a school.
Once you have entered in all the required information, you can save it.
This will then take you to the administration page which will be bare. See ours (The MUO Academy) pictured above. Your first steps will be basic and should be focused on improving the look of the page. First, add a profile picture by placing your mouse cursor over the picture area. Then click “˜Add picture’ when the button appears. I suggest uploading a picture of your school or its coat of arms. Next, add a little bit of information about the school in the area below the picture.
Then, click “˜Edit Page’ underneath the photograph. This will bring you to a page with options to alter pretty much anything about your page. For a school on Facebook, perhaps you would want to place a location or age restriction on the site for security reasons. Or maybe add a discussion board for the pupils and staff to chat. All of this can be done here. You can also set up your mobile version to publish status updates (I think this is aimed more at celebrities), and add notes, events, pictures and videos to your profile.
Clicking on the “˜Ads Manager’ button near the top of the page will bring you to the page where you can view your current advertising performance on Facebook. In the top right-hand corner there is a “˜Create an Ad’ button which will allow you to create advertisements to be displayed on Facebook for your school as seen below in the screenshot. However, these do cost money.
Do one last check over your page and ensure that you have everything there that you think will be needed. Find pupils and staff on Facebook by searching for their names and add them. Then, when the page is ready to go live, click “˜Publish Page’ at the top of the home screen. Your school’s page is now available for all to see.
Here, we come to the final, major pitfall that Facebook refuse to fix – logging back in. Because the School’s Facebook page must be associated with a person’s profile (i.e. yours), there is trouble logging in. When you enter in your e-mail address to sign in it will take you to your personal page. Facebook offers no link on their website to allow companies to sign in. I suspect this is to maintain the more “˜people orientated’ style. You can only sign into your school’s page on Facebook to edit it via this link: www.facebook.com/pages/manage.
For the remainder, it’s all the same as using Facebook normally. There are small differences between business pages such as those for schools and pages for ‘Groups’. Groups are intended for websites and the likes where as pages for business are intended to have a large following of ‘Fans’.
One piece of advice I’ll give you is to ensure that you have permission from the proper authority within the school to make the Facebook page. Some schools don’t like being associated with social networking because of cyber-bullying and some even look down on schools making profiles as unprofessional within their field.
Is your school on Facebook? Is it a useful for an institute to be “socially available”? Think aloud in the comments.