Still no Facebook page for your school? Are you afraid someone may say something negative about your institution? Do you feel that the kids attending your school are too young for Facebook? Or perhaps you feel that their parents don’t let them use Facebook so there is little point in a Facebook campaign? Whatever your reasoning, I hope that I can convince you that it is worth trying and will be successful.

 

First some Facebook statistics (Facebook.com):NMH School's Facebook Fan Page

More than 400 million active users

50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day

Average user has 130 friends.

 

People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook

If these figures tell us anything, it is that there are people you want to reach on Facebook. This is where it all starts. Every school has a funnel for its Admissions and every school wants to make that funnel as wide as possible – Facebook allows you to do just that. With millions of people already on Facebook, using it as a marketing tool allows you to reach the people you want, on their terms. It is an Admissions dream. If the students that you have at your school are too young to be on Facebook, then their parents are on it. (Maybe some useful info – women aged 55 and up are the fastest growing demographic of Facebook users in America- www.Mashable.com).

 

If you are worried about the open nature of a Facebook page and possibly attracting comments from users that are negative towards your school, remember that you are creating a page for people who believe in what your school is doing. If this does happen, you can always delete the post if you wish. The average person on Facebook is not going to become a fan of your school; they are not invested enough in it — yet. Your presence on Facebook will put them on the right track. For those people that are invested, such as alums, current students, teachers, and parents, this site will be a forum for sharing their positive experiences! When outsiders do visit this page, they are presented with the comments and input from people who are excited about your school.

 

Fans cheer – all they need is something to cheer about, and you are going to give them that. Here’s an example of how it works; posting a picture or an article from the school newspaper will elicit responses from your school’s fans. For all those who respond, Facebook posts a notice on their profile, as well as on the profiles of their friends. With each response, the net widens, and your school gets a feature in an ever-expanding network of people. This is how a ripple of information you’ve posted on Facebook, turns into a wave of online activity, and widens your school’s funnel.

The best part of Facebook is that it is social and it is raw. Your pictures do not need to be taken by a professional. Simply snap a picture with your iphone and upload it, along with an accompanying story. Are the 5th graders putting on a play today?Take a 3-minute clip of it on your flip video and put it up to show parents and teachers. Facebook is what is going on right now. As a school, you can give the people who are connected to you instant information about what is going on and their commentary brings your information to everyone else.

 

For the family that is already considering your school, they come across your Facebook site and what they see is a vivid, organic representation of all the activity going on at your school. Attached to all the cool things your school has to offer, they see the comments of parents, kids, teachers, and alumni, who continue to support the school. That is the best viewbook you can put out there and it is available for all to see.

 

Create a ripple and cause a wave. Facebook is worth the investment. For some ideas, check out the NMH Facebook page through www.nmhschool.org/nmhbook. It took two years to get to this point but I hope you will be able to see how successful it can be for your institution.

Jesse Bardo

Jesse Bardo

VP of Alumni Engagement, Founding Team Member at Evertrue

Jesse Bardo is the Director of Sales & Marketing at EverTrue, a leading provider of mobile apps designed to support Independent School Alumni Relations. Jesse previously served as Director at edSocialMedia and Admission Counselor & Communications Coordinator at Northfield Mount Hermon School. As a leading practitioner of social media in the independent school world, Jesse worked with his communication team to weave facebook, blogging, twitter, Youtube & flickr into NMHBook- a cutting edge social media & communications aggregator site that greatly enhanced the school's admission outreach and contributed to record admission yields. Jesse is a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and Wesleyan University.