See the original article by Matt Hames, here.
It is easy to turn on a Facebook page. That doesn’t mean it should happen. Because guess what, it is just as easy to delete them. It is just as easy to consolidate.
Interesting read, though I don’t completely agree. There are a lot of reasons why a single FB page for a University makes sense, particularly for smaller universities, which Matt Hames explains well in this article. But, there’s an argument for segmented pages as well.
I really liked Matt’s point (#1) about using targeted posts to reach prospective students, current students, and alums respectively, rather than trying to transition them from one page to another (#11) as they reach those milestones in their college experience. At my school, Admissions doesn’t have its own page, so they communicate through our central one, but I, perhaps blindly, hadn’t even thought of taking advantage of FB’s targeted post options. I definitely plan to do so in the future.
Matt also makes some great points about the poor quality of content produced on those departmental/segmented pages (#4 and #5), and a good solution for that (#13). Also, the things he says about reach, likes, etc. are all true; unless your content is super engaging, no one is going to see it (#3, #6, #9). By consolidating your pages, you should have more quality content to pick and choose from, thus making your central page stronger. Fair point, and probably true. I know a lot of the department pages at my school are producing little if any *quality* updates regularly, though many have one or two solid pieces of content a semester, so focusing on promoting the latter instead of the former makes a lot of sense.
However, I disagree a bit with Matt’s emphasis on multiple pages being confusing and difficult to market. That’s only true to a certain extent, and I think it really depends on the size of the organization and audience.
For example, at a larger school, a separate page for athletics makes perfect sense because its a brand all on its own, separate from the campus/academic-focus of a central page. Certainly, there should be some cross-posting of content, but when you have regional fans of a football or basketball or soccer team that might not even be directly connected to the University, they want a place for relevant sports updates. Segmentation allows your athletics department to post more frequent, and more specific content, to their audience without “annoying” the central page’s audience, and allows your central page to continue to speak to your broader audience while incorporating content from the athletics page. Nothing confusing about that, and I’d the say the general public is familiar enough with FB page branding at this point to be aware of and even anticipate this kind of segmentation.
At your school, athletics might not be the only “brand” that rises to that level (at mine, it might be our nationally-recognized sustainability programs as well). Or, maybe you’re a bit of a smaller institution where the central brand truly is all-encompassing. It really depends on your situation.
Which, I suppose, is the take-away from all #hesm and research articles: the advice you take to heart should make sense for your institution. “Duh,” you say, but it’s good to remember before you work yourself into a panic about doing something “wrong,” or not doing something you “should.” (I do that regularly.)
Anyway, thanks, Matt Hames, for pulling those great 13 tips together. Gave me a lot to think about this Monday morning!