By Meredith Boyce
You probably already know that your Liberty Facebook account helps to create brand awareness and also strengthens your relationship with students, staff, and the community. But did you know that your account could also be used to help recruit/retain students and even as a ministry tool?
Recruiting/Retaining Students through Facebook
Facebook is a great way to recruit and retain students who are interested in your department. Through social media, specifically Facebook, you can answer specific questions prospective or current students have effectively and efficiently. You may also keep students updated on different events, internship opportunities, and even share interesting articles. One department that does a great job at utilizing their Facebook page is Studio & Digital Arts. It’s filled with travel information, upcoming galleries, and professor accomplishments. This, I believe, has helped them to steadily grow their followers and even gain students who might be interested in their programs.
Facebook as Ministry
Your Facebook page can also have a spiritual impact on your audience. You have the opportunity to use social media to reach many people who are learning about your educational programs.
As a student goes through school at Liberty, they may “like” your department’s Facebook page to stay updated on different events and to read relevant articles to help them in their studies. But they may also see an encouraging Bible verse posted or watch a video of a testimony.
As Christians, we are always witnesses and how you interact with people says something about who you are. Your page can help make an impact on someone’s life.
Dos and Don’ts
Here’s how to make your university Facebook account great:
Do: Update your social media accounts regularly
- This is self-explanatory, but you would be surprised at how many accounts go months without being updated. When people see this, it doesn't look good. I recommend updating your Facebook page 3-5 days a week.
Don’t: Post the same thing over and over
- This one seems silly to say, but it is something that people do way too often. I really like Facebook because you can post anything you want to on your pages (within the guidelines in Liberty’s Social Media Toolkit). There are so many different things you can use Facebook for - photos, videos, links to educational articles, Bible verses, fun quizzes, and the list goes on! But I don’t recommend posting the same thing over and over again. This can actually push people away from your page. A good question to ask yourself is, “Why would someone want to follow my page?”
Don’t: Post without reviewing and using spell check
- The worst thing you can do is post something that doesn’t clearly communicate your message and the best way to not communicate clearly is to have a spelling error. I recommend having someone review your post before you post it, run your text through a spell checker or something like Grammarly, and ask yourself, “Does this post make sense?” “Does this post require someone to assume?"
Do: Hide comments, don’t delete them
- If you ever do have to remove a negative or inappropriate comment from one of your posts, I recommend not deleting it. What I recommend you do is simply hide it. There is a really great tool on Facebook where you can just hide comments. When you hide comments, the post can only be seen by the person who wrote the comment and his or her friends. This also helps you to avoid any anger the person might have about you deleting a comment.
Do: Answer messages and respond to comments
- The number one reason people “unfollow” a page is because of a lack of communication. If you receive a message from a student about something, do your best to respond and get them the answers they need. This makes millennials feel heard and creates a sense of loyalty to you! It might sound crazy, but it is truly how they feel when you respond, even if it isn’t exactly an answer to their question.