Thursday, 29 May 2014

Usage of Facebook in the University

Facebook is currently labelled as the biggest social media network today.  Its users have already exceeded multiple digits, and its features continue to evolve.

Different kinds of users, from individuals to entities, have long decided to embrace the Facebook trend.  Universities are just one of these entities.  These educational institutions use the mega-network to establish connections to its stakeholders – from faculty members, to students, staff to research networks.

Yet, how could universities optimise more its use of Facebook?

Add discussion or poll features.  This particular social media network incites expression.  People, both young and old, find it less burdensome to type in their issues, reactions, or opinions.  Universities must use this attribute to harness and recognise the “pulse” of these users.

These ‘readings’ could do well to plan, correct or address issues or growing assumptions within the campus.

Expose projects or facilities.  Universities may have several facilities that don’t ring familiar to students.  Facebook is a good platform to showcase those facilities, to bring awareness about its existence and value.

But because it is addressed to students, the university or its social media manager needs to focus on properly ‘packaging’ the message.
Promote causes.  Anti-bullying, online etiquette or better self-image campaigns would do well with a university’s Facebook page.  There are also campaigns on sustainable environment, conservation, even charity work.

These causes, however, must not only work to increase ‘likes.’  Rather, it must promote real, authentic engagement.

The usage of Facebook in the university and for university-wide purposes is not without risks.  Some online campaigns do tend to backfire, as do intentions.  

Hence, it’s essential for the university, social media manager (or PR-folks), and users to become fully aware of these risks.  Explicit rules or basic guidelines present a good start.  Participating faculty members must pose a good example, too!

image credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment