Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ultimate Guide to Facebook Engagement

Here’s a great read for those of us tasked with being the admins. for Facebook pages – “The ultimate guide to Facebook fan engagement” by Jeff Bullas on Ragan’s PR Daily.It just so happens that these are some of the most common questions that we encounter when talking all things Facebook with departments and organizations here at BC.

Bullas shares research by Buddy Media that took Facebook user engagement data of the top 100 retailers during a six-month period in 2011. These are interesting items that include be best time of day to post for maximum user engagement (between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.), best days to post (Wednesdays) and the ideal number of times week to post (one to four). As Bullas points out, this data provides some useful lessons that can apply to many types of businesses or organizations.

This month also marks the shift from the pages we know and love to Timeline pages. Kevin Allen writes “What PR Pros Need to Know About Facebook Timeline for Brands”, another good resource that underlines the importance of moderation on our social media sites.

Happy reading!

Facebook 101

A request from a department has come in, asking us to take them through a “how to” session on setting up a page on Facebook. So here you have it – Facebook Page 101 (with a super special bonus on “Insights“).

First, you’ll need a Facebook account. After logging onto Facebook, scroll down to the very bottom of the main page. There you will find the option “Create a Page” (and thank you for ignoring the childlike Photoshop-ed arrow.)

Next, select “Company, Organization or Institution” and find the option that best describes you. NOTE: When creating a page, be sure to list your official office title!

Follow the prompts to upload a profile picture (This should be your official office logo or seal), write basic “about” text and link to your office website.

One option will allow you to create a “Facebook Web Address” or Facebook alias, to make It easy for people to find your page. If you have an well-known acronym already associated with your office – i.e. AHANA, ODSD, BCPD – it works, but don’t stretch. Keep it simple.

After you set these options, Facebook will take you on a virtual tour, prompting you to “like” the page, invite friends, and post on your wall. We recommend to hold off on these options until you are comfortable with the way the page looks and ready for others to view it. Friendly public service announcement: please keep in mind, that unlike previous versions of Facebook Pages, this field is LIVE once you get to this screen. People can view the page with the URL or through a search. So never post anything that is unsuitable for public consumption.

And there you are. A page. You’ll see the administrative panel on top – this will be a way to keep track of all the users on your site and learn what posts create a buzz. For now, start by adding a timeline cover photo (for more on that, click here)

The cover is an image – ideal sized to 851 x 315 pixels – that is the first thing visitors will see on your page. Make it engaging, easy to read and something that captures the personality of your office. Some great examples at BC are the Office of Health Promotion, the John J. Burns Library, and BCPD.

Starting a page is the easy part. What is a little more difficult is making it successful. Start by populating your page with meaningful content – add pictures, status updates and links that encourage user engagement. We’ll have more on that in future posts.

You can start to drive traffic to your page by “liking” other Boston College pages. This essentially allows you to link to those Facebook pages already up and running. To do this, click on the upper right hand side of the Facebook header and select the “Use Facebook as:” option. This gives you the ability to use the site as your department, as opposed to an individual.

It is also highly recommended to include two or three page administrators from your office. The overlap will prevent a site from being abandoned due to unforeseen departures or simply, a way to ensure the Facebook page has multiple people able to remove questionable content, post updates etc.

Need more help? Facebook does a really good job providing site “tours” to remind you what needs to be added or checked. Before promoting your page, take a tour and make sure all of the Facebook suggestions are complete. Here’s a link to a Facebook course on pages.

Also, remember to check your page insights as often as you can. The analytical tool is available to any page that has over 30 “likes.” After you achieve the first 30 fans, you are able to take advantage of a free service provided by Facebook that helps administrators understand activity and performance of fans. Seeing this data should inform what you do in the future. In time, you will be able to see trends – what gets your fans talking and what causes people to tune out.

Questions? Email social@bc.edu