5 Schools with Phenomenal Facebook Pages
by CeCe Bazar | Filed Under Technology
April 17, 2012 —
It may seem like eons ago, but Facebook wasn’t always a social network heavily populated by moms, grandpas, big brands, your old college friends, and the guy that sits in the cubicle next to you.
When it started, Facebook was restricted to college students with university-issued email addresses. Today, the only restriction to registration is that you must be at least 13-years-old (welcome, Justin Bieber Fan Club members).
All of that said, the king of social networking hasn’t totally forgotten about its .edu heritage.
Last Wednesday, various media outlets reported that Facebook was going back to its university-centric roots by launching a new feature called Groups for Schools, which will house various school-specific student and staff created groups in a single directory.
The new feature will also let its members share files as large as 25 MB (think lecture notes, assignments, presentations, and schedules, not music and movies). Facebook is managing the rollout of the feature, Venture Beat’s Jennifer Van Grove writes, and its use will be exclusively limited to college and university communities and their active faculty and students.
Now, while Groups for Schools will probably do a lot to help colleges and universities organize their Facebook presence, it’s not exactly an earth-shattering concept.
After all, some schools have been using Facebook for years to provide virtual tours, share news, photos and factoids, and stay in touch with alumni. Here are five colleges or universities that are already killing it on Facebook, along with the things that make their pages so unique:
- The American University: As higher education communications expert Patrick Powers writes on his blog, American University’s Facebook page doesn’t limit itself to simply providing Facebook updates. It includes tabs for Twitter and foursquare, which provide real-time updates — like the wait time for an omelet at one of its dining halls.
- Brown University: Whoever manages Brown University’s Facebook page clearly understands the value of incredible images (which, in case you were stuck in a black hole last week, are pretty valuable if you put any stock in Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion). The school recently hosted a contest on its page that encouraged fans to vote for Brown’s new Facebook page cover photo, soliciting almost 1,000 likes of eight different pictures.
- University of Kansas: With nearly 180,000 likes, “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” engages its fans with unique photos in its Instagram album (see above), well-produced videos about the school and its students, and a “Fun Stuff” tab that includes everything from printable school-themed paper airplane templates to e-Cards, screensavers, and door hangers.
- Texas A&M University: Howdy, partner! Texas A&M provides its 300,000+ fans with incredibly unique content in its “Howdy” tab, which includes free downloads from iTunes U, a link to TAMUmobile, a live feed of fan photos at games, buttons for the school’s Twitter and Campus News sections, virtual campus tours, and a link to its admissions page.
- Michigan State University: As US News reporter Ryan Little points out in this slideshow, the Spartans’ Facebook story is almost completely told by its people – students, faculty, parents, and alumni. The front page features testimonials and video stories from alumni, current students, and staff. Fans can also upload their own video story about the school.
There you have it. Those schools’ pages will likely change a bit when Facebook rolls out Groups for Schools, but they’ve already got a great head start on some of their biggest rivals.
Did your school make the list? If not, what do you like most about your alma mater’s Facebook page?