Facebook is a social networking website. Users can add people as friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks to identify themselves by their workplace, school, location or university. Users can also become fans of corporate/business pages or members of more unofficial groups.
For the University, Facebook is very useful for communicating with prospective and current students. Its use is dominated by the 18-24 year old age group but a significant number of alumni also use the corporate page.
University presences and ownership
The University’s Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/exeteruni. It is managed by Charlotte Sweet in Communication and Marketing Services.
Creating new presences
It is important that, as far as is possible, the University has a unified presence on Facebook and other social networks so as not to dilute the presence of the institution. Our main Facebook page is sufficient for news, announcements and discussion about the University in general and Facebook users will expect to see one official page for the University.
It may be appropriate to create new Facebook pages or groups if these are for a specific and well-defined audience, and have a specific well-defined aim. An example might be a Facebook page to support a particular research centre.
Before creating a new Facebook presence please
- Contact Charlotte to discuss your requirements
- Ensure that you have sufficient time and resources to support it.
What to say and how to say it
Facebook is very much about people identifying with the subject of the page or group and wanting to join in with that issue, so your audience’s interaction is a key part of the process.
With this in mind your postings should always be of interest, be timely and be part of creating an ‘experience’ for your audience. Facebook is a two-way medium and you should be ready and able to respond to any questions or direct messages.
The content that you post should be professional in tone and grammatically correct, but should avoid overly formal language. Talk to your followers as you would talk to them face-to-face in a professional setting.
News stories, upcoming events, open days, visits and university developments are all suitable subjects for updates. Bear in mind that news headlines and central events with links to web pages are automatically posted to the official page by Communication and Marketing Services.
Consider carefully whether you have the material to ensure that any proposed new page or group is kept current and that your audience doesn’t get bored and lose interest.
- Privacy: Facebook maintains ownership of all content uploaded to the service. Bear in mind that once content is posted to Facebook, it is not at all easy to delete or recall it. You can also control the way that different people see your profile by adjusting your privacy settings - more information about how to do this is available here.
- Please think about what your posts say about the University and please consider that Communications and Marketing Services may already have a strategy in place with regard to communicating specific topics. Please always check with Charlotte if you want to post anything to the corporate page.