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University Web Developers

Facebook Policies - Do you allow departments create their own Facebook pages?

So USC Upstate has had a Facebook page for about a year now and we're steadily picking up fans. Now that I've started to publicize our Facebook page more and more, Facebook.uscupstate.edu, we've had other departments and colleges inside the university asking if they can create a Facebook page for themselves as well.
I don't think it's too big a deal to allow them to, but I'm afraid that if we have too many of these pages, it will detract from the main university Facebook page or water down our brand.

How would your school handle this situation? Do you have any policies?

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Hariet, essentially what you want to do is "Add Page to My Favorites." Here's how if you're the administrator of your University page:

1. Login to Facebook and navigate to a department page.
2. Under the department image, on the left, will be a link "Add to My Page's Favorites."
3. Select this link and the University page from the drop down menu.

Now if you go back to your University page, the department page will appear as a link under the events on the left.
Ha... well, thank you for the compliment, Hariet.

First off, you need to be an admin to make any changes to a Facebook Page.

Assuming you are an admin, most people use the Static FBML app to add information, links, basic HTML elements to a Page.

http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=4949752878

Add a Static FBML box to your desired Page. Then, you'll need to go the the Page that you added the box to and choose "Edit Page". You should see something like FBML - FBML as one of the sections. You want to edit this section. Go ahead and edit the FBML box (e.g., change the title, add text, basic HTML, and FBML to the FBML section).

Using FBML code, a link to your page would look like this:


The benefit of using the fb:name tag is that if you change the name of your page, this link will change as well.

Once, you save this Static FBML box. You will likely see it in its own Boxes tab. If you click on the pencil icon, you can move it to your Walls page, which is most often the homepage for a Facebook Fan Page.

You can see an example here:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/VO-Test-Page/219223444324

I hope this helps.
In the past year, I start to notice a number of departments/offices creating their own pages. We didn't really have a problem with this, just wanted to make sure they represented the quality of the University. Instead of quietly trying to control the pages behind the scene, I made them more public. I sent a University-wide e-mail listing the pages that I knew about. The e-mail included the image each page used to promote itself. Seeing them side-by-side inspired several departments to take action.

Attached with the e-mail was a brief description of the Marketing Department and what it could do to help make pages better. For starters, I offered a universal logo that groups could use. I also offered training. In the first week I was added as an administrator on 12 of these pages and received phone calls on another 10 or so.

I still don't have access to a handful of pages, but we have been able to improve several.
Personal policy we have in our division: It depends.

Ideally, I think facebook pages should go down to the division level— in our case College of Engineering, but not down to the department level (like Electrical Engineering). The reason being that in our case, all engineering students are a cohesive enough of a tribe that they'll all be interested in the same thing.

However, we also have the Navy ROTC program in our division. If they wanted their own facebook page, I wouldn't stop them (actually I'd help them get off to a good start.)

In a college site where you have completely unrelated departments like Hotel Management and Agricultural Economics all under one roof, it's probably worth it to disseminate that out because Econ kids don't care about Hotel stuff.

I would love for our University to have a policy to lean on— or some kind of approval hoop to jump through, but we really don't. I'm just kind of keeping control through a stern look over here....
Nicely said, Charlie! As the College which houses both Hotel & Restaurant Management and Ag Economics, we do sometimes struggle with posting things on the main College page that will interest everyone but we try to keep it varied. We hope to include every department over time.

Our departments could have their own Facebook pages. I wouldn't dissuade them but I would caution them about the upkeep. We only maintain social media at the College-level, although we maintain department-level websites.

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