We launched ours (http://uchicago.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9183556279) on January 7th, with an e-mail blast to students and invitations to a few select alums that our director of communications knew were on Facebook. We had 148 "fans" by the end of the day, and have seen a steady increase of about 5-10 fans per day (we're at 225 now). It would seem that we've gone (slowly) viral.
Hi -- we set up a facebook group for our upcoming events. Users join the group and are sent a facebook alert every time a new event is added (or is close to coming up). We started a few months ago and now have more than 850 members. We put up a poster at each public event on campus telling people about the group.
We also have an e-mail subscription list for upcoming events but ever since we launched the facebook group, we have had more people joining the group than submitting their e-mail to the mailing list.
I work on the college level of a large university which has multiple colleges. We have two Facebook groups for alumni that seem useful so far, especially for letting the young alums know about events. We've had them for only a few months so we are still in the research period about how successful they are.
Our school has a facebook account. It seems fairly popular with recruits and current students. Overall, I think it is a success in that it is getting people more involved with what's happening in our little part of the world.
I'd love a little more information. If users sign up to be "fans" of your page, do they go on to interact further with you? I've signed up as a fan of a lot of pages on Facebook, but then generally never go to look at them again.
Do you have suggestions on how you use Facebook to keep people actively engaged and interacting with you?
The way to keep people engaged is to send out "updates" - notification of these will appear on your fans' home page, on the right sidebar, by where notifications of friend requests and such show up. You can also create events linked to your page, and invite fans to those events, and in their Facebook inboxes.
I would recommend setting up a "page" instead of a "group". Pages have more customizable features like the ability to add html and different applications. Pages also provide some "insights" as they call it. Visual information on page views, fans, wall activity, etc. There is also some demographic information available. You can also send out mass updates as Aaron mentioned targeting a demographic or just to all of your fans.
As far as posting events, groups and pages have an event box and when you are an admin you can create these events using the edit option.
Do you tend to segment your target groups or pages? A page focused more on alumni, another on prospective / admitted students, another for fans of the athletic teams?
From a marketing perspective, one would guess that the information that each of these groups is looking to receive on a page or group is significantly different. We've seen this sort of segmentation on the Facebook group side, but not very much on the Facebook page side.
Does one of these segments tend to drown out the others on a Facebook page? My inclination is that sports fans would tend to drown out discourse about admissions or alumni events (at least at schools in major sports conferences in sports like football, basketball, and baseball / softball).
"Emergency Alerts for OU Campus allows you to communicate with students, staff, and the community with custom website announcements. When time matters most, make sure your website is the go-to place for info."
"This is the first time I have been here in a long time. Selfishly, I would hope that you would be able to continue the site, but I understand realities. As I re-acquaint myself, I'm seeing a lot of value in what you have tirelessly built.…"
"Hi Mark, in line with many others who have posted, first a big thank you for providing this resource for so many years. I was a keen reader of it and occasional poster a good few years ago. And I loved my Website Hero mug until I dropped it and had…"
"I was a recent addition and did not find too much activity here that I could leverage but LinkedIn does seem to be the logical destination. Perhaps there is interest here and you can crowd source the migration. Migrating the content could…"
"I would be very sorry to see this resource go. I am just a one person shop at my college and feel quite a alone as far as anyone understanding the complexity of what I do. It's a wonderful thing to see people facing the same challenges I face…"
"I wouldn't feel necessary to stick with Ning if the cost isn't a burden. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Slack are all satisfactory options in my opinion. Slack is a great option for more instant communication, and you'll probably find a lot…"
"Thank you Mark, this has been an invaluable resource - particularly for seeing how our cohorts at other institutions approach the problems we all face.
But, as many people have said today, I haven't visited in a while. I think that's…"
"Regardless of where this goes, Mark, thanks for setting it up and running it all these years!
I find it quite useful myself, lurking mostly, but occasionally joining in where it might help us, or I might be able to provide value. I like having this…"
"OK, I give up. I am at Texas A&M, and @tamu.edu is not listed among those allowed to create userids. Can someone either (1) add TAMU.EDU or (2) send me an invitation to uwebd slack? (email@example.com).
I agree that the paid Ning site may have outlived its usefulness in light of other group media apps. Like many have stated, Slack and FaceBook / LinkedIn groups. are good options. Slack may not have as much adoption as FB or LI yet.
"If you decide to leave Ning, please consider as an additional place to have this discussion group at no cost, the GROUPS.IO discussion group network which is free and of a very high quality. It also provides a wiki to those who have discussion…"
"UWEBD is a site I come to ever so often but would hate for it to go away because it is a great place to meet and get input from other university web developers. Maybe move to a cheaper platform, Facebook group or LinkedIn group would be my choices.…"