Facebook is THE top social media platform for connecting and engaging with target publics. Every institution of higher education MUST have an official Facebook page in order to maintain and enhance relationships with prospects, students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff, and other stakeholders via social media. Public relations professionals in the higher education industry should ensure that the institutions they represent are optimizing Facebook to accomplish public relations objectives and social media communications goals.
With over 141,000 Facebook “likes,” the official Texas Tech University Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TexasTechYou#!/TexasTechYou) is bursting with likable content and engaging activity. TTU is frequently uploading videos, photos, and news stories to its Facebook page, and TTU Facebook fans are constantly posting about Texas Tech in status updates, and tagging Texas Tech in photos, links, and comments. From what I can tell, the majority of all user generated content is appropriate, positive, and upbeat. TTU employees, parents, sports fans, and students (prospective, current, and former) are actively engaging in some form of social media communication with TTU via the Texas Tech Facebook page.
I was pleasantly surprised to find so many of my Facebook friends including TTU staff, faculty, students, alumni, and parents (yes, even my own mother) posting such positive opinions, attitudes, and feelings about the institution they so deeply admire and respect. Furthermore, Texas Tech has been very effective in optimizing its Facebook page to promote events, deals and specials, campus updates, and engaging content for publics to participate in meaningful conversations. TTU frequently posts questions for Facebook fans to engage in by providing personalized feedback, such as “Finish this sentence: You know you’re a Red Raider when… Leave a comment below and let us know what sets Red Raiders apart!” This particular post generated over 180 comments from TTU Facebook fans, and was a fun and unique way for fellow Techsans to connect with TTU and other interested publics like themselves via social media, while also enhancing brand relationships with publics. It also allowed Red Raiders to publicly express the reasons why they love TTU, thus improving Texas Tech’s brand position in the market, and promoting and strengthening the Texas Tech brand.