Use your community's Facebook fan page to its full potential.
With all the new tools and techniques that Facebook has introduced this year, it is critical to utilize the customization options in order to effectively engage with your student and parent audience. Students are more connected than ever these days. They spend an average of 3.5 hours per day on Facebook alone. This is why customizing your community's Facebook Fan page is no longer an option in today's social media driven world. It's a must.
Did you know you can practically replicate your website in Facebook? Yes, it's true. Facebook has now made it possible for you to add just about anything to your custom app pages. It can seem overwhelming, but you can make it easier by asking yourself a few simple questions:
1. What are students most interested in about my community?
2. What elements of the community do you think they will share?
3. What resources can I add to Facebook to make their lives easier?
Once you have answered these questions, start mapping out your page, just like a website. Think about the app tabs as the website navigation and make it simple for your fans to navigate through your Facebook Timeline. Below are a few pages that we suggest and have seen work for our student housing clients. If you want to see them live in Facebook visit:
Include a "floor plans" page for students to easily see and share their options. You can take it a step further by customizing the share text to say "I am living here" for students to share their chosen floor plan with their friends by posting it on their own Facebook wall.
Stay up-to-date with your prospects' contact information. Include a "contact us" form for students to enter their email and mobile information. This will make linking your Facebook page to e-blasts more efficient.
Video/ Virtual Tour
Since video is the number one type of content shared on the Web, add a video or virtual tour page. This saves students time from searching through all of your Facebook video albums. Having your video stand out on a page with a share button is much cleaner and easier.
Make it easy for residents to communicate with you through your Facebook page. Add a residents' services page to allow your residents to contact you directly, place a work order and even pay online. Students are constantly on Facebook, so by having all of the resources on the medium they use most, it saves you time and money.
Think about the other media that your students are using: Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, etc. All of these can be integrated into your Facebook page. Just add the app and be sure to actively use each account so that content is continually shared and linked.
As we said above, Facebook has now made it possible for brands, like yours, to build out their pages to include just about anything. All you need is some creativity and a partner who knows how to build it. So think big and have fun!
— Alexis Krisay is a consulting partner and the vice president of marketing for Serendipit Consulting, a public relations, marketing, branding and event-planning firm. www.themodernbuzz.com.