A few weeks ago I had a conversation about Facebook pages with a colleague. An interesting questions was brought up: should an institution have just one main Facebook page or multiple (eg. for each program or service area)?
There are pros and cons to each scenario. What I hope to do is offer my thoughts, what direction we are going and why.
Allows for a larger brand footprint: Having multiple Facebook pages for your organization will increase the likelihood that a prospective customer will discover your organization. For example if someone searches ‘environmental science’ on Facebook, they may not come to your school page if you just used your school name as your Facebook page name. But if you have another page for your environmental science program, they may discover your program’s page if your page name is ‘Environmental Science at School Name’.
Allows for niche marketing/conversations: You don’t want to clutter your fans’ news feed with constant updates about various programs on campus in your primary Facebook page. A separate page for programs, schools or departments would allow for that conversation to exist and would only by received by those interested. I’m sure not all your Facebook fans care about latest happenings with your business program.
Requires additional resources: This point is usually the deal breaker for organizations in adopting multiple Facebook pages. The marketing, recruitment, communications or web teams are usually already over-tasked at post secondary schools, adding more tasks to their plates is unlikely. If the various areas on campus have the desire, time and training, why not empower them to manage their page. I can’t emphasis enough that they should receive some training on Facebook and social media best practices.
May water down your brand: With having too many Facebook pages with your institution’s name attached, the potential exists that people may become unclear as to what the official channels are. In essence your multiple Facebook pages could end up competing with each other.
Conversations may be lost: If you empower staff to manage their Facebook page for their program or school, conversations may be lost that are valuable for recruitment, alumni or other areas. One way to avoid this is to have one key person identified to assist in monitoring the conversation.
The pros of multiple Facebook pages outweigh the cons, with the caveat that the individual areas are able to support the Facebook page with qualified staff with the time required.
What approach does your school follow? Are there other pros or cons you can share for multiple Facebook pages?