Social Media Handbook
Appendix B: Setting up a Facebook fan page
A Facebook fan page can be a great way to promote the activities of your department or program, showcase accomplishments and events, engage with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community, and create a forum for conversation and discussion.
All Facebook brand pages changed to Timeline on March 30, 2012. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A profile picture. This is similar to the profile picture you’re used to, such as the square V social media icons.
- A timeline cover image. This is a large image that will take up the width of your Facebook page. It should be at least 399 px wide and very high quality. It shouldn’t have buttons or call-to-action wording on it. See more about what is and isn’t allowed on your timeline cover image. If you want to see what your profile image looks like on your timeline cover image, you can play with that in this Photoshop file: Download it.
- Images for your tabs. This is where your call-to-action items can be – these should be attention-grabbing and lead your visitors to more content.
- Please familiarize yourself with all the changes to your Facebook brand page.
Facebook Fan Page vs. Facebook Group
It’s usually better to create a fan page rather than a group for your department or program. The chart, below, compares the features offered by fan pages and by groups.
|Allows distinct URLs||Yes||No|
|Indexed by search engines like Google||Yes||No|
|Admin can access visitor statistics||Yes||No|
|Discussion features and forums||Yes||Yes|
|Can be cross-promoted on other fan pages||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to create events and invitations||Yes||Yes|
|Twitter or blog feeds||Yes||No|
|Visible to unregistered people||Yes||No|
|Fans can leave comments and “likes”||Yes||No|
|Can send out bulk emails to your members’ in boxes||No||Yes|
|Information posted on your wall will appear on your fans’ walls||Yes||No|
|The administrator’s personal information isn’t listed||Yes||No|
How to create a Facebook Fan Page:
- To set up a Facebook fan page for your Vanderbilt department or program, first secure the approval of your department chair or program manager. Unlike on your personal Facebook page, on this page you will be speaking for the university. Include a statement on the page that states you reserve the right to remove any inappropriate content. Medical Center programs must follow additional guidelines; discuss with your supervisor before proceeding.
- The university has created a family of icons that can be used and adapted for individual schools, colleges and programs – please contact the Office of University Web Communications for assistance in customizing those icons. If you do not wish to use these icons and wish to use the Vanderbilt logo or any variation of it, contact Maggie Huckaba in the Office of Trademark Licensing at 3-7292 or Maggie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To create a fan page, you’ll need to have a Facebook account. You can set up this account with your personal Vanderbilt email account (fan pages keep your personal account information private) or you can set up the account with a VUgroupmail account (like, say, email@example.com). Go to www.facebook.com and fill out the form on the homepage to set up a new account.
- Once you’ve set up your Facebook account, go to www.facebook.com and log in with your user name and password.
- Then go to www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
- You may want to use the category “Local > Education” or you may prefer to use “Brand, Product or Organization > Nonprofit.”
- For “Name of Page,” choose something that will clearly identify your organization.
- Then click on the “Create Page” button.
- Now you’re ready to start adding items to your fan page. Here are some ideas to help you build your Fan Page:
- Avoid sending too many updates to your fans.
- Highlight new Facebook features when and if they are added. Talk specifically about how to use new features and ask others to share their experiences with new features.
- Mention when your Web site is updated, whether it’s new photos, an upcoming event, etc.
- Add links to drive traffic to your department or organization’s Web site.
- Favorite other Facebook pages that have topics similar to your Facebook page.
- Monitor comments on your Facebook wall daily and respond to those that warrant it. Encourage two-way communication. Delete those comments that include personal attacks, vulgarity or racial / other slurs. However, do not delete comments simply because they are critical – rather, respond on the wall or directly to the individual with additional information.
- Ask staff and co-workers to “Share” or “Post” to your Facebook page. Ensure their comments also follow the guidelines above for professional university communications.
- Include a link to your Facebook page in your e-mail signature.
- Include your social media information in promotional materials.