On September 6, US Judge Michael Davis ruled that the Minnewaska Area School District in Minnesota violated the First Amendment (freedom of speech) and Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure) rights of a 12-year-old student by forcing her to hand over her Facebook password to school officials who in turn used it to search for messages they deemed inappropriate.
Facebook Ads: Are they Worth It?
Ugh. Ads. I think we all hate them. Especially when Facebook likes to use its users as fodder for getting more likes for their customers, people begin to really, really hate ads. I’ve been wondering lately if people’s hatred of ads on Facebook is enough to make it not worth it for businesses to buy ads.
From what I’ve read, the first thing you need to do as a potential ad-buyer is figure out your motivation. Do you want to sell a product or do you simply want to accumulate likes? Facebook seems to be more effective for the latter and could, in that case, be extremely useful for a band, organization, or university.
This article was extremely helpful in explaining the different kinds of Facebook ads that a business can look into buying:
- Like Ads – Like ads allow the people who view your ads to “Like” your brand through the advertisement, resulting in both a “Like” for your brand’s Facebook and a share in the viewer’s News Feed (which can lead to additional exposure and social proof).
- Poll Ads – Poll ads include a voting feature within the ad that enables viewers to share their thoughts and opinions on your ad content or brand. As with the like ads, the poll option that each viewer selects appears on his News Feed, increasing the eyeballs on your brand’s name.
- Event Ads – Event ads are typically used by major corporations to advertise things like band tours, movie releases and other big promotions. Viewers of these ads can “RSVP” to each event ad, with their selections – again – being shared in their News Feeds.
- Sampling Ads – Sampling ads offer viewers a very clear call to action by enabling companies to offer free samples of their product via Facebook ad.
- Video Comment Ads – Similar to the sampling ads, video comment ads automatically deploy a video for the viewer to watch when clicked. When the video is done, viewers can leave their comments or share the video with friends (both of which result in additional exposure).
- Standard Ads – Standard ads, as you might expect, are the simplified versions of these options. There’s no polling features and no pop-up videos – just the opportunity for users to click through to the brand’s Facebook page or to an external page.
These types of ads serve completely different purposes and likely have varying levels of effectiveness, but for university use I would say that the best possible ads would probably be “Like Ads” and “Event Ads.” One of my office’s biggest problems is outreach; we have a huge student body and very little ability to reach out to every single one of them. However, a huge number of people, especially college students, have a Facebook page. A simple Like Ad could alert people to the fact that yes, we do have a Facebook and yes, it is active.
Part of my job is also marketing for events. An “Event Ad” allows people to RSVP, which could be useful for us and useful for students who want to reach out and get more involved on campus.
Definitely something to think on. If we end up utilizing Facebook Ads I’ll write a follow-up.
Big brother is watching and his name is Facebook.
“Hasta La Vista, Baby!” Available at Red Bubble on t-shirts, hoodies and iPhone cases.
Is it a coincidence that the “Social Media Revolution” is happening so close to 2012? I THINK NOT.
Top Five Social Media Sites for Colleges
The days of using Facebook only for connecting with students is over. As of 2012, colleges, businesses, and organizations are using multiple forms of social media to connect with customers. Here’s how I think social media managers should go about this.
Facebook is, of course, the main social media platform and should be a top priority for any organization. As of May of this year, Facebook has over 900 million users and it continues to grow. “Will you Facebook me?” seems to have become a pretty common phrase at this point (I tend to ask people for their Facebook before their phone number). Having a Facebook is something that students expect of their university, and it serves as a tool to help students get information about their college and connect with other students, as well as a way of pulling prospective students to the university.
The way that I see Facebook is as the official face of any sort of College Office. Rather than having a website, Facebook can serve as the host for an interactive homepage, which is more easily accessible to many students. Considering that some surveys find 90% of college students to have a Facebook, it should be a necessity to have a Facebook. Facebook is the perfect way to engage students in a professional way - you don’t want to pretend like you’re just one of their friends, but at least you can connect with them on a level that they understand perfectly.
I have to admit that I didn’t see the point of Twitter for a very long time. I tend to be a pretty wordy person, so it was difficult for me to condense my thoughts into a Tweet. I also found it difficult to navigate Twitter, and I couldn’t spend hours on it like I can on Facebook (yes, I know, I have a problem). Now that I’m actually working with social media, I see the point of Twitter quite a bit more. Following business, websites, and certain people can give Twitter users a chance to pick the news that they see. Not only that, but that news arrives every minute, which allows people to stay hooked in at any given moment.
Twitter can compliment Facebook really well, if used correctly. What I’ve done is used the application TradableBits to put our Twitter feed in with our “Likes” and “Location” boxes on our Page. While you don’t want to bog down your Facebook page with an endless stream of status updates, that’s exactly what Twitter is meant to do - provide a stream of news and information. Plus, Twitter is the second-most-used social networking platform, so you can reach a lot of users that way.
I feel like Tumblr is an incredibly under-utilized social networking platform. Tumblr is fun, useful, user-friendly, social…the list goes on and on. If you want to start a blog for your school, create that blog on Tumblr. If you’re blogging on Tumblr, it gives you a way to connect with Tumblr users at your school. They can follow your blog and connect your Tumblr with their lives.
It’s also fairly easy to find other Tumblr users in your city, which can lead you to your students. I track tags that are related to my school: our location…our mascot. I’ve also managed to find students by searching for event-related tags. For instance, Cornell West spoke at our school this year, and I managed to find a student who had blogged about it. Our Tumblr page is slowly growing, and I feel like it will only continue to get more followers as Tumblr gets more blogs. If all else fails, at least Tumblr can serve as a nice-looking blog that people might not follow, but will look at.
I have to admit that I am fascinated by Pinterest. According to a lot of sources, it’s the fastest-growing social media site online, and when you go out to the site you can see why. I’ve only been using a personal Pinterest account for a few weeks, and I’ve already used it to pick a haircut, find arts and crafts projects, and learn about social media. I definitely wasn’t the first person out of my college-aged friends to catch the Pinterest bug either - my news feed on Pinterest is always full of friends pinning and repinning things that interest them.
The Pinterest college model that I like the best is the one created by Drake University. Drake pins “things related to bulldog culture” and I think that any college interested in creating a Pinterest account should follow their league. They have boards for people wearing their colors, pictures of their mascot (the completely adorable bulldog), study tips, and college life. They’ve managed to accumulate over 2000 followers, which is quite an impressive number. Of course, one thing to keep in mind is your student body. If you think that your student body is not really the type to have a lot of Pinterest users, then there’s not too much of a point in creating a Pinterest account that nobody will use.
I’ve already blogged about SCVNGR, and I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a little bit obsessed with it. Here’s what I said about it before:
SCVNGR is, according to its website, “a game about doing challenges at places.” SCVNGR’s goal is to build a game layer on top of the world, making it a game to go out to eat, go to class, or pretty much anything else. You complete challenges and you rack up points, with what I’m assuming is an end goal of winning at life (not sure what the reward for that is).
So yeah - it’s no secret that I love SCVNGR. Colleges can use SCVNGR to teach their students about the school and let them have fun while doing it. I just started using SCVNGR last week and I’m already psyched about the badges that I can get and the points I can rack up for visiting locations at my school. For schools that have a low rate of student involvement (like mine), SCVNGR is a way to encourage students to get involved.
Social Media I’ll Be Exploring in the Future…
- Google+ seems to be growing quite a bit. After they did their most recent revamp of the Facebook layout, I was convinced that people were going to switch over to Google+, but I’m starting to think that Facebook is too deeply rooted in people’s lives at this point to be made obsolete. That being said, Google+ continues to steadily rise in users, despite the fact that I feel like it’s basically just a copy of Facebook. I’ll be researching what’s so different about Google+ at some point, and possibly branching out.
- Foursquare is another one that I haven’t really explored. Their recently changed app seems to have sparked a lot of interest on the interwebs, so I’ll definitely be checking that out at some point in the future. Oh 3G, why do you have to be so expensive?!