Do a Google search for Higher Education, Advising and Facebook and one can see the myriad of links associated with social media and its positive uses for the student population.  It is a good centralized location to have students talk about classes, clubs to join, and places to live or discuss general happenings in their major or at the University. 

I think of myself as a pioneer as I created a Facebook group for my student cohorts back in 2005. At that time, it was a shock to use Facebook in that capacity.

shock

Lucky we live in 2016!

Funny how times have changed and Facebook and social media have become a tool that every advisor should use.  I am a big proponent of using social media and specifically Facebook groups. I will be talking about some Do’s and Don’ts of how to create and maintain a Facebook group for your student population!

  • First: You need to have a Facebook account – that is simple enough! Go to www.facebook.com and fill out the information to get a Facebook account.
  • Second: Create a group! From your “home page” click on “create group” and follow the prompts/questions.

Selecting the privacy is important because you don’t want just anyone coming in and you want to be able to control the group, too. My opinion is to select “closed group” that way anyone can find the group and see who is in it, but only members can see posts.

fb

You should be the moderator/admin, but it is possible to allow trusted upper classmen or student workers to help with the load of managing the page.  Something that should be mentioned though is that ultimately you are the boss and you need to make sure this is crystal clear with all student helpers as well as with the students utilizing the group. This includes establishing guidelines of rules, Do’s and Don’ts, expectations, and ultimately what is behavior that gets you booted.

Yes, there is such a thing as bad Facebook behavior and you do not want to be surprised at things if and when they occur….

comp

For the full directions click here: https://www.facebook.com/help/167970719931213?helpref=about_content

So you have your group set up, don’t be a boring Facebook group moderator!

The goal is to get students to interact and engage with each other and ask questions and to do that you need a page that feels “open.”

DO:

  • Put front page picture that describes what the group is about
  • Post often on the group page
  • Moderate and be involved in discussions
  • Promote the group as a part of every Freshman’s to-do list
  • Post rules of the group
  • Have a system in place to warn students that may be going “overboard”

DON’T:

  • Create a group page and never invite anyone to it
  • Post only once in a while
  • Choose a boring name for your group – make it different and special, but something that people can find easily, too

There is a plethora of different resources and websites available to guide you to create and become the best Facebook group out there. This blog is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg! Questions or comments please contact me at leparulo@eng.fsu.edu I would love to help!

Content for this post was written by Willy Leparulo, advisor for Pre-Engineering students in the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering.