As a school, you may be hesitant about setting up a Facebook page. You are probably concerned about negative comments and feedback, and about the privacy and security of your staff and students. So I am going to show you how to address these issues when setting up your Facebook page. You can either watch the YouTube video below, or follow the step by step instructions below the video.
Set up a Personal Account
To set up a Page for your school, you will first need a personal account on Facebook. Don’t worry – nobody looking at the school’s page will be able to see that your personal account is linked to the Page, or any of your posts on your personal account. If you create a personal account specifically for creating your school page, you don’t need to use it in anyway, but do remember that Facebook doesn’t like duplicate accounts as it considers them to be fake accounts.
Creating The Page
So once you have your personal account open, look for the Create icon on the toolbar on the top of the page. Click on this and it will take you to Select Business or Brand or Community or Public Figure.
- Select Business or Brand, as the other option is mostly for organisations that do not have a physical address
- Click on Get Started and put in the name of your school
- Then select category – for UK schools I would suggest School
- Then click continue
- You will then have to choose a profile picture for your page – it is best to use the school logo for this
- After this you will be asked to choose a cover image for the page. This is a larger image that will go alongside the profile picture. You might need to edit the photo or image for this, so I am going to show you how to do this on Canva which is a free image editing software. It does take a moment to update so don’t worry if it doesn’t appear straight away.
Using Canva to Create a Cover Image
Canva offers a whole range of templates for everything from posters to leaflets to social media headers. So we are going to use it to create a Cover Image for our Facebook page. We select Facebook Cover which gives us the correct dimensions for a Facebook Cover image.
- You can then choose a template, browse the stock photos or use Uploads to upload your own images or logos.
- If you want some text on your image, select the text icon from the side bar. You can then change the font, colour and size using the toolbar along the top of the screen.
- When you have completed your design, download the file – choose either jpeg or png as a file type.
Completing Your Page Info
- Once you have uploaded your Cover Image, you will be on the page home screen, from here you can access things like Notifications and Publishing settings through the toolbar located above the cover image
- So next we are going to complete the Page Info section. To get to this click on settings and select Page Info from the side toolbar
- Then you fill out the description, this should be a short description giving people information about your school. Remember to highlight your school’s strengths and its Unique Selling Point.
- You then fill out the contact section which should contain your phone number, website and email address
- Next you put in the school’s address and choose whether you want a map displayed on your page – if not simply untick the box
- You will then put the area of your school into the Service area box, this helps to focus promoting the page to people in your area.
- After this go down to business hours and state when your school is open.
Security Settings on Facebook
- General settings here on the side toolbar is where you can set the level of control and security that you require on your Page.
- You can choose whether to keep your page unpublished until you’ve finished editing it, but don’t forget to put it live when you are ready.
- Then go down to visitor posts. If you are very concerned about getting negative comments on your Facebook page, you could choose to disable visitor posts altogether here, but this would prevent interaction on your page and may put people off using the page.
- A lower level of control is to review posts which will allow you to give a yes or no decision on whether the post is made public. This will cause a delay between people posting and seeing their posts, and adds extra workload for you, but if you are concerned about negative posts, this does give you an extra level of control.
- You then choose whether to make it possible for people to privately message the page. I would recommend that you allow this, as a lot of people do communicate directly via Facebook messenger. Remember that someone needs to check notifications daily and respond to them.
- You next select the tagging abilities dictating if the page is able to be tagged in posts or pictures from other sources. This is a good way of finding out if other people are talking about your school and gives you the chance to respond, so I would recommend that you agree to this.
- You then choose the age restriction for the page. I would suggest all ages from 13+ because that is the age when you can create a Facebook account.
- You then decide on the Page Moderation, you can choose certain words to ban from the page, alternatively you can go down one to the Profanity Filter and select strong and this will prevent any bad language being used on the Page automatically.
- You can then decide in the next few boxes factors about translation. If different languages are used by your school community you may wish to allow these.
- You can also select whether your comments are ranked by time or relevance
- The next sidebar selection you want to make is Notifications
- This section lets you set up your personal preferences regarding how frequently you want notifying of activity on your page, and how you want to be notified.
- It is important to have several people who are able to access your Facebook Page in case of illness or long term absence.
- Facebook enables you to do this through Page Roles which is on the sidebar here.
- From this page you can add people to your page as admins, editors, moderators, advertisers or analysts. Each role has different access levels as you can see on the chart here.
- You will need to enter the name of a personal account or the email address used on that account to add someone new
Good reviews on your Facebook page are a great way of marketing your school. However, if you are concerned that you may get some negative reviews, then you do have the option of switching off reviews here.
So now your Facebook page is ready to go live. Now you need to build up some likes on your page so put a link to your Facebook page on your website, on your emails and letters going out to parents and prospective parents, and invite them to Like your page.
Claiming Your URL
One last thing that would benefit your Facebook page is to set a Custom URL. You can do this by selecting the Create User Name link underneath the profile picture. This replaces the current URLwhich is filled with random letters and numbers with whatever you choose as a name for your page. This makes it much easier for people to type in the web address and find your page.