Four Reasons Why Your School Needs a Facebook Welcome Page

There is so much more to Facebook than posting updates on your school’s wall.

Many big businesses and brands have Facebook welcome pages. Only a few private schools have them. 

I just launched a Facebook welcome page for Enrollment Catalyst. You can check it out at www.facebook.com/enrollmentcatalyst (if you have already “liked” my page you will need to click on the “like us” tab on the left).  Let me know what you think about it.

There are four main reasons why I now have a Facebook welcome page and these four reasons apply directly to your school:

1. First Impression—A welcome page gives you the opportunity to control the first impression on your school’s Facebook page. Whenever a new user goes to your school’s page for the first time, they will be directed to your welcome page. Facebook should be a tool to consistently convey your brand and to encourage online engagement with your school.

2. Ask for Likes—A welcome page gives you the opportunity to ask first-time visitors to like your page. Instead of going directly to your wall, visitors will need to like your page before they can read your posts. This is known as “like-gating” and this strategy should increase the number of people who actually like your school’s page. Take a look at the page that Brendan Schneider developed for Sewickley Academy: www.facebook.com/sewickleyacademy. I like the simplicity of the design, the large photo that draws you in, and the clear action message at the top of the image. The welcome page should clearly direct the visitor to like your page.

3. Increase Likes—A welcome page should increase the “likes” on your school’s page. By increasing your likes, you will have an opportunity to engage your school with more people on Facebook. Your engaging posts will show up in more news feeds. This is what Facebook is all about.

4. The Cool Factor—I thought it would be cool to add a welcome page (and I needed four reasons to make my title work!). There are many ways that you can implement a welcome page on Facebook. You can do-it-yourself by using a service like www.northsocial.com. You can hire a marketing firm to do it for you (I used the same company that built my website: www.northstar.ac; Thanks Andy!). 

Regardless of how you do it, this is an important Facebook strategy for private, independent and faith-based schools. And, this is only the beginning of what can be implemented on Facebook with custom tabs and apps that can enhance your page.

Check out some other pages that I found in a quick search on Facebook:

Is your school using a welcome/landing/first impression page on Facebook? If so, please share it in the comment’s section.

Have you seen any other school Facebook welcome pages that you like? Please share these in the comment’s section.

5 Responses to Four Reasons Why Your School Needs a Facebook Welcome Page

  1. Rick,

    Thank you for your always useful information. I have found many of your suggestions very helpful.

    I’m still on the fence on the Welcome Page issue. One of the things I like about our Facebook interface is the authenticity of it – it doesn’t feel like yet another marketing message, it feels like we are inviting our prospective families “behind the curtain”. I also find that when a page has one strong image, I notice the ads more. For instance, when I go to the Sewickly page, my eye is drawn to the diet pill ad in the sidebar. When I am on a school’s wall I never notice the ads.

    I do like the “like” call to action.

    • Thanks Sherri for sharing your thoughts. Your perspective about noticing the ads more when there is one large image is very interesting! I think the most important feature of the Facebook welcome page is the call to action. If a visitor just lands on a school’s wall, then the visitor may never click on the like button.

      What is your school’s Facebook URL? I would like to take a look at what you are doing on Facebook.

  2. Sue Cornman says:

    I’ve been considering this for months, and definitely feel it’s important. I’ve had quotes from designers who want to do this for us for several hundred (they never panned out) to several thousand (I’m not willing to go that far). Just this week I’ve been looking at the free version of Pagemodo which it looks like you used. I’d love to hear from others who might have tried a do-it-yourself approach to this.

  3. Here you go, Rick – http://www.facebook.com/SASweb. Thanks for your interest.

  4. Pingback: Using Facebook Sponsored Stories to Market Your School | Enrollment Catalyst

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