Should A School Like For-Profit Businesses on Facebook?

handing-out-business-cardA practice that should be part of the management of your school’s Facebook page is to “Use Facebook as [Your School Name]” and interact with Facebook as your school. The benefit of this practice is that when you engage on Facebook by liking, sharing, or commenting on other Facebook personal profiles or Pages your school’s Facebook page will get the credit and not your personal profile. Through this activity you can increase engagement, extend reach, and help to define your brand in the world of Facebook and beyond.

During a recent conversation with the person responsible for managing the Facebook Page at their school a common theme boiled to the surface in which she was getting resistance from older members of the school community, including members of the Board of Trustees, who didn’t quite understand social media and the new rules it has written including lack of control, a more casual communication style, and a level of transparency that didn’t exist with communication methods from the past.

Please know that I’m not trying to be insensitive with regard to age but the most common group at schools still ‘fighting’ social media usage are veteran teachers and administrators.

A specific question that came up was should a school’s Facebook Page like a for-profit business?

My short answer is yes – if the relationship makes sense to your school.

A Little Background

I try to adhere to the 75/25/1 rule when sharing content on our school’s social media networks.

The simple idea is that 75% of the time you should share information about your school, 25% of the time you should share information not about your school, and 1 time a day you should interact on your school’s social media channels as your school with someone else.

When interacting on a social media channel as your school I think it’s very appropriate to share information from other non-profits. I believe those interactions help to position your school as a good member of the community. For example, at my school I try to share information about events and offerings at our local public library.

Giving Your Business Card

While liking a local non-profit’s Facebook page is a no-brainer, the issue of liking a business’s Facebook page can enter more of a gray area.

At Sewickley Academy we do “like” local for-profit businesses but typically only like businesses that fall into three categories:

  1. We already have a pre-existing relationship with the business
  2. The business has a connection with children
  3. The business has a connection with our community

I should also explain how we define the value of liking a Facebook page.

Liking a Facebook Page is similar to giving a person your business card – it’s not an endorsement but rather only a connection. [Tweet This]

When you give someone your business card you aren’t endorsing that person but rather only allowing them to have a connection with you. You also give that person the ability to communicate with you in the future.

I think the analogy also applies to Facebook pages. When my school likes a local business’s Facebook page we aren’t endorsing them but allowing us to have a connection and communicate with each other.

Your Turn

Now you have my opinion and I would love to hear your opinion. Please share your thoughts below about whether a school’s Facebook page should like a for-profit business on Facebook. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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