A Facebook Page for your school is a prerequisite these days. According to Wikipedia, Facebook has more than 500 million active users. Your students, prospective students, faculty, alumni, and parents are there – you need to be there too.
Once you’ve created the Facebook Page for your school how can you customize your page to make it stand apart from the crowd? The answer is North Social. I’ve been using North Social to help customize my school’s Facebook Page for about 6 months now and I’d like to share with you 5 reasons why iLove North Social.
1. Ease of Use
North Social describes itself as having “easy-to-use applications that enable anyone to quickly create and manage a custom Facebook Page.” I couldn’t agree more. From sign-up to installation and configuration, of one of their Facebook applications, literally took me minutes. You don’t need to know any HTML or programming language in order to install and configure these applications. In order to take full advantage of some of the customization features though, you, or someone at your school, will need the knowledge to create custom images or photos to further extend the North Social applications.
2. 19 Applications – 1 Price
North Social offers 19 different applications ranging from photo showcase to video player to twitter stream to a map to signing up volunteers. There are so many great applications and you have access to all of them through your subscription fee.
3. Low Cost
If you’ve read about the things iLove in past, you’ll know that iLove things that are free. North Social breaks my free rule but I think the cost is very worth it. North Social offers a few different pricing levels that are based upon the number of Fans your Facebook Page has. Most schools will fall under the Starter Plan (under 1,000 fans) or the Basic Plan (over 1,000 fans). The starter plan is $19 a month and the basic plan is $29 a month. North Social also offers an educational discount but you will have to contact them directly for the details. The other feature of their pricing that iLove is that there is no contract. You can cancel at anytime.
4. Welcome & Landing Pages
The purpose of our Facebook Page is to drive engagement and expand our reach – reach being defined as the number of people who have access to and see our information. In order to extend our reach we are pushing to have more people “like” our page. North Social has two great features to allow us to increase our reach – the Welcome Page and landing pages within a few of their applications.
When a person who has not “Liked” our Facebook Page first arrives, they are directed to a Welcome Page which allows us to configure an image asking them to “like” our page to access all of our content. See our example: Sewickley Academy.
Also, within a few of North Social’s applications, they give you the choice to direct a person who has not “liked” your Facebook Page to the above welcome page image which then forces a person to “like” your page prior to them viewing your content. See our Blog example here: Blog on Facebook.
5. Training Videos
If a picture tells a thousands words than the North Social training videos tell a million. An even better cliche reminds me of the Visa commercials:
Domain Name for School: $9/year
Basic North Social Subscription: $29/month
North Social Training Videos so I don’t have a read another manual: Priceless
Every North Social application has there own webpage. On each webpage North Social has created an application demo which actually takes you from installation to configuration to final product. They are well-done, short, and informative. The videos are a huge help as you’re trying to install an application. Check out the RSS Feed application video: North Social RSS Feed.
There are a number of companies that offer services similar to North Social’s, and I’ve tried a couple of them, but have been very pleased with the value offered by North Social. I would love to hear your questions about North Social or your experiences with other companies who provide similar services.