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UNH on Facebook

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
March 2, 2011

Looking for a new friend? Check out the 50-plus UNH departments that are on Facebook. The social media giant is helping them get the word out on everything from rural child poverty (the Carsey Institute) to National Nutrition Month (Nutritional Wellness) to overseas mailing tips (Printing and Mailing Services) to the summer courses being offered at the Thompson School.

Facebook is a great way to keep people updated on what’s going on within a department or college, and share articles and videos that might be of interest. It also lets users and their “friends” interact.

A recent statistic indicates Facebook has more than 350 million users.

 “We started using Facebook last January with the intention of using it as a marketing tool. That being said, there has to be a balance between using it for marketing and making people want to come back and see what is new or interesting,” says Julie Pardus-Oakes of Printing and Mailing Services. “Our fan base keeps growing so I have to consider it a success so far.”

Here’s an example of a posting on their page, advertising a new product:

“Are your walls looking pretty bare or are you tired of looking at that poster you've had hanging for 5 years? Why not change it up with some custom wallpaper printed with your photos on it? With latex inks and pvc-free wallpaper, it's very sustainable.”

The Center for International Education has been using Facebook to remind students about study abroad requirements and scholarship and internship opportunities. Campus Recreation announces sports-related events and activities such as the archery team’s recent trip to the National Archery Association Indoor Championship.

The Thompson School of Applied Science created its Facebook page in 2009. Recent posts include an upcoming benefit for the Therapeutic Riding Program and stories on recent Community Leadership grads.

“Our thought was that students and prospective students are already on Facebook and if we could reach out to them there with events, news stories of interest, and photos, then we could propel them to our Web site,” says Sandra Hickey of the Thompson School. “It’s a less formal way to get students to look at our programs and if someone decides to ‘like’ the Thompson School page, they will begin seeing all the posts on their wall, thereby keeping us in their minds. 

“Facebook is great because all the items you place there are still there for people to see, nothing goes away.  Prospective students can look back at old post and all the photo galleries and notes are still right there.  As time goes on, the environment only gets richer,” Hickey says.

Residential Life’s Facebook page provides information for parents as well as students.  

“I occasionally post information regarding upcoming move-in/move-out information.  I like to occasionally pose a question to the parents and family members such as ‘what technology do you use to connect with your son or daughter?’  I occasionally post links to campus offices such as the University Advising and Career Center, and Parents Association,” says Kristin Carpenter,
assistant director of Residential Life. “And I've posted a few pictures that I've collected from hall directors to give parents/family members a sense of what residence hall living is like at UNH.” 

Departments that are thinking of creating a Facebook page can reference a list of social media guidelines at http://www.unh.edu/unhedutop/unh-social-media-guidelines. To have your page add to UNH’s social media index (http://www.unh.edu/unhedutop/social-media-index) contact campus webmaster Bridget Finnegan at bridget.finnegan@unh.edu.

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