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Using Facebook

What is Facebook?

Facebook is the largest social network in the world. People use Facebook to catch-up with friends and colleagues, share news, information, photos, video, and more with people and organizations.

Why should I use Facebook?

Facebook offers an ideal opportunity to showcase your NSU department or program and build recognition, while encouraging participation and networking. We encourage the use of Facebook to connect with prospective and current students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of the University.

For many organizations, a Facebook page is the flagship of their social media presence. Facebook provides the platform to send information, receive feedback and encourage interaction among your fans.

How do I use Facebook?

One of the first things you need to do is create an account. If you have not done so, please create an official page for your Norfolk State University organization.

Note: Please be sure to include NSU or Norfolk State somewhere in the title so that others are able to find you easier online.

Once you have created an account, please be sure to let the Office of Communications and Marketing know who will be the two designated administrators of your page. Also, be sure to read Administrative Policy #50-08 (2020) - Social Media and our suggested Best Practices.

If you already have an account established, you may want to conduct a page audit to ensure you have set up your page properly. Note: If you have set up an individual page, please convert to a fan page. If you need assistance please send an email to

Also make sure you do the following.

  1. Make sure you’re in the appropriate category.

  2. Upload a profile photo/cover photo that are in line with your brand and message, and make sure it conforms to the University's Brand and Visual Identity guidelines.

    1. Profile photo – 170 x 170 pixels

    2. Cover photo –820 x 462 pixels

  3. Fill out all of the information completely.

Description – Let people know what your Page is about in 155 characters.

Categories – Categories can help people find your Page. Choose up to three categories.

Contact information – If you have a business phone number, website, and email address, add them here.

Location – Add your department’s address in this area.

Hours – If you are only open on selected hours, state them here.

All of these details will appear on the About tab of your Facebook Page, where you can add even more information, such as your department’s story, awards, menu, etc.

Create a username for your Page. It will make it easier for people to find your Page and give you a custom URL that you can share with others (

Decide on an adequate call to action button.

Your call to action button is found in the bottom right hand corner under your cover image. You need to decide which link you would like to place here. You can elect to have people message you from Facebook or redirect them to another URL.

Customize your page and decide on the right template.

Facebook allows you to customize your page even more. In your Page settings, there is a “Templates and Tabs” area. This gives you a bit more control over your page’s configuration.

By using Facebook, you are agreeing to Facebook’s terms and conditions.

You must:

  • Keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date. Do not include personal contact information on your NSU-recognized account unless it is appropriate to the purpose of your NSU organization, and in that case, keep it to a minimum.

You must not:

  • Provide any false personal information or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.

  • Create more than one personal profile.

  • Create another account without permission if Facebook disables your account.

  • Use your NSU-recognized profile for your own commercial gain or for communications or activities that are purely personal in nature.

  • Share your password or do anything to jeopardize the security of your account.

  • Transfer your account without getting written permission from Facebook. Administrators of NSU-recognized accounts may be changed from time to time – please notify the Communications and Marketing Department.

  • Post content or take action that infringes or violates someone else’s rights.

  • Post or knowingly permit the posting of content or any other use of your NSU-recognized account to cause harm, embarrassment, defamation, insult, or injury to any person or entity. This does not prohibit frank discussions, criticism, or opinion. The following content and online activity is strictly prohibited: lewd or indecent conduct, threat of physical harm, stalking, forgery, intentional disruption of university activities, advocating or causing the damage or destruction of university property, illegal discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or any intentionally malicious, defamatory, degrading, or hateful material.

  • Post content or take action that violates the law.

  • Post identification documents or sensitive or confidential financial, medical, educational, or other personal information of any person without that person’s express, prior consent.

  • Tag users or send e-mail invitations to non-users without their consent.

Key Posting Strategies

Respond to wall posts.
Even the negative ones should be acknowledged.

Keep it real.
Be conversational, informal, and always remember to be respectful of others.

Post photos.
Posts with images are 82% more likely to be clicked than text-only posts.

Short and Sweet.
Status updates between 100 and 250 characters (one or two lines of text) receive 60% more likes, comments, and shares than ones that are more than 250 characters.

Encourage involvement and interaction among fans.
Facebook is designed to maximize involvement among users for an open line of communication. Use it to your advantage to collect feedback and provide users with a richer online experience with your organization.

Value-driven updates.
Updates at least three times per week are recommended, but make sure each update contains valuable information your fans can use. Meaningless updates can drive your followers to not pay attention to your page, or even worse, remove your page from their news feed.

Monitor your page frequently.
It is critical to monitor your page daily so that you can keep up with the conversation and activity (and spam) on your page.

Use Facebook’s applications to make your page more dynamic.
Add photos, videos, discussion boards, RSS feeds, events, etc.

Promote your page.
Ask the members of your organization to follow your page and network with other organizations on Facebook by “Liking” their page or adding them to your page’s favorites. Follow other Norfolk State pages and ask them to like you if they have not done so already.

Use @ to tag others.
In a status update, type the “@” symbol followed directly (no space) by the name of another Facebook page you want to tag.

Use Featured Photos.
Every Facebook profile or page has a Featured Photo feed, which is a bar featuring 5 photos across the top of your page. Every time a visitor lands on the page, these photos change position. Each time you upload a new photo, it will appear in the Featured Photo feed; you can manually delete them from the photo bar as they appear. Deleting a photo from the Featured Photo feed does not delete the photo from your albums.

Go Live.
When you go live, everyone who follows you will get a notification and that will prompt them to tune in. Be sure to check your signal to make sure your live video comes through clearly.

Use Facebook Stories.
This is a great way to get out the quick, simple video that will generate views for your page.

Budget for Boosting.
Since Facebook has changed its algorithm to prioritize posts from family and friends, organic reach for most pages has dropped by more than 50%. This makes it even harder for newer pages to gain traction and grow. Even if you have thousands of followers, it’s difficult to get your message out to the majority of those people. The only way to reach a wider audience on Facebook is to set aside a modest budget to boost your content.

Social Media Planning

NOTE: The following principles will work for any social media network.

Develop a posting schedule: One of the best ways to grow your Facebook page is to develop a posting schedule that will make your page more consistent. If you are having trouble finding the time to post, you can sign up for a free scheduler (Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, etc.) and take time to schedule your posts out for several days. (Please do not set it and forget it. Still take the time to go back and respond to comments if there are any and see which posts your audience responded to the most.)

Determine a target audience: Before you even begin to schedule any posts or craft a message, you must know who it is that you’re trying to target. Who are you talking to? What are they into? What kind of value can you provide to them?

Determine your overall goal for social media: What’s the point of doing something and you don’t have an endgame? What does success look like for you? Do you want more brand awareness? Are you looking to drive more traffic to a web page? Are you trying to attract new students? Retain current ones? Do you want to sell more tickets to an event? What is in it for you? Determine how social media will benefit your department and enhance your users’ experience.

Determine the kind of content you have to offer: Once you decide on a posting schedule, set a goal for what you want and who you’re talking to. Now is the time to think about what you do and how you can engage your audience. Social media networks should not be used as push channels. They are not just a place to push out information and promote your message, they are channels that present opportunities to interact with your target audiences. Feel free to use friendly tones, ask questions, conduct polls, highlight student/faculty achievements, share links to interesting/relevant information about your industry, etc. Also, be sure to create great video content! Facebook is the perfect platform to post video content. Don’t feel the need to create long, drawn out videos. Make them short and sweet, and don’t forget to add captions.

Decide who will be responsible for managing the page: Before you even embark on your social media journey, you must decide who will be doing the work. Norfolk State University wants each department to have at least two administrators for each social media account.

Pro Tips

Keep your photos square.

Photo dimensions on Facebook should be 472 x 394 pixels. However, it’s not a bad idea to keep your photo ratios the same as 472 x 394 px, but at a larger file size (for instance, 2048 x 1551 pixels at 72 DPI), so the quality appears higher for users on Facebook.

Be conversational not promotional.

Facebook algorithms now lower the reach and engagement of posts that they identify as too promotional (particularly posts that push users to purchase a product or service). Just keep this in mind while you’re composing posts. Think about the types of words you’re using, and if Facebook would view them as overly promotional.

Ask your audience questions to encourage engagement.

Ask a question and see if your audience responds to it. This also helps on days you’re low on content.

Check the stats.

What’s the point of social media if you can’t see how you’re progressing? Be sure to check the stats on every network to learn more about your audience and the content you’re posting.

Sign up for a business account.

This is one of the more advanced features, but once you have created your page, built up some posts, and started to engage your audience, you may want to start to advertise to reach even more people. To do this effectively, you will want to set up a Facebook business account where you will be able to manage all of your targeted ads. These ads will allow you to specify a specific audience and you will be able to market to them only.

Link to start a business account:

If you need help understanding a Facebook Business account, please email