Today’s high school seniors are applying to more colleges than ever before and doing whole new levels of research into the types of schools they are considering. It’s no longer good enough to have just a website or to simply send some direct mailings to interested students. Students are looking to alternative resources, especially Facebook, to find out more about your school. Is your page representing all that your school has to offer?

In my opinion, the best thing any school can do for its Facebook page is to customize it. With all of the time students spend on sites like Facebook (almost 8 hours a month), investing in a customized Facebook page is worth the time and money. Here are some suggestions your school should use to make its Facebook presence stand out from the crowd:

Landing Tab

What it is: A landing tab is the designated place where anyone who visits your Facebook page will be directed to. While most personal profiles initially bring you to a friend’s Wall or the Info tab, businesses and schools have the ability to create their own landing page separate from their wall or general information.

Why schools should use it: A landing page lets you bring all your most important information into one place that is easily accessible to all visitors. Important announcements, feeds from your school’s Twitter and links to different pages on your school’s website can easily be displayed here. Check out the landing page we created for the North Carolina State University Jenkins MBA program as an example.

Virtual Campus Tours

What it is: Sometimes a student might not get the chance to visit your school’s campus. Give them the opportunity to visit through a Virtual Campus Tour tab. It can be something as advanced as an interactive panoramic video of your campus or as simple as a collection of photos showcasing the most important campus landmarks.

Why schools should use it: This tab can host pictures and videos that show all that your campus has to offer its students. Visually-striking images are easy to refer back to and can be updated throughout the year.

Facebook Timeline

What it is: Timeline is essentially an online scrapbook that allows you to date pictures, events and other life stories from before Facebook was available. It also comes with a variety of customizable widgets that can display photos, music, news and many other types of media you might wish to share.

Why schools should use it: It will be especially handy for businesses, brands, and by extension, colleges and universities. It will be a great tool that colleges can use to explain their history, draw attention to their largest and most prolific campus events and engage with potential students who will be using their own Timelines. Unfortunately, this feature is still only available in a developer format and Facebook has been slow to announce a release date. Rest assured that when it is released, it will still be worth getting.

Rachel Parks is a social media intern for VisionPoint Marketing. She enjoys technology, creative advertising, and copywriting. She hopes one day to be a contestant on Jeopardy and to create the world’s next big ad thing.