Adventures in Social Media #3
This is the third in a series of posts on lessons learned by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science on use of social media in its Teen Science Cafe program.
So Now What? Creating the Community Page
We created a “Community” page for our Teen Science Café. In order to do this, one of the teens needs to have a personal page – Facebook won’t let you create a Community page without having “Administrators”, which are personal pages that run the Community page. Our teens chose the name of the page, made a tagline and a description of the page, and uploaded photos for the profile picture and the cover photo. My contribution was minimal: I supervised the creation of the page, made sure the language was clear that this is not an official Museum page, and provided a selection of photos that we had taken at a previous café. Other than that, the teens made all the decisions.
After the page was created, the teen who created it added the four other members of our Social Media Committee as administrators. Administrators of the page can see page analytics when they log in to Facebook, allowing them to keep track of “Likes”, page-views, and the general reach of the page. Administrators are also the only ones who can post on the page so that everyone who has “Liked” the page can see the post. I am not an administrator on the page, so if I want to post on the page, it appears in a separate box called “Recent Posts by Others”, and is only visible if you go to the page, unlike posts made by the Administrators, which show up in the News Feed of people who have “Liked” the page.
I spoke to our teens about guidelines for content and style. We talked about making sure that posts are relevant to the Teen Science Café, not calling out individual teens by name, using appropriate language, and paying attention to spelling and grammar. I also encouraged them to make it interesting: use their own voice, include photos or links, maybe even ask trivia questions! We started this adventure with the teens making posts on their own time, with occasional reminders from me. This system is a fine way to get started, but we’re about to make some improvements, so keep reading!
In addition to making posts, we also had to broaden our reach. We have asked every single member of our Teen Advisory Board who has a personal Facebook page to “Like” the Teen Science Café page. We’ve also encouraged them to get their friends to “Like” the page. Finally, we’ve linked to the Facebook page on the Museum’s web page that displays the café schedule, and we encourage everyone in the café audience to “Like” the page.