MU encourages student, professor use of new university-only Facebook groups
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 22:04
Miami University has a new tool to work within its social networking endeavors. Facebook released a setting students can use to organize groups within their pre-determined university Facebook page. The only requirement is the student must have a university email address.
According to Kelly Bennett, social media specialist for University Communications, Miami is curious to see what the new Facebook page is all about.
“We’re still trying to figure the page out,” Bennett said. “So far there have been over 3,000 members who joined within the week, which is impressive”
According to Bennett, students can share photos and documents with each other on the Facebook page. Students can also create groups that correspond to a club or a class they are in.
Bennett said professors can also participate on the page.
“If professors wanted a class group, they could create one if they want,” Bennett said. “From there, they could potentially share assignments and announcements to students within the group.”
One of the things Bennett said she wanted to do with the group was create a “Parties and Events” page. Students on this page could post about upcoming on campus gatherings.
Miami already has a Facebook fan page with over 15,000 “fans.” There are also numerous clubs and residence halls that already have their own Facebook page.
Sophomore Shelby Copenhaver said she uses Facebook to receive updates from her sorority.
“[My sorority] has a national and a Miami Facebook page,” Copenhaver said. “Both of those pages make it easy for us to share things with each other, whether it be events or just general conversation.”
First-year Katelyn Palmer also uses Facebook groups to communicate with groups more easily.
“Our bible-study group uses the Facebook group to organize meeting times,” Copenhaver said.
Palmer and Copenhaver agreed they do not use the Miami page as much as their smaller group pages.
“I think students pay more attention to their groups that they are active in rather than the entire Miami page,” Copenhaver said.
Copenhaver said she was indifferent to the release of the new Facebook tool.
“It looks like a useful tool, but since I’m not on Facebook very often I don’t see myself using it very much,” Copenhaver said.
Palmer said she was excited for the new release.
“I think it’s great that all of the Miami Facebook groups can be organized under one whole Miami Facebook page,” Palmer said.
Miami also uses a Twitter account to “tweet” messages to its followers. Over 5,900 people follow Miami’s Twitter account.
“The Twitter account is used for notifying people of sports, scores or events,” Bennett said.
Bennett also noted Miami “retweets” a lot of accounts affiliated with the university.
“We like to ‘retweet’ President Hodge a lot,” Bennett said.
According to Bennett, Miami’s goal is to be at the top of the universities that use social networking.
“I think we are doing a good job now,” Bennett said. “Students and alumni engage a lot when we post something on Facebook or on Twitter.”
Miami is also looking into creating a web directory for all of the clubs affiliated with Miami.
“The directory would include a group’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter account so people can easily find these things,” Bennett said.
Bennett said the directory should be completed in the summer and ready for use in the fall 2012 semester.