Palm Beach Atlantic University's main Facebook page (PBAUniversity) has topped 5,000 LIKES while the University's Twitter page (PBAtlantic) just went over 3,000 followers.
"In today's world, social media is becoming and increasingly powerful tool for communicating with prospective students, parents and alumni," says Becky Peeling, associate vice president for external relations and marketing. "We take it seriously whether it is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other social media platforms. And we're always looking ahead in an effort to stay current and relevant to the way young people are communicating.
"We enjoy being able to connect with students, prospective students, parents, alumni and friends of the University in a way that is not quite so sterile as an email or distant as an ad," said Peeling. "We love it when people comment and share."
Begun in June 2009, the PBAUniversity Facebook and Twitter pages have grown rapidly and entirely organically, says PBA Web Content Manager Louis Park, who manages the pages as part of his duties in the University's office of marketing and development. "We haven't done paid promotion for the pages or run a lot of big giveaways to drive up numbers. The people who have connected with PBAUniversity are genuinely interested in what the page and the University have to offer."
Park noted that there a several well-run Facebook pages associated with the University including admissions (AdmissionsPBA), athletics (PBASailfish), student life/events (PBAEvents), alumni (PBAAlumni) and Orlando campus (PBAOrlando), but that PBAUniversity is by far the largest and most active. The same is true of Twitter pages associated with PBA.
"We take our role seriously as the main social media 'voice of the University'," says Park. "We try to post consistently each day but we are respectful of the time of those who LIKE our page. We don't simply dump anything we can find onto our timeline or Twitter feed. We're selective about what we post.
"We choose a wide variety of items that we believe impart the flavor of the University and the beautiful community in which PBA is located," he added.
This fall, PBA launched a hybrid Facebook-Web site, which allows users to do much of what they would be able to do on our Web site (www.pba.edu) without leaving Facebook -- including learn about admissions and athletics, connect with other parents and alumni and give securely online. It also contains a calendar of events and a PBA newsfeed.
Over the weekend, Kyle Bartlett became the 5,000th person to LIKE PBAUniversity; and on Tuesday, GFAYouth -- a youth organization located in Loxahacthee, Fla. -- became PBA's 3,000th Twitter follower. Kyle and GFAYouth recveive a gift package consisting of a PBA sweatshirt, flip-flops, coffee mug, coasters, pencils and a PBA jar full of jellybeans.