While in the US over the summer, I was a bit surprised to see so many companies promoting their brands on Facebook. Perhaps I'm behind the times in US trends because I rarely watch US TV. Companies used to put their website up. Now, it seems that Facebook is where the masses are so that is where companies are seeking consumers. By all appearances, they are right. Social media continues to grow and Facebook is a one-stop shop for so many users to access communication. So why not market there? It makes sense. A Mashable article entitled Top 5 Emerging Brand Trends on Facebook just highlights some of this marketing taking place on Facebook.
The promotion of causes and charities is nothing new on Facebook and has been going on for some time. The marketing of products has been going on there as well, but the scale of use has gone well beyond grassroots efforts to become a high priority in major brands.
How many schools have sites on Facebook? The image on Facebook may likely be the public image of the school and viewed more often than the website. We often spend a lot of time on our websites and these are important, but I wonder if public relations and branding of schools (particularly internationally) needs to give more attention to the social media component. My guess is that most schools have a presence on a Facebook. And it's not limited to Facebook...check Wikipedia among others to see what it says about your school. The real question is whether that publicity comes from the school and promotes the school in the best and most accurate light...or, does the Facebook presence rest in the opinions of Facebook users with no official connection, some of which may have axes to grind?
Maybe it is time to reevaluate our priorities...