One of the principal areas for improvement that our department honed in on as a result of our assessment survey was communication with majors. Majors rated the usefulness of our website and communication quite low. Our department has some challenges in improving on this point. First, our majors tend to take longer to complete the program, with many taking extensive breaks, and the college doesn't have a very high-tech or consistent way of helping us keep track them. For example, we can only see who has declared philosophy as a major but we have no way of accessing who has it as a double major, minor, or dropped out. Second, we are constrained with how we can change our website and the process for doing so is onerous. Finally, many students do not use their assigned college e-mail address. Therefore, the most obvious methods--an e-mail list or remodeling our site--are not good options to reach our majors.
We debated whether to create a blog or a Facebook page and ultimately decided going for the latter. The only reason being that students would have to either subscribe to the blog rss feed or manually check it every time they want department news, whereas with a Facebook page they would get news from the department on their friends feed. We just launched our Facebook page and are trying to get students to 'like' us. I've e-mailed my colleagues and encouraged them to send their students to the Facebook page. But I was wondering if anyone out there had advice on how to get an active community on a department Facebook page? What sorts of things should we post besides events?