Facebook is going back to its roots with the launch of a promotional page on the site offering back-to-school discounts to college students from 10 retailers including Eddie Bauer, Newegg.com, Utrecht Art. The new "Universities on Facebook" Page also provides pointers on how students and campus organizations can use Facebook's features to publicize events, distribute content and build community.
A "deals" tab on the Universities page created by social media marketing company Context Optional highlights special offers and provides links to offers on the sites of participating retailers. The deals include 25% off on $50 online purchase of clothing, backpacks and outdoor gear at Eddie Bauer, 20% off on select items at Modcloth and $15 off for customers who spend $100 or more on computer accessories.
Mobile payments startup Bling Nation is rewarding students who bring its so-called Bling tags, or small stickers that fasten to the back of handsets for transmitting data, with a $20 credit at any of the more than 1,000 retailers it works with. That's not a big dollar amount, but the Facebook tie-in could help the company expand its service.
Aside from the discounts, the Universities page aims to provide a Facebook 101 course for incoming students about how to take advantage of the social network on campus. One section focuses on how college newspapers can utilize the viral nature of Facebook to distribute content more widely and another on how groups, dorms and clubs can use the site to build awareness.
Still other sections offer advice on how to make college sports more social and show student government leaders how to connect with fellow students, keep people updated and create events. But do the kids really need these tips? By the time they reach college, most freshman already have a PhD in Facebook.
Facebook was famously founded at Harvard by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, with the story of the company's early on-campus days to be dramatized in the upcoming film, "The Social Network."