It is extremely valuable for non-profits to be on Facebook because of the number of active users and potential volunteers, funders and beneficiaries that they get access to. There must however be a strategy to having a presence on Facebook.
Fan page not personal profile
Set up a Facebook page for your non – profit; not a Facebook personal profile. This is because a profile will not allow you to see how your fans engage with your content. Fan pages allow you to see this through insights. This video by John Hayden shows you how you can measure Facebook page fan growth and engagement with insights.
With a personal profile, you are asking users to be your friend and share their personal information with you. On the other hand, asking a Facebook user to like your fan page does not cross any personal boundaries. For example, I may not necessarily want a lingerie company to know what I did over the weekend or whether or not I am married, but I will probably be interested in liking their fan page to find out what kind of stuff they stock.
Most importantly however, fan pages trump personal profiles because using a personal profile to market your product or organisation violates Facebook terms of service. Facebook could delete your profile because you spammed people with friend requests or information about your organisation.
Roll out the red carpet!
Non-profits should customise their welcome tabs to give information, which encourages people to like their fan page. The welcome tab could be a call to action or it could be customised for a specific campaign. Be sure to make this welcome page the default landing page for your fan page. Offering gifts to people who like the page is a great way to welcome new fans. It could be T-Shirt or a wrist band or access to a link with information, which fans would find valuable.
The profile picture for your landing page should be well designed and visible.
Have a look at these welcome pages for example:
ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.
GENERATION KENYA is a project which documents outstanding contributions by a nominated selection of Kenyans, profiling Kenyan success, talent and generosity. The goal is to provide role models for young people by featuring stories of challenge and achievement.
Make it a riveting experience!
Once you have an audience, you have to keep them engaged. Give them avenues and opportunities for them to stay connected. You can do this through open ended questions. Also remember that conversations are two way; be sure to respond to questions and observations.
You can also have contests on your page occasionally.
Integrating your Flickr, YouTube and twitter accounts also helps to keep your audience engaged.
It is important that the person updating your non-profit’s fan page understands the voice of the organisation and is able to communicate on behalf of the organisation well. Assign one, if necessary two people, to follow the stream and do the posting. You do not want to have too many people with access to the fan page administration. This would make it harder to keep track of what information is being shared on the organisations behalf and by whom. It is important not to over post on your page. One or two updates a day should do it. I personally remove pages from my news feed which are constantly flooding my personal profile.
Yap! Lots of work goes into having a Facebook presence for your non profit, but it is definitely worth it at the end of the day.
How do you make your Facebook work for your non=profit?