Top 10 Nonprofit Social Media Tips
Recently, BiddingForGood employees attended at "social media for social good 101" session for nonprofits. I was surprised to see many nonprofit faces that have yet to dip their toes into the world of social media. The good news is more and more of these people are taking their first steps to become Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest gurus.
Today, I will be discussing Facebook and how it can be a valuable tool for non-profits. Facebook has directly catered to nonprofits present on the social network with a resource page, facebook.com/nonprofits, specifically to help them use the site.
1. Create a Facebook Page- Facebook Pages allow you to publish directly into the news stream where you can engage your fans with a variety of different media, such as videos, polls and status updates. Secondly, Pages allow you to analyze how fans are interacting with your page via the Insights Dashboard, giving you instant feedback to help you adjust your method. You can also do things like buy advertising on Facebook for your Page to increase your number of fans (more on that below).
2. Use Causes- Causes launched in 2007 to help Facebook users to be able to make a difference without having to leave the social network. The application markets itself as a way for anyone to make a difference using Facebook to tell friends about causes, ask them to donate and generally get the word out.
3. Make Your Facebook Page Unique- If you’re just going to duplicate what’s already on your web site on Facebook, you’re missing the point of taking your message to a social network. The idea is create content that’s Facebook-specific and build a community there. It’s easy to just point fans back to your web site, but these Pages tend to be less interesting than ones that keep users engaged on the same page with unique content that’s not on their web site.
4. Be Active- Use your Page to give Facebook users an idea of what your organization does in real life. Plug events, fundraisers, meetings and other activities. Publish insightful and interesting information in your status updates, ask your fans what they think with polls or when you post videos, photos or other links. Ask your fans to utilize the Share options when you publish to your Wall.
5. Talk Back- You don’t have to answer every single question or respond to all your fans’ comments, but an occasional reply gives the impression that an organization is engaged with its fan base and interested in what they have to say. And that’s important because, well, Facebook is a social network (emphasis on the social) and communication is at the core of social networks.
6. Create an App, Game or Quiz- Finding new and creative ways to engage your fans is an important part of fostering an active Facebook community that will want to take their engagement from the virtual to real world by becoming involved in your group physically or fiscally.
7. Add a Store, Donations or Other Boxes- Adding a store or donations box right on your Facebook Page makes it easier for fans to buy merchandise or give money to your organization. There are all types of features you can add to your Page that allow your fans to feel ownership of your organization, like a fan badge or a sign petition box for their profile pages. The added bonus of this type of promotion is that, it gets lots of new eyeballs to notice you.
8. Heed Feedback- It’s important to monitor your Facebook Page to see what’s working and what’s not. Do your video posts get more comments than your blog posts? Are fans checking out your Causes page or your store? Also, as the administrator of a page you can always check the Insights Dashboard for specific information on the age, sex and location of your fans.
9. Segue Into Other Media- It is important to utilize social media to the max, not only focusing on Facebook and Twitter, but utilizing text messaging, email, phone calls and even its own unique social network.
10. Buy a Facebook Ad- Facebook ads — displayed on the right-hand side of a user’s Page — are an easy, economical and effective way to increase your fan base or visits to your page. The self-serve advertising system allows you to place orders for people (or profiles) that match whatever demographic requirements you may have, mothers of children with a certain illness for example, and you’re only charged for performance.
For more detailed information, please see Facebook article by Sara Inés Calderón.