Facebook is the top social media site today and many companies and organizations use it as a means to communicate with their customers and build their reputation. However, unless these attempts are done effectively, they bear no improvement in reaching consumers and can even harm reputation. For nonprofits, it is extremely important to do these two things, and do them well. Here is how nonprofit organizations can utilize Facebook effectively to create positive change. Here are some pages used to research for this post:
Show (Don’t Tell) What You Do
Images are more effective than text at conveying a story. When posting, use pictures and videos instead of long paragraphs of text to send a message. Duwell Medical posts about once a day and often has pictures, videos, or short bits of information/facts to engage people’s attention. Additionally, post at the right time. Click the image at the left to see some interesting time statistics.
If you’re going to write a post, make it an interesting fun fact or trivia question. Create photo and video albums that are for a particular cause. The Humane Society’s Facebook page has an album called “Hurricane Sandy Unclaimed Pets” with pictures of animals that were lost during the hurricane and have yet to be recovered. Albums like these often entice donations because it shows how active the organization is.
Encourage others to share your newsfeeds, photos, albums, etc. One of my favorite Facebook trends right now is shareable pictures with arrows pointing to the sharer’s name that say “This Person…” One example of this is the National Forest Foundation’s picture. When people read their newsfeed, they’ll see you shared the picture and it will point to your name. This example says ” This person loves national forests”.
Show Off your Successes and History
Show how long you have been active. Organizations that have been around a while have a lot of credibility. By exhibiting this, you may earn more donations. On the same note, share your success stories. Happy-ending posts will put people in a better mood and make them more likely to read your other stories and be more active with your Facebook account.
Manage Your Apps
Use your apps. Most people aren’t familiar with the Facebook apps that are on a page’s profile. They often read how many ‘likes’ you have, provide a link to your photos, or show a map of your location. But there are more important things to have here, such as a sign-up for an e-mail list or a donate button. National Forest Foundation has an app to sign up for their tree-mail. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s page currently has a “Countdown to Cuteness” button that features otters, sweepstakes, and asks for donations! That’s an effective marketing mix! Another potential app: A donate button! It’s amazing how few nonprofits actually have a ‘donate here and now’ button anywhere on their page. Why wouldn’t you?
Link to press coverage, link to legislation (often petitions), link to your website, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Putting links in front of people is an effective way of making them click them!
Facebook events don’t just have to be for physical events. Use them for special days. PETA (who I’m starting to realize are marketing geniuses) created an event March 5, 2010 called International Day of Action for Seals and invited 58,600 people of which 23,000 said they were going. Though this wasn’t a physical event, they urged followers to post seal-related media on their Facebooks or Twitters to spread the word.
You can talk to anybody on Facebook at any time. That’s the beauty of it. So if people are posting questions or comments on your page, you don’t have to respond to all of them, but replying to a few will show people you’re active and listening. This is what donors want!
Recent Facebook Changes
This is important. Facebook recently made changes so that many posts by pages don’t show up in the follower’s newsfeed. To fix this, ask your followers to add your page to an ‘Interest List’. To do this, they must go to your page, click the small ‘Settings’ dropdown above your apps, and click “Add to Interest List”. Then they have to either create an Interest List or add your page to an existing one.