10 Tips for Nonprofit Organizations on Facebook

Facebook can be a valuable tool for non-profits worldwide.  However, many nonprofits don’t know how to use social network marketing.  If your non-profit is already on Facebook, or if planning on taking your nonprofit’s message to Facebook, these tips can help you strengthen your social network presence.

Facebook has directly catered to non-profits present on the social network with a resource page, facebook.com/nonprofits, specifically to help them use the site. It includes the latest examples of how many organizations are using Facebook today.  Be sure to go her for valuable information.

1. Create a Facebook Page

First, 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 and 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.  Moreover, you can buy advertising on Facebook for your Page to increase your number of fans.

2. Make Your Facebook Page Unique

Create content that is 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 your nonprofit’s website.  Depending on what your organization does, creative content can mean anything from sharing fun facts about your nonprofit’s cause to posting pictures of youth you provide tutoring and computer training, to offering a special t-shirt to Facebook fans.

4. Be Active

Use your Page to give Facebook users an idea of what your organization does in real life.  Plug events, fundraisers, 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, so that friends in their networks can also find out about your organization.

5. Talk Back

Building a community on Facebook requires conversation – talking back to fans. You don’t have to answer every 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. This is extremely important because Facebook is a social network, 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. One way to do this is to create an application, game or quiz that fans can use once or several times. This can include creating fun content that they can post to their Walls so friends in their networks can also learn about your organization.

7.  Add a Donations or Other Boxes

Adding a donations box right on your Facebook Page makes it easier for fans to buy merchandise or give money to your organization. If there’s a Donation’s Box  prominently displayed on your Page, either on your profile page or as a tab, fans don’t have to leave Facebook to support your nonprofit.

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. The added bonus of this type of promotion is that, whether it’s published to your fan’s wall or their profile page, it also gets many people to notice your nonprofit.

8. 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 to see what’s working with different groups. Times change, and so does Facebook, so if you are interested in a long-term presence there it’s important for you to notice what’s working for you and adjust what isn’t.

9. Use Other Media

Although you want to create a unique Facebook experience for your fans, you can also use Facebook to branch out into other media to communicate with them and FORGE, a non-profit that works with economic disadvantaged communities in Ghana, is a good example.  Use Facebook to get your fans’ email addresses.  Another way to reach into other media is to sync your Page’s content with other media your organization may use, such as Twitter or a Blog.

10. Buy a Facebook Ad

Facebook ads are displayed on the right-hand side of a user’s Page.  They are an 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, and you’re only charged for performance.

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