8 Tips for Nonprofits on Facebook
Facebook is a unique resource for nonprofits as it allows for simple and consistent communication with your organization's supporters. Also, because it is an opt-in tool (your supporters deliberately choose to follow your organization) you are starting with a terrific base of advocates.
However, Facebook is relatively new and constantly changing and, therefore, it can be under utilized. Like many great technologies or resources, Facebook is only as good as the person who uses it.
It is important to realize that Facebook is NOT a broadcast tool. Facebook is a DIALOGUE tool, meaning a place for both inbound and outbound communication.
These are 8 ways to optimize your Setting to improve your use of Facebook to dialogue with your supporters.
To get started, go to your organization's page and find the "Edit Page" button in the top right corner. This will bring you to one of the most important pages for optimizing your Settings.
- Wall Tab Shows: Select "ALL POSTS" and "EXPAND COMMENTS ON STORIES". Often organizations limit this setting to "ONLY POSTS BY PAGE" meaning, by default, your Page's Wall will only show the things that your organization posts. Groups do this because of fear of spam, criticism, or other distracting posts. Remember, Facebook is about DIALOGUE, trust your supporters and let them post on your Wall. Perhaps they have helpful information for you or other supporters. We will optimize notifications to help with the part about unwanted posts. Worst case scenario, you can delete any post from your Wall.
- Default Landing Tab: Unless you have a Custom Landing Page, it is in your best interest to send new visitors to your Wall.
- Posting Ability: This relates to Tip #1, check all of these buttons, enabling all of them. Again, Facebook is about dialogue. When you enable these abilities for your supporters and they choose to post content, pictures of videos and tag photos, it broadens your reach within Facebook. Every users action has a reaction. For example, if I were to post a picture of my dog on a humane society's Wall (because the enabled me to do so) that action would show up in my own personal News Feed, informing my circle of friends of my post while also informing them about the humane society's page.
- Moderation Blocklist / Profanity Blocklist: If you are having trouble with vulgarity you can block certain terms or set an appropriate level of language that you would prefer on your Wall. Save: After making these edits click "SAVE CHANGES"
- Set a Username: Under the "Basic Information Tab" you can set a username for your page. This makes it easy for people to find you (or for you to send them your way). For example, people can type in: www.facebook.com/GivingSomeThing and go to our Facebook page. If you don't establish this username, your URL will be lengthy, involve several backslashes, and about 15 numbers. This is a one time change, so pick your Username carefully. For more info, check out Facebook's FAQ. Don't forget to SAVE.
- Profile Picture: Design a profile picture that makes the most of your logo and of the 180 pixel wide and 580 pixel length limits. That's a lot of real estate for branding and messaging. That being said, the thumbnail is square and it's maximum size is 151 pixels x 151 pixels. This is important as you want your image to be clear and represent your organization well regardless of where people are seeing it. See this post for more information.
- Manage Admins: How many people in your organization can contribute to the management of your Facebook Page? While there may be a clear director or leader, consider opening up the Admin privileges to others to help share the responsibility. If you decide to limit Admins, encourage your colleagues or volunteers to be active on your page while using their personal Facebook accounts. This can add new perspectives and help advance conversations.
- Notifications: Related to maintaining dialogue and to being timely in that dialogue, make sure you and other admins are receiving Email Notifications. Go to the "Your Settings" tab and check off the button next to "Email Notifications" and SAVE. Then, go to "View all email settings for your pages" and make sure all the boxes under "Pages" are selected. Also, and this is important, at the top of the Notifications Settings page, de-activate the checkbox under the heading "Email Frequency". If this is checked you receive periodic digests. This, while uncluttering your inbox, also delays your reaction time to any new posts.
Enjoy optimizing your nonprofit organization's Facebook Page and I hope this helps you have a better dialogue with your supporters!
To give is to receive,
Founder, CEO - GivingSomeThing