This is an excerpt from a blog originally posted by Buddy Media’s Joe Ciarallo on July 28, 2011.
Last week Facebook consumer marketing executive Charles Porch held an event for non-profits at the company’s New York office, titled “Facebook for Social Good.” In attendance were some of the world’s most well known non-profit organizations, all seeking to collaborate with their peers and learn about the latest ways they can use Facebook to drive awareness and engagement around their respective causes.
At Buddy Media, supporting non-profits is at the core of our mission as a company, as we support several causes including Charity: water, DonorsChoose.org, Cycle for Survival and the Robin Hood Foundation.
Julia Prieto, Associate Manager, Digital Media at the Robin Hood Foundation, was featured on a panel at the event and spoke about the work Buddy Media did with the organization and Lady Gaga to empower a crowdsourced $1M giveaway to benefit New York City teens in need on Gaga and Robin Hood’s Facebook pages. Over one million votes were cast in one week. Robin Hood saw more than 450,000 Facebook post views related to the contest and the organization’s Facebook page saw a 400% increase in Likes. You can read more about that initiative here.
Charles started off the evening with an excellent presentation, providing tips for non-profits, which we’ll recap here. It’s worth noting that many of these tips apply to brands of all shapes and sizes, not just non-profits.
1) Create a Voice
One of the most important things a non-profit should do is create a distinct voice. Porch emphasized that content shouldn’t feel like it’s coming from the marketing or legal department. It needs to have a human voice. Porch suggested using the word “we” in posts frequently as a way to establish a bond with fans and supporters.
2) Program Your Page
Think of your Facebook page as your own cable channel. Porch said the number one question he hears from non-profits is, “How often should I post?” He stressed that each organization needs to find their sweet spot in terms of posting, while looking to include regularly scheduled content so fans know what to expect and are prompted to come back to the page to check for the latest update in a content series.
3) Create Exclusive Content and Programs
This example is rather self explanatory. Launching new content on Facebook first helps boost engagement on your page, and gives fans a sense of preferential treatment. Your fans have “raised their hand” to say they support your cause, so you should reward them with exclusive content.
4) Push and Pull
Yes, you’re sending out messages and content to your fans, but your goal is also to “pull” responses back from them. Why? Most importantly because that’s what Facebook is all about, two way dialogue. Also, boosting engagement on your posts helps your non-profit’s EdgeRank, aka how prominently your content shows up in the Facebook Newsfeed. So start asking questions, post polls, and ask for feedback from your fans!
5) Engage Other Groups and Organizations
Do you have a celebrity or well known individual on your board of directors? Ask them to engage with your page or post content. Do you partner with other non-profits? Set up a plan to engage on each other’s pages so you can share audiences. The key here is to think about your network and how you can utilize it to help spread the word.
6) Know Your Supporters
This point ties into number one on the list. Know your supporters and their expectations. Ask for feedback. Have supporters shape your content strategy. The closer you are to your supporters, the better success you will see on Facebook.
To view the complete blog post and get more great tips on how to use Facebook for Social Good visit the original post. You can also check out www.facebook.com/nonprofits, which has some great information, tips and resources.