November 15, 2010

A guide to recent changes to Facebook Pages

John HaydonFacebook Pages has undergone so many enhancements over the past few months that even the simple act of creating a Page is different.

So I put together the following “tactical guide” summarizing the steps required to create a Facebook Page as well as all the new Page features. Nonprofits and cause organizations may want to bookmark this blog entry and return to it when making changes to your Facebook Page in the weeks and months ahead.

How to create a Facebook Page

A guide to recent changes to Facebook Pages

The very first step in creating a Facebook Page hasn’t changed. You can still find a link in the bottom left of every Facebook Page that says “Create a Page for my Business.”

Official Pages vs. Community Pages


Facebook came out with Community Pages earlier this year in response to users creating “unofficial” Pages around experiences or topics.

While Somerville, Mass., is a town in Massachusetts, its culture is also a common experience that many people love. Now there’s a Community Page for Somerville that pulls in updates from users who mention Somerville, Mass.

Like Somerville, the cause you fight for is a common experience in people’s lives. And because your organization is an agent for that fight, you should use a Facebook “Official Page.” Continue reading

August 10, 2010

2 big changes to Facebook Pages


John HaydonFor months now, Facebook has been saying they were going to be removing the boxes tab and setting a limit to the width of custom tabs on Facebook Pages.

On Friday they finally put a date to those changes: During the week of Aug. 23 (or sooner).

Details on the changes to Facebook Pages

So what do these changes mean and how do they impact your organization?

  1. No more boxes tab
    First, the boxes tab across the top of your Page will disappear. This is a welcome change for most Facebook admins because, for the most part, the boxes tab was nothing more than a place to throw leftover crap. Kind of like the college dorm closet with all the dirty togo sheets.
  2. Custom tab width limits
    This change will have an impact on every organization that has created a custom tab with a width greater than 520 pixels. Facebook Page admins will have to go into the FBML / HTML code within the Static FBML application and tweak the code for a 520 pixel width limit. In many cases only images will have to be resized to fit the new dimensions. In other cases, more code tweaking will be required. (See image at top.) Continue reading
July 12, 2010

Facebook 101 for nonprofits

Here’s a simple guide to getting started in 5 easy steps

Target audience: Nonprofits, social change organizations, businesses, educators, citizen publishers, individuals. This is part of Creating Media, our ongoing series designed to help nonprofits and other organizations learn how to use and make media.

Guest post by Azin Mehrnoosh
Founder, HiDef

Facebook isn’t just a potential market that many nonprofits haven’t yet tapped. It’s also a place for real-time personal conversation and feedback from your constituents. You shouldn’t treat it trivially, but you shouldn’t be afraid of it, either.

Many posts emphasize the need to get started on Facebook and offer a long list of tips. Those lists can be quite daunting, so in this post we’ll help you get up and running from ground zero — nice, easy and simple.

To start off, you should already have a personal Facebook account and be logged in. Don’t worry, you’re not going to share any of your personal information. Facebook just needs an administrator for your organization’s new Facebook Page, and you can do that via your personal account. You can add other administrators later.

Now, if you’re already familiar with Facebook for personal use, you’ll quickly notice how similar creating a Page for your organization is to your own Facebook profile. Most of the functions — like uploading pictures, posting updates, updating your organizational bio — are almost exactly the same.

Let’s get started!

Create an official Page

1For this step, navigate to

Note: Don’t create a “Community page.” Those are used for creating communities around ideas that don’t necessarily represent anything tangible.

Select your page type, give it the name of your organization, click the terms and conditions checkbox, and click “Create Official page.” It’s that simple.

Create a Facebook page

Now you’ll do some configuration before you promote it to the world.

Upload a logo or image for your organization

2Make sure you have your logo or a clearly identifiable branding image that your potential Facebook fans will be able to draw lasting connections with. It’s important that this image match up with your website and even print materials. Photos of people are often more effective than a logo — sometimes you can incorporate the logo at the bottom of the image.

Put your mouse over the big gray “?” image and click “Change Picture.” Upload your logo or image by selecting one of the upload options. Continue reading

July 8, 2010

How to link your Facebook Page to your donation page

Photo by Bryan Veloso

John HaydonOne critical feature of your nonprofit Facebook Page is giving your connections easy ways to donate to one of your causes.

It’s easy to post a link to your donation page in your status update, but it’s not a long-term solution. After all, status updates get buried within a day or two, maybe even hours if you have an active fan base.

There are at least three ways to link your Facebook Page to a fundraising application.

  1. Include a link within your info tab. Pro: Very easy. Con: No one visits info tabs.
  3. Use a Facebook fundraising app. Pro:Integrates with Facebook. Con: Running two donation platforms.
  5. Create a custom tab. Pro: Uses your existing donation platform. Con: Requires custom work. See the following.

Continue reading

March 2, 2010

How do I get my nonprofit’s Facebook fans to donate?


John HaydonGetting an army of Facebook fans for your nonprofit is not an easy feat. It takes lots of planning, hard work, and time. But just because you have a lot of Facebook fans doesn’t mean that you’re any closer to meeting your fundraising goals. Especially if you’re unknowingly creating barriers.

When potential donors go to your donation page, is it immediately clear how they can donate and what amount they can donate? Do they have to search around your site? How many mouse clicks does an entire transaction require?

7 things to keep in mind

  1. Show Them Impact – One thing that worked very well during the Tweetsgiving campaign was showing people what their donations would buy. It created a direct line of site between donation and impact.
  2. Make It FunRed Nose Day is a huge hit in the UK, precisely because it’s so much fun! Think of creative ways to make sharing fun for your fans.
  3. Continue reading

March 1, 2010

The differences between Facebook Pages and Groups


The ultimate cheat sheet for nonprofits

John HaydonYou may be curious how Facebook Groups can complement the work you’re doing with your Page. Or, you may have a Group and want to move your fans over to your Facebook Page. Or, you mistakenly created a Facebook Profile for your organization and now realize that you should have started a Facebook Page.

If you’re confused by all the moving parts within Facebook, you’re not alone. Recently I presented a webinar for a small group of nonprofits and wasn’t surprised that the most popular slide was a cheat sheet on Facebook Pages and Groups.

Difference between Facebook Pages and Groups

The best way to think about the difference between Pages and Groups is to consider the users they serve.

Groups serve the needs of individuals just like you and me. Pages on the other hand, serve the needs of celebrities, businesses, brands and nonprofits. If you keep this basic framework in mind, Facebook will make a lot more sense. Continue reading