June 13, 2012

Facebook Groups: An effective, overlooked tool

Remember Facebook Groups? A screenshot from the FirstGiving for Runners Group.

Groups is where real community engagement is happening

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Facebook members.

Debra AskanaseAfriend recently asked me: “What are you excited about now in Facebook?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Facebook Groups.” Yes, Facebook Groups, not Pages. Written off and abandoned by almost every organization I knew once Pages beefed up its functionality three years ago, Groups is where the real community engagement is happening now.

Groups give you notifications, document uploads, group chat, threaded commenting, email messages about group events and mass messaging to in-boxes

I’ll admit that I, like so many consultants, advised clients to close their Groups and focus on Pages a few years ago. With good reason: Facebook came out with the Like button that tied Facebook Pages to websites and almost every Web interface. Facebook poured its time and promotion into Pages, making them even more robust with deep analytics, applications, and utility. There was no “join” button offered to join a Facebook Group, only a poorly adopted “send” button.

In late 2010, Facebook revamped Groups entirely and they began to take off. The “new” Group features include notifications of group actions and activities, document uploading, group chat, threaded commenting, inbox messaging about group events, and mass messaging to inboxes (described in more detail here). This was when everyone I knew began to explore Groups once again.

Why am I so excited of late about Facebook Groups? Why now?

The answer lies in what I’ve begun to realize that Facebook Pages cannot offer: real community and deep engagement. Continue reading

May 9, 2012

27 ways to increase engagement on your Facebook page

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, anyone with a Facebook page.

John HaydonNetwork for Good hosted a free webinar the other day where I presented 27 Ways to Increase Engagement on Your Facebook Page.

According to a recent survey by NTEN, 89 percent of nonprofits today use Facebook to expand awareness around their cause and to grow their fan base. One challenge that many nonprofits face is keeping fans interested and engaged after they like their page. (Remember, most people who Like your page never see it again — unless it turns up in their news feed.)

Above are the slides from the webinar. Some of the things you’ll learn:

  • The three most important pillars of your content strategy
  • Three shocking facts about every Facebook Page
  • The best times during the day to post content
  • Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm defined and why you should care
  • What types of content get more exposure in news feeds
  • How to post links in a page story
  • How to use photos to spark engagement
  • How to use questions to spark conversations
  • How to use closed and open questions to spark conversations
  • And lots more

If you want to hear the 60-minute recording, download it here. You can check out the SlideShare presentation above or download it as a PDF.


19 ways to engage your nonprofit’s Facebook fans (Socialbrite)