November 9, 2011

Facebook’s page for nonprofits offers helpful resources

Nonprofits on Facebook

Learn best practices from other nonprofits successfully using Facebook

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, social enterprises, social media managers, marketing professionals, businesses, brands, Web publishers, individuals.

This is the second part of a two-part series on Facebook apps and resources available to nonprofits. Also see:

5 essential Facebook applications for nonprofits

By Lindsay Oberst
Socialbrite staff

Lindsay OberstWith more than 100,000 nonprofit Facebook pages out there, it’s clear that many nonprofits already know that the social networking site can be a game changer. Since we often spend more hours on Facebook than with our best friends, we might as well also be using this time for good, right?

If you look around Facebook, many of the existing nonprofit pages don’t come close to reaching their full potential. They were created and then left alone, or are used in ways that don’t work on Facebook. Of course, if you’ve had to create or manage a page, you know how confusing it can be.

What page owners need is a resource to help them figure out what works and to give them new ideas when they feel as if they don’t have endless amounts of time or money to dedicate to social media. One such resource is the Non-profits on Facebook page, a community that shares information and best practices for social good organizations.

Whether you’re new to Facebook, would like to know how to use the site better or are already a Facebook success story, the Facebook nonprofits page is certainly worth “liking” and using if you work to bring positive change to the world.

But once you like it, how else should you use this tool?

First steps for Facebook newbies

(People already using Facebook for their nonprofit might want to skip to the next section.)

The nonprofit page has a tab for nonprofits that are new to Facebook marketing; it’s called “Get Started” and contains several downloadable PDF documents:

  • A quick-start guide, along with a pages manual, to help you understand the basics of a Facebook page and how to create one.
  • A guide for nonprofits with tips for promoting your page and quick pointers about what types of content you should be posting.

Once you create your page and get the word out to your network about it, you should begin thinking about how you can make your nonprofit Facebook page a success story.

Resources and best practices for nonprofits

A mouse click over to the resources tab on the Non-Profits on Facebook page will show a list of products and tools used to grow and promote a page. Check each of these out and consider their usefulness for upcoming campaigns.

  • Groups, which can be used to organize niche communities within an organization. To learn more about ways to use this tool including examples, see Socialbrite’s guide to making the most of Facebook groups.
  • Targeted ads to increase awareness and grow subscribers;
  • Applications for additional content, which are created to be social and encourage participation. The most-used application by nonprofits is Causes, a platform that mobilizes a user’s network of friends to grow movements;

Continue reading

November 3, 2011

Study: How nonprofits benefit from using social media

social media study

Image by Michael Darcy Brown for Big Stock

A look at nonprofits’ use of Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Flickr & Facebook

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, social media managers, bloggers, individuals.

John HaydonIdealware just published the second edition of their Social Media Decision Guide, which you first heard about on Socialbrite last year. The guide includes information about how nonprofits are benefiting from Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook.

Facebook drives website traffic and gets people to take action

facebook research

As you’ll see from the graph above, most nonprofits report using Facebook to increase website traffic and get people to act.

They also found that a growing segment of Facebook users turn to the platform as a reference site. Not being on Facebook today is almost as bad as not having a website.

Download the Social Media Decision Guide

What you’ll really love about the Social Media Decision Guide is that it’s extremely easy to understand and digest. You’ll be led through a five-step process (that includes a bunch of amazing worksheets):

  • Understanding Social Media
  • Defining Your Goals and Audience
  • Evaluating Specific Tools
  • Choosing Tools to Meet Your Goals
  • Creating Your Social Media Strategy

Download the Social Media Decision Guide here.

September 28, 2011

New rules: How to create a Facebook page from scratch

 

Video tutorial will step you through new changes to Facebook pages

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, social media managers, individuals.

John HaydonFacebook has just introduced a completely new process for creating a Facebook Page. It includes:

  • An idiot-proof three-step process
  • The ability to import images from a website
  • Scaled-down requirements for the info section

The video above shows you exactly how the new process works.

September 27, 2011

Facebook nuked the ‘Like’ button, now what?

like button
Image by Jan Kowalski on Bigstock

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, social media managers, individuals

John HaydonUp until last week, the only people who could comment on or like content on a Facebook Page were fans of that Page. Now, Facebook has eliminated that requirement, allowing anyone (fans and non-fans) the ability to engage with a Facebook Page.

The result of this change is that the importance of “liking” Pages has essentially been nuked – for both brands and for Facebook users.

Remain calm, here’s what it means

remain calm

Understandably, you are freaking out. But you’re also excited about this change!

You’re freaking out …

Because you’re worried about how to control conversations about your nonprofit. It’s like moderating Twitter without the ability to search. So you’re freaking out.

You’re also freaking out because maybe you were over-focused on accumulating fans in the first place. And were shocked to learn that getting a new fan doesn’t mean you’ve earned a spot in their news feed. So you’re freaking out.

But you’re excited …

Because this means that your Page updates could receive exponential attention. With the hurdle of “liking” a page removed, more people will engage with your Page stories!

You’re excited because for you it was always about engagement. It was never just a numbers game.

So what does this mean for Page administrators?

  • Be interesting. Because Pages are now more open, it’s even more important that you have a content strategy that keeps people interested.
  • Listen. Because conversations about your nonprofit are harder to monitor, it means taking another look at using tools like Social Mentionto keep track of what people are saying.
  • Evolve. Stop posting updates just to boost your Edgerank, and start creating deeper and broader discussions with Facebook users.

The good news

The good news is that the majority of communication and marketing professionals are too lazy and uninterested in having real discussions with their fans. So if you have a sincere commitment to do this, the competition will be few.

What do you think?

September 23, 2011

How to activate Facebook’s new subscribe button

subscribed-not friends

 

And what it means for your nonprofit

Target audience:Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, social media managers, individuals

John HaydonWith all of the amazing features that Facebook Pages have, the one thing that they’ve always lacked is the ability to create that personal connection that Facebook users like.

This all changed last week when Facebook released a new feature on Facebook profiles called the Subscribe button. This feature allows people in your organization to publish content on their personal Profiles that anyone can subscribe to without compromising any privacy.

What this ultimately means for your organization is creating a deeper, more personal experience around your nonprofit on Facebook. (Ted shares a few examples on the frogloop blog.)

In the image at top, you can see that I have subscribed to Jesse’s public updates, but I am not his friend.

How will this affect my current friends on Facebook?

This won’t change how you and your friends connect on Facebook. They’ve always been able to see your updates (and vice versa), so you won’t have to “subscribe” to each other (see image below).

friends-automatic subscribe

You can choose to filter what types of updates you see from both friends and non-friends you’ve subscribed to (important events, photos, comments and likes, status updates). The filtering options include life events, status updates, photos and more (see below). Continue reading