If you run a non-profit organization, you appreciate the unique challenges non-profits face. Not only must you recruit others who are deeply passionate about the cause, you must keep those supporters passionate about the cause so they’re willing to fund it.
Facebook is a great marketing tool for non-profits, and the new Timeline format gives you new options to promote, connect, and inspire, putting your organization in front of as many eyes as possible. Facebook allows you to showcase your organization before a billion users without spending a penny! However, it’s essential to learn to use the platform effectively if you expect to tap its full potential.
This week’s featured Social Caffeine ebook is 10 Commandments for Raising Money for Non-Profits on Facebook. This ebook will guide you through how to use Facebook effectively as a nonprofit.
After March 15, the book will go back to its regular price of $2.99.
Just in case you’d like to try before you “buy”, here’s an excerpt:
Why Nonprofts Must Engage With Facebook
It’s your job to tell your organization’s story and make it matter. Storytelling is a timeless form of communication – one we all depend on – and Facebook has made it a key focus for interaction on their platform. Facebook gives you the tools necessary to do so in an effective and influential way. Share your organization’s entire story – what you stand for, how you spend donations, and what you want for the future – in one compelling package.
As you do so, focus on shaping the overall visitor experience of your page, by being strategic with each element and using Facebook’s new features to your full advantage. Think BIG: focusing on what your organization needs most, and connecting those needs with your supporters’ desire to give back.
You have an excellent opportunity to better engage with your supporters, rally new ones, and inspire them to donate. Thanks to Timeline, you’ll be able to strengthen your current relationships, shape their experiences, and advance your organization in many different ways.
But Why Engage?
According to BlogHer, 93% of adult Internet users in the U.S. are on Facebook, and last year ComScore revealed that one out of every eight minutes online is spent on a social networking site (and you can bet Facebook is leading that statistic).
What’s more, Facebook’s brand pages will benefit your organization in many different ways.
Facebook Brand Pages Are Indexed by Search Engines
When you post targeted content on your page, it has the potential to show up in search engine results. If you consistently post stellar content as it relates to your cause, not only will your search engine ranking improve, you’ll spread awareness about your organization.
Brand Pages Offer More Ways to Engage
The Timeline format gives your organization the ability to create a quality archive of information for your supporters as well as a convenient way for you to answer their questions, earn their trust, and build a loyal following for your cause.
It also offers more flexibility in terms of how your content is showcased. You can create an archive of your organization’s milestones, highlight content you want to bring attention to, and pin content to the top of your Timeline for up to seven days. These are just the basics; as you continue revising your Facebook page strategy, you’ll grow increasingly creative with the process. The more unique your strategy, the more attention your organization will receive.
Facebook Page Insights Are In-Depth and User-Friendly
Facebook Insights allows you to track how a post is doing within 10 minutes of publishing it (crucial when you’re promoting campaigns for donations). You’re able to make the immediate adjustments necessary to improve traffic while your content is still fresh.
You can also gauge your page’s overall activity and the activity of your individual posts. This will help you to determine what content garners the most attention so you can continue to provide more of what your audience is drawn to.
Who Should Nonprofits Engage With?
Millions of people rely on Facebook as their main form of communication from the companies, brands, and causes they care about most. It doesn’t matter the organization – food banks, animal shelters, environmental causes – if you’re not on Facebook, your supporters won’t go looking for you. Instead, they’ll support the related organizations on Facebook.
It’s important for any organization to build its followers’ trust, and this is especially true for non-profits, since their success is based solely on donations from supporters. Facebook helps to simplify the process. Supporters who have yet to donate can follow your page long before they make a financial contribution, and those who aren’t able to donate yet can contribute in other ways, thanks to the various available sharing features. They can watch your activity, learn more about your organization and those who run it, and when they’re ready, become a supporter.
Sure, they can subscribe to your blog updates and newsletters, but the activity on your Facebook page gives your organization a personality, a third dimension to which your supporters can connect. The activity on your Facebook page can demonstrate the sincerity of your cause.
Online marketing is about building personal relationships, and in terms of a non-profit organization, you must make your followers feel as though they are truly part of a team effort to improve lives. The more ways your supporters can interact with your organization and those who run it, the more likely they’ll become regular contributors, and not just on a financial level. By participating on Facebook, you make it easier for your supporters to find, get to know, care about, and become an avid supporter of your cause.
It’s not just about having a Facebook presence. Anyone can set up a page. It’s about utilizing that page to the best of your ability. Determine the ultimate goals for your Facebook page and the specifics of how you want your organization to benefit. This will help you to maximize your efforts and build a strong following of supporters. Once you have a concept in place, the next step is to turn your plans into reality.
Have fun with the process. Give your supporters a place to share in your passion, and leave them fulfilled because they’re helping make a difference. By doing so, and showing your appreciation to your supporters, you’ll build a strong and memorable organization and grow more supporters.
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