Using Facebook is somewhere betweenand dauntingly complex. As we reported previously, the only really unalterable decision is the first one: do you set up for a group, business, band, or nonprofit? Though even that decision can , the adjustment goes only one time and one way. Better to consider in advance who ‘you’ are and what you want to represent.
Once you have decided to get your nonprofit organization or cause online via its Page, you want then to consider some of the best practices for getting people to the page. Alison Zarella (née Driscoll) presents four great examples of how best to bring people to your organization’s page, and get them engaged.
Once you‘ve tightened your heartstrings, the ASPCA is singled out as having the best use of photos. The over 2000 images of animals awaiting your love (and ready to reciprocate) are bound to move you to the ASPCA’s ‘ ‘ page to donate!
On a similar topic, the Humane Society gets kudos as well for its efforts to allow a number of opportunities for interaction. One can sign petitions, register for events, and buy books at various times at their Facebook site. All the functionality on the site comes from Facebook’s own tools embedded in every organization’s Page/account – no fancy installed widgets anywhere. Their photos are just as capable of melting the heart as are the ASPCA’s to boot.
Once you get comfortable with the default tools (many of which we will be following up on over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!), stretch your capabilities within your account. Thehas developed a notable array of Facebook-embedded tools for the participants at its site. Do some research on all the possible plugins, and activate the ones you want to develop using. The ones you want to use can be turned back off if you decide they did not work as you planned.
Finally, simplicity is the mother of good design, engaged response, and an efficient use of your staff’s time in developing your organization’s Facebook presence. Alison points to a campaign to vote on how to divvy up a $3 million donation from Target got people aware of the company, aware of its act of social responsibility, and engaged in visiting the Facebook site (that particular voting campaign is no longer visible).
A bit of research on what has worked well before can save your nonprofit a number of headaches and wasted person hours. That same research will make it clear how valuable a Facebook presence is for any organization looking to engage a huge swathe of potential donors, colleagues, and clients.