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Archive for November, 2012

I’ve been working with a small non-profit organization in growing their Facebook page. They want more followers, but they don’t know how to grow their fan-base. After evaluating their site and coming up with the following list of recommendations I thought I would share it with you; it can apply to nearly every organization out there.

1. Only update once a day. People like you, that’s why they follow you. But they like you in small doses; don’t overdo it.

2. No need to update on weekends (unless you have an event taking place). People get that you take the weekend off. They do too.

3. Include photos when possible. Pictures tell the best stories.
-Don’t show lots of photos of the staff. It’s ok to show staff, especially if they are at an important event. But remember that you are promoting a mission, not the people who work to keep it going.

4. Use variety in what you post about. We get that you have an amazing mission. But sometimes it’s nice to hear about the different aspects of your mission.
Here’s a few ideas of what to post about:
*mission-focused stories; stories with photos are even better!
*asks for donations, both cash and in kind
*shout out to donors
*notification of future volunteer trainings
*’Save the Date’ for future events
*FYI’s, Did You Knows, and other statistics about the organization

5. Look for tie-ins to timely events. (Have a volunteer who is a veteran? Give him a shout out on Veteran’s Day. Is the month of May rolling around? Tell the story of a mom who has made an impact on the Foundation for Mother’s Day. Getting cold outside? Talk about what’s going on inside to stay warm and cozy.)

6. Be transparent. If someone complains on your wall, address the complaint. People appreciate an honest answer.

7. Keep posts short. I think that one is self-explanatory.

8. Don’t forget to do a grammar check. It might be ok to use incomplete sentences on your own page, but keep it professional when representing the Foundation.

9. When possible, link back to your website. Always look for opportunities to drive traffic to your website.
-Likewise, when you mention other organizations, link to their FB page or website as well.

10. Follow other organizations. Chances are, they’ll follow you back.

11. Make a calendar to keep track of what you will talk about, and when. This helps in making sure that your content is fresh and relevant.

12. Host an online contest – see if there isn’t something around the office you can dig up and offer as a free gift. Encourage fans to ‘share’ with their friends, which in turn gives them a second entry into the prize giveaway. Contests can be simple: “Like” this picture to win a $5 gift card to the Smoothie Hut. OR Ask a question that is mission-related. A wish granting organization might ask, “If you could go anywhere you wanted, where would it be?” Every person who answers will automatically be entered into a drawing for 2 free movie tickets.

I might finish by adding that every time you print promotional material you should include the Facebook logo next to your contact information. This helps your constituents to know where they can find you online.

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15th Anniversary Invitation_BeforeI’m currently working on an invitation for a client planning a formal dinner event for their 15th Anniversary. While the event takes place in December, the non-profit organization has been very clear in making sure that this event in no way feels like a Christmas party.

Instead, I’ve been instructed to focus on a setting sun, stars, circles and the number 15. Ironically enough, while searching for a background image to work with, I came across this little gem, courtesy of iStockphoto.

Anniversary InvitationThank you to the power of Illustrator I’ve removed all feeling of the Christmas nativity and turned the Christmas background into this setting sun behind a small home (which is actually pulled out of the non-profit’s logo). There are 30 stars in the sky, 15 are simple stars, 15 more have circles behind them. I love how well it’s coming together and can’t wait to share the final project!!!

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Sometime around the 19th of September I received an email from Linkedin. You know the kind.

“Click here to receive a free upgrade!”

“One month free service at no cost!”

“Want to know who’s been looking at your profile?”

Truth is – I DID want to know who had been looking at my profile. And I KNOW how these things work. They require your credit card information up front, your service receives an upgrade, you check out who has been looking at your profile and then forget to cancel the free upgrade.

I didn’t forget to cancel, but I waited until the last day. After all, they said I had a free month, right? So I wasn’t going to cancel after 3 weeks and 3 days. I was taking advantage of the full month long service.

Linkedin errorProblem is, we went out of town just before the 19th of October. And when it came time for me to cancel my service I had to do so from my handheld device. Now I don’t think that should matter, but when I clicked the link that said ‘click here to downgrade your settings’ this is the page I landed on. With no way of moving forward I had to give up on cancelling my upgraded service and accept the fact that I was going to be charged the monthly fee.

When I returned home I took time to sit down and write Linkedin. I kept my email professional, but prepared for the response:

“We’re sorry. It’s not our fault you waited until the very last minute to cancel,” (I imagine a snickering 20-something year-old punching away at his keyboard, snickering through the reply. “Ya big idiot!” he laughs to himself.)

“While it’s not our policy to issue refunds, we are happy to give you an additional month of free service.” (A slightly kinder, also 20-something year-old female might be behind this response. She is nice around the edges, but all business on the inside.)

“Sorry. You agreed to the terms and conditions when you applied for the upgrade.” (I’m not sure who would be behind this response – but it is the one I was most certain I would hear.)

It’s safe to say, not only was I surprised to get a response, but even more surprised to get a very nice response!

Linkedin Reimbursement Reply

Just a few days later the refund showed up in my checking account.

reimbursementI still can’t get over how quick and pain-free the process was. I can’t believe some big shot at Linkedin actually took time to reply, let alone look up my account information and issue a refund within 48 hours.

Will I consider upgrading in the future? Absolutely.

Will I be likely to refer Linkedin to my friends and colleagues? You know it!

Now that I think about it… I think I just did.

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