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.