This article first appeared in our weekly Nonprofit Marketing Tips e-newsletter on February 16, 2011.
Facebook changes the way it works almost as often as Lady Gaga changes her look. In mid-February 2011, Facebook announced major changes to the way Pages work, which includes some good news for nonprofits.
For example, as a Page Admin, you can now choose to receive notifications about fan activity on your Page. Someone posts to your Wall or comments on your Page status; you get an email. You can also click on "Use Facebook as Your Page" and that will allow you to Like and comment on other Pages as the Page, not as you, the individual.
Keeping up with how Facebook works isn't easy. But that's not the hardest part of managing a successful Facebook page.
What's most difficult is finding the right mix of status updates that are interesting, engaging, and inspiring to your fans, and giving yourself enough time on the site to converse with others on their profiles and pages, all while ensuring that this adds up to something valuable to your organization from a marketing and/or fundraising perspective.
What scores an A+ will be a little different for each organization, but attitude goes a long way in social media. To gauge whether you are flunking out on Facebook, see how many of these statements you agree with . . .
- We don't let others post updates or upload photos to our Wall. Who knows what kind of junk they'd put on there!
- All updates by staff to our page must be approved in advance by a supervisor.
- We will only post information about our work. Including information about or links to others will just encourage our fans to leave our Page.
- We will usually delete posts where others tag us, because we don't want to be seen as endorsing or being endorsed by others with whom we don't have formal partnerships.
- Facebook is basically a waste a time, and we are only doing it because someone told us we had to.
- Posting a status update once or twice a month is adequate.
- It's OK to repeat the same status update over and over because our updates disappear in everyone's News Feeds so quickly.
- Honestly, I don't have time to talk to all these random people anyway, so I secretly hope no one comments on our updates or posts to our Wall.
If you agree with two or more of these statements, you just might be flunking out on Facebook. These attitudes signal that you aren't really embracing what social media is all about, nor meeting the social norms for how people and nonprofits are using Facebook.
If you see yourself in these statements, skip on over to our webinars page. I think you'll find some of our webinars on social media helpful.
You can also see what others think constitutes an F grade and add your thoughts on ourNonprofit Marketing Guide Facebook page.