You know your charity should be on Facebook – that’s why you’e reading this blog! A lot of people know they WANT to be a player on Facebook, but the most common question we get here at Make Me Interesting is “Where do I start?”.
So, whether you want to build a community, bring in more donations, or just to give yourself an excuse to hang out on Facebook during work time, here’s THE top five beginner tips for building a social media presence for your Charity:
1) Build your Fan Page
First thing’s first – get onto Facebook and register your charity’s name as a ‘page’. (You can find the ‘Pages’ button on the left hand side of the home screen). This is like claiming a piece of land as your own, before someone else swoops in and grabs your turf!
2) Interior decoration
One you’ve registered your page, you need to make it look pretty! Create a ‘Cover’ to tell people about your organisation, and use your organisation’s logo as the ‘Profile Picture’. You don’t need graphic design skills to make a great cover – here’s a few examples that look swish but aren’t too hard to make:
3) Be ‘likable’
Now that you have a page that’s looking great, you need to create a ‘critical mass’ of fans – people who will populate your page and make sure that your community is lively and active. Getting people to become your fans is tricky, and there are a lot of articles out there that can help you do this. Here’s a few of the best tried-and-true tips:
- Offer great content, such as photos and videos. Write stories your fans will want to share with their friends. Whatever content you create, make sure it’s stuff people actually want to read about – not boring titbits pulled from your last annual report.
- Ask questions. People are a lot more likely to engage with you if you ask for their opinion. It’s best to ask open ended questions, like “Have you ever….” or “How do you feel when”, or you can try Facebook Polling aps to encourage people to vote.
- Be a true friend. True friends respond quickly to questions from the community. True friends tag their friends in photos. True friend take an interest in other people. Make your community feel super-special, and they’ll be loyal forever!
4) Get in the news
So now you have your fans, you also want to target the friends of your fans, to increase the size of your community and boost engagement. A great way to do this is to appear in people’s newsfeeds – the first thing they see when they get on Facebook.
There’s a secret algorithm, called ‘EdgeRank’ that determines what appears in your news feed. Here’s how it works:
- Every item that appears on Facebook, say a status update or a photo, is called an “Object”.
- Each time someone interacts with an object by liking or commenting on it, they make an ‘Edge’ for that object.
An object’s edge depends on three things
- Affinity score – how close the person interacting is to the object creator. If you interact with someone a lot, say by writing on their wall or commenting on their photos, you’ll have a high affinity score with that person.
- Edge score – how many comments and likes an object receives. Comments are worth more than likes.
- Time – obviously the older a post is, the less important it becomes.
Put simply, an object is more likely to show up in your News Feed if people you know have been interacting with it recently. So make sure the objects you create are things people will actually want to interact with them!
5) Pay up
If all else fails, you can pay for exposure by making a Facebook Ad, or by paying to ‘promote’ a post. This can offer very targeted marketing opportunities, but be warned – unless you keep offering great content, any fans you capture through paid advertising will slip away. Getting new fans is only half the battle – keeping fans engaged in an ongoing process. Make a genuine effort to get to know your fans, and you’ll be surprised by the positive karma that flows your way!
Don’t forget to send your interesting social media questions to email@example.com, or follow us on Twitter: @becsusangill and @jaydelovell