January 30th, 2012
by Amy Dunn
2012 is off to an interesting start for me. I suddenly find myself donating my time and services to three different non-profit organizations, all of which are excellent causes. Here are some tips I picked up in my research to help non-profits increase visibility and support for their cause on Facebook & Twitter.
Outside of your Website, Facebook is the most important resource for a non-profit; and worth your energy and time. It can be used as a tool to organize your supporters to further your cause, communicate your events and news, conduct research, launch fundraising campaigns and more. Think of Facebook as an extension of your Website. The advantage of Facebook page is the ability to interact directly with supporters.
If you don’t have a Facebook page for your non-profit, setting one up is free and easy. Facebook will walk you through the process in the step by step set up guide.
Once you have your page set up, follow these tips to give your page a boost:
1.Tell the entire world that you have a page. Place a link to your Facebook page on your Website. Give your page a custom url by going to facebook.com/username so you can easily direct supporters to your page by including the url on all printed materials, business cards, email signatures, signage, etc.
2. Design a large profile picture that shows who you are (logo, website)- it makes a great first impression. Profile pictures can be 200pix wide x 600pix high
3. Include a sentence or two that clearly says who you are and what your non profit organization does in the “About” section. Keep it simple and to the point.
4. Make your page relevant and current by making 2-3 updates a week:
-If you have a blog, all posts should be a part of your FB updates.
-Post photos and video
-Good to ask questions, encourages people to respond
-Communicate event information and fundraising initiatives
5. Interact with other organizations by tagging them in your posts. To do this, you must “Like” their business page, then place an @ symbol in front of their name in an update and it will create a live link to their Facebook page. This is a great way to develop relationships with other businesses. You can’t do this with personal profiles however.
6. Designate 2-3 people responsible to managing your Facebook content.
7. Use Facebook Insights! There is a lot of valuable information here, it helps you gage your audience, and the effectiveness of your posts! Watch this video tutorial to learn how to use this free tool.
Twitter can also be a useful way to gain support and spread awareness for your cause. Socialbrite has a great article with some valuable tips: 24 best practices for nonprofits using Twitter.
Here are some of the tips from the article that I found to be very helpful
-Don’t over think your Twitter entries. Use your own voice, not a detached, institutional one.
-Use the “60-30-10 rule” 60% retweets and pointers to promote items from other users or sites, 30% conversation and responses, 10% announcements and events.
-Use Twitter to conduct research, to solicit ideas, to identify experts, to thank donors
-Link to newsworthy events that people are already talking about and how they relate to your cause
-Be current/in the moment- “Live Tweet” from events
-Reach out to other influencersIf you have a blog, always tweet about an updated post