Posted by: erinjoneil | March 2, 2011

“Facebook Me”

In 2004 in a dorm room on Harvard’s campus, Mark Zuckerberg created a social networking website for students of the Ivy Leauge university. Seven years later Facebook has more than 600 million active users worldwide. It has become a necessary social media outlet for almost every American from teenagers to adults and is not evolving into a valuable tool for nonprofit organizations looking to reach those populations. Follow these steps to create a Facebook page worthy of a “like”.

1. Create a fan page, not a profile.

If you have a personal Facebook account you have a Facebook profile. These are reserved for individuals for personal use. Facebook fan pages are designed for organizations and companies looking to expand their reach to their community. These pages look and behave much like profiles but with significant differences that you can use to your advantage. These pages have no privacy settings so a simple Google search of your organization returns your entire Facebook page with the ability to “like” to become a fan of the organization, automatically seeing updates in the user’s News Feed on the homepage. These pages can be customized in a way that personal profiles cannot, catering the needs of your social media plan.

2. Create a custom landing tab.

Your Facebook fan page will have tabs across the top of the page with different functions. In your account settings you can create a custom landing tab. Make sure that the custom landing tab is eye-catching and timely. If you have an upcoming event you’re promoting or recent published news about your organization, feature that here. Update the landing tab often to keep fans coming back often.

3. Get rid of what you don’t need.

Less is more. Eliminate the tabs with functions that you don’t need to utilize. Leaving them up empty only makes fans feel deprived.

4. Create a theme.

What’s your thing? By asking people to become “fans” of your organization you are asking them to support your organization. So, what are they supporting? What is the single most important thing about your organization? Is it your mission statement or the numbers of people you have served? What do you want your fans to do? Become aware of the issues your organization tackles? Make your point clear on your Facebook page and keep it consistent.

5. Create dialogue.

It may be tempting to post statuses, videos and links on your fan page and leave it for the public to discover and read but Facebook allows for interaction between you and the community that you should take advantage of. Use the discussion board feature to spark conversation between fellow fans and reply to posts to create connections with fans.


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