Facebook users create profiles giving their demographics — their age, location, employment, education, marital status, and more — and then they begin identifying people they want to “friend” (which has become a verb, by the way) as they build their personal networks. Facebook users post photos, add links, upload videos, tell others what they’re reading, rate their favorite music, and chat in real time with each other. In addition to the dozens of applications available within Facebook, developers have created literally thousands of add-in applications that offer just about every type of extra available in the world of social networking.
Fun is the motivating force on Facebook, and users often send each other gifts, take quizzes (like “Which Hobbit are you?”), play games, and watch and rate videos. In addition to the lighter side of Facebook, friends and families mobilize to join causes they care about — which, as you may have guessed, is where you come in.
Facebook enables organizations to create their own pages and build fan bases. Similar to a personal account, the organizational page is free and includes all the social media features available on other pages. People can click a small icon to become “fans” of your organization. Whenever you post an update — by adding new content in the form of a new link, photo, video, or event to your profile page — your new content becomes visible to all your fans by way of their personal news feeds pages. These automatic news flashes help keep your organization in the minds of your public — and build on your “friendly” brand at the same time.
So what can you do in the way of fundraising with a Facebook page? Here are some ideas to get you started:
Post your mission, Web site, and programs.
Add photos of your staff or facilities, as well as photos of your programs in action if that’s appropriate.
Add videos of staff members or recent programs.
Create an events page to publicize upcoming events.
Answer questions from fans and donors.
Add a Causes module to raise funds online.
Send updates to all your fans.
Make use of Facebook advertising to expand your fans base.
You can also target some specific group of people that will support your cause based on age, occupation, country and interests.
It is not always about money, always encourage people to share your post and updates to their friends, loved ones and families.
5 More Tips and ideas on sharing your organization Facebook page:
1. Be sure to get permission in writing — before posting the photographs of any of your staff members, constituents, or volunteers. You can find standard model release forms online at the American Society of Media Photographers Web site HERE.
2. Remember that fundraising is all about making connections. Posting information about your organization on Facebook and other social media networks allows you to connect with a wide array of people across the globe that you simply can’t reach any other way.
3. In addition to the basic updating features Facebook gives to organizations, it also offers you the ability to target specific groups of your users. (This service requires an upgrade on your account, though, which incurs a cost.)
4. If you choose to expand into the for-fee realm, you can also send messages to all Facebook users and create advertisements that display along the right side of Facebook users’ pages. The ads that appear on users’ pages are targeted to the specific demographic information in the users’ profiles, so your chances of getting your animal rights’ organization in front of animal lovers are pretty good.
5. More than 1.5 million pieces of content (links, stories, blog posts, notes, photos, and so on) are shared on Facebook every single day. If you post a great story on your Web site and then add it as a note on your Facebook page, your fans may just share it with others, who may share it with others . . . and so on and so forth as your message spreads across the Web.
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