Nonprofits that have been using Facebook for a year or more consistently comment “OK… Facebook is great, but how can we take our Facebook Page strategy to the next level?” Below are six advanced Facebook Page strategies in response to that question:
1) Create Customized Tabs.
Advanced strategies requires advanced tech skills. If you know html and have a good graphic designer, then you can use the Static FBML App to create and completely customize Tabs on Facebook Pages. For example, the “Get Involved!” Tab on the Special Olympics of Northern California Facebook Page and the numerous customized Tabs on the Facebook Page of The Humane Society of the United States were created using the Static FBML App.
If you don’t know html and want customized Tabs for your Facebook Page, then you have two options: 1) Pay for a service like Sprout.com or Involver.com. Neither publish their fees online for customized Tabs which usually means they are too expensive for most nonprofits. It doesn’t hurt to ask for a nonprofit discount though. Many of these new services want exposure and buzz. 2) Hire someone who knows html and Facebook, like myself. My fees start at $300 for a Facebook Page with one cusomized Tab using graphics and content from your website.
2) Create a customized Tab for your default Landing Tab.
When you click on Central Michigan University inside of Facebook it goes to a a customized Tab called Unleash the Power. First impressions are important on social media sites, and this page sends a clear message that CMU gets Facebook and is taking it seriously. Compared to other pages by universities of their size, they are definitely doing much better in terms of number of fans. My guess is that this strong first impression is making a significant difference in building their fan base.
Greenpeace International has also set their default Landing Tab to a customized Tab called Take Action. Definitely a best practice, though the Tab could be improved by adding some images and possibly a video. It’s a good start.
Once you have created a customized Tab for your default Landing Tab, simply go into “Settings” on your Facebook Page and under “Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else” select the Tab you want for your default Landing Tab in the pop-down menu.
3) Integrate Facebook “Share” buttons and/or Fan Box Widgets into your “Donate Now” Page(s) and online petitions.
After someone makes a donation on your website or signs an online petition, how about asking them to “Share” with their friends on Facebook that they donated to your organization or signed your petition? At the very least, prompt donors and signatores to become fans. For example, after someone signs the online petition at Forest Ethics’ Do Not Mail campaign, they are then prompted to become a fan of the campaign on Facebook:
The campaign has almost 7,000 fans… a good indicator that this simple strategy works.I would also suggest that nonprofits add a fan box widget to the Web page that thanks online donors for their contribution.
Another possible strategy is adding “Share” buttons to your “Thanks for Signing/Donating” pages. Ideally, the Share post should say something like “I just donated to [Organization Name]!” and then links to your organization’s Facebook Page. The donor gets thumbs up from friends, and your organization hopefully gets some new fans!
4) Incorporate your Facebook Page into your Thank You emails.
Most nonprofits send immediate thank you emails to online donors and signatores of petitions. Make sure to add a simple “Become a fan of [Organization Name] on Facebook!” into your email.
5) Incorporate your Facebook Page into your mobile campaigns.
Ask your text alert subscribers to fan your Facebook Page, but make sure you link to the mobile version of your Facebook Page, such as: m.facebook.com/nonprofitorgs. Also, on your mobile website, make sure you link to the mobile version of your Facebook Page. See www.nonprofitorgs.mobi as an example. Most nonprofits haven’t even begun to think about mobile tech, but mobile Web usage is on track to hit 1 billion+ users in 2010.
6) Incorporate Facebook Connect into your organization’s blog.
If your organization blogs via WordPress.org, there is a Facebook Connect Plugin for WordPress.org Blogs. Facebook Connect allows individuals to post blog comments via their Facebook login. For those with super duper tech skills, you can customize Facebook Connect in order to add it to your website or blog, where useful. I do not know of any nonprofit currently using Facebook Connect, but Mashable has compiled a list of 10 Great Implementations of Facebook Connect. Ironcially, in 2010 your going to see MySpace on that list. They are fully integrating Facebook Connect into their website which is great news for those nonprofits utilizing MySpace.
For a complete audio and visual demonstration of beginner, intermediate and advanced Facebook strategies for nonprofits, please take the How Nonprofit Organizations Can Successfully Use Facebook Pages and YouTube webinar offered by DIOSA Communications (which is me!).