For most non-profits, the only people who will see your organization’s Facebook updates and content are those who have specifically “liked” your Facebook page. This leaves many non-profits in a difficult situation – how do you get followers and, once you do, how do you increase the size of the audience you’re reaching? Facebook is a powerful tool for businesses and non-profits today, and we have great news: it is possible to get into the Facebook game from scratch and grow your online support for a healthier, more robust organization.
So, you’ve carefully created a beautiful and informative Facebook page to represent your group and what you do. Start off by asking your staff members, volunteers, friends and family to like your page. This will expand your page’s visibility, especially as those who have followed your page “like” and comment on your content and updates.
Next, you should work to connect your current supporters to your Facebook presence. Bring up the records from your most recent fundraiser (and maybe even the one before it). Look to see if those supporters or their businesses have Facebook pages. If they do, reach out to them via Facebook and ask that they “like” your page. If you cannot find your prior donors on Facebook, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have a page. For these supporters, you should email a request asking that they follow your new Facebook page. You’ll be surprised at how much exposure you’ll get from these simple requests.
Another great idea is linking; by providing links to your Facebook page on your website and in every email, you’re giving people who want to follow you an easy way to do so. With millions and millions of Facebook pages out there, it’s also a good idea to cross-promote with other non-profits in your area. Ask them to link to and share your updates, and do the same for them. It will benefit both of your organizations and, once again, there’s no cost to either of you to do so.
The important thing when launching and growing your Facebook presence is to not get discouraged. Growing your audience will take time, but it will reap great rewards for your cause. Make sure that your content is useful, compelling and relates to what you do. When it’s time for your fundraising campaigns, be sure to use your new Facebook platform to spread the word and boost sales. For instance, if your organization takes part in our great laundry detergent fundraiser, make sure you include information about the quality, pricing and value of the product – as well as why you’re raising the funds.
Facebook and other social media sites offer non-profits just like yours an easy, accessible and affordable way to increase awareness and raise more funds, so you can do more of a good thing.