“We have a mailing list of about 2,500 people and we are well-known in the community. But no one likes our Facebook Page!”
“We do such great work! Why don’t we have more followers?”
“We’ve been on Facebook for a year but our audience has hardly grown. How can we grow our online community?”
Do any of these problems sound familiar to you?
There are many reasons why your nonprofit Facebook Page is a ghost town. Here are the 7 most common:
1) You are ignoring those closest to you.
Have you asked your friends, family and colleagues to join your Page? They are a good source of fans who will be interested in what you are doing (hopefully).
2) You haven’t asked your staff and volunteers to Like the page.
I don’t mean sending out a short email that they will immediately delete. I mean asking them either through Facebook, at a staff/volunteer meeting or individually (best way).
Having staff and volunteers liking the page has a lot of weight. As they interact with the Page, their Facebook friends will see the content and it will extend its reach and hopefully help you net new fans.
3) You are not advertising your Facebook page everywhere you can.
Make sure you are promoting your profiles using all channels that you have to communicate with the outside world.
Use any channel that you would use to communicate with clients and customers:
- Add the social media buttons to the main page of your website. Pro Tip: Have all the buttons the same size, visible on each page of your website and make sure all the links work!
- Add the social media buttons to your email newsletter template or e-blast.
- Put the social media URLs (example: www.facebook.com/jcsocialmarketing) on all print materials including brochures, annual reports, invitations, thank you letters, letterhead and business cards.
- Post a flyer/sign letting people know that you are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. in your store front, at the cash register, lobby, waiting room, etc.
4) You send out a canned email that just says “Like us on Facebook!”
Are you effectively promoting your social media presence through your email newsletter? Many don’t.
Most email newsletters I have received that announce a nonprofit’s social media presence simply say “We’re on Facebook!” and provide a link.
In 2013, there are thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of nonprofits on Facebook. Why should anyone like your Page?
- Send out a brief, bulleted email explaining what they will get if they connect with you. What can they expect by liking you on Facebook?
- Tell them what information they will find on your Page (resources, news, events, helpful tips).
- Will they be the first to be notified of events and happenings? The first to hear breaking news on the topics they care about?
- Let them know that you are creating an online community for people to share experiences with a community of people who care about the same cause. Ideally list the benefits and information in bullet form in the email, with a link to all of your social media profiles.
5) You don’t link to Facebook on your website.
I still can’t believe how many nonprofits have a Facebook Page but don’t link to it on their website. How am I supposed to find you?
6) You don’t differentiate between social media sites.
Why should I like you on Facebook if you post the exact same content to your blog, to Twitter and to Google+?
7) There is nothing interesting on your Page.
Are you telling stories of your organization’s impact? Is there a good mixture of photos, text, links and other content? Does your nonprofit have a voice?
Remember the key rule of success in social media:
Just being there will not get their attention – it’s the value that you provide that will.
Do you have ideas of how to get fans on your Facebook Page? Anything I missed? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!
One of my biggest surprises in my consulting life is by how many people read e-mail signatures. When I started, two years ago, I added a signature with a line about my business onto my personal e-mail (which I use for many mailing lists), and I have received so many inquiries based on that signature. I hadn’t had a facebook page link on that sig but I’m adding it now, thanks to this article!
Karin Turer – Tugboat 23
Fundraising and Events for Grassroots Nonprofits
Thanks for sharing, Karen – And I made sure to Like your page, clicking from the link in your email signature!
Thanks for posting. I am doing volunteer fund raising work for a non profit. We need to develop a stroing, pro active social media plan. The info you provided is a great start for me.
Best of luck! Other great resources for you: http://www.johnhaydon.com, http://social.razoo.com/, http://www.socialbrite.org/tag/nonprofit-blogs/
With a superannuated board we never paid much attention to Facebook. Now that we are rejuvenated (I am only 85) we can get started. Your advice is invaluable! Thank you so much
Thank you! I took a look at your website – you have some very compelling and emotional stories to tell – perfect for Facebook. Good luck!
Thank you for keeping us on our toes and challenging us keep growing.
I appreciate you reading!