“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!
Do you need a step-by-step guide to creating digital storytelling campaigns?
You are in luck!
Sign up and get a free chapter of my new book, Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits. This book is designed to be a step-by-step how-to guide for small and mid-size nonprofits that want to learn how to set goals, measure results, and carry out amazingly successful digital storytelling campaigns!
When you sign up, you will also receive my free weekly bulletin with tips, tricks, and advice for savvy nonprofits on how to kick butt at online marketing and fundraising.