Facing up to Facebook
The level of intimacy created when you connect with supporters as an individual completely changes the tone of the conversations. The new members I was thanking didn’t know I worked for the organization that was the beneficiary of the Causes page they just joined, nor do I think it would have mattered.
What did matter is that before my personal message of thanks as Christina, the creator of the page, we were total strangers and now were linked together by a shared concern for a common cause.
By taking the extra step and reaching out to thank these new members for joining me in the quest to support my cause, I was able to turn a group of strangers into my new “friends.” The supporters of the cause often requested me personally as a friend and sent me questions on how they could do more to support the cause, or how to get more information on my organization.
The insight I was able to gather on how to communicate with these supporters through this connection has proven invaluable. To be clear: Though I never hid where I worked from our Facebook supporters, I also didn’t hide who I was as an individual — and that is where I was able to connect to people on a level where they felt comfortable to open up to me about why this cause means something to them.
People who support a cause generally have a personal reason for doing so and are willing to share that with a fellow supporter. This type of dialogue breeds the cultivation that has the potential to foster the type of advocates organizations dream of.
Using my personal profile on Facebook to manage and create Causes pages on behalf of my organization allows me to act as a sounding board for what is now more than 9,000 supporters. The bottom line is people want to talk to people, to a face (it is called Facebook after all) — not to a picture of a logo.