Tips for Maximizing Facebook and Your Web Site
Frank Barry, managing consultant at Blackbaud and moderator of the NetWits Think Tank blog, recently posted four Facebook tips for nonprofit success based on real-life experiences of nonprofits.
"You can't just throw up a page and expect to be successful. You have to be thoughtful, strategic and knowledgeable,” he wrote, sharing these four tips:
1. Create a regular page, not a group or Causes page. There are way more features that you get with a Facebook page that you don't get through groups and Causes pages, including:
- You get a friendly URL.
- Your page gets indexed by Google.
- There's no limit on the number of people who can become your fans.
- Fans get notified of your status updates.
- You can write on the wall, upload photos and join discussion groups.
- You can integrate your blog/Web site content on your page.
2. Participate and be a community. He pointed to the LIVESTRONG as a great example of this. Be active daily, sharing news, video, photos, stories, etc., related to your organization; and engage with fans by commenting on wall posts, "liking" things they share and helping them connect with others.
3. Get people to engage with you in more than one way. E-mail is still the killer app, and it's important to have a solid home base in the form of a Web site. Take a tip from the One Campaign, which has its page set up to go to a custom tab where visitors are shown how they can engage with the organization beyond Facebook.
4. Pay attention to stats. Facebook's Insight Portal allows administrators to see stats on how well wall posts and content are engaging visitors.
Stats measured include user exposure, total interactions, demographic information and post quality score (measures how engaging posts have been to users in the last seven days), among others.
"By understanding your activity and performance, fan response, trends and comparisons, you are better equipped to improve your presence on Facebook," Barry wrote. "Actually, this data will likely help you improve your overall Web efforts! Use the stats to gain valuable insight into what your constituents like, what type of content they interact with the most, what they tend to share with their friends and, maybe most importantly, what they don’t like."
In a related post, Barry also discussed five keys to building a successful nonprofit Web site. They are:
1. Learn from your content. Use Google Analytics to see how many unique visitors come to your site, what content is most viewed, what content is producing what visitor action, what keywords or phrases people use when searching your site, and where visitors come from before arriving at your site.
2. Make content easy to consume. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your content. Google FeedBurner allows visitors to subscribe to content updates on your site via RSS or e-mail.
3. Make content easy to share. Social-bookmarking plug-ins such as AddThis allow people who like your content to share it with their networks.
4. Make your organization easy to find on social networks. "Your main Web site should highlight your presence on these sites so that your readers can connect with you in social ways online," Barry writes.
5. Use a URL shortener like tinyurl.com. Shrinking URLs makes it easier for you to print them in newsletters, mailings, etc., and for readers to share, giving you richer statistics.
Barry notes that "content is king," and without great content, the aforementioned tactics and tools are limited.