Recently I met with a client who was sensitive about what they posted on Facebook, because they not only had privacy issues to be concerned with of their constituents, but they didn’t think that the other things they do would be applicable to their fans on Facebook. In other words they didn’t think that their fans on Facebook cared about what their organization was doing other than fundraising.
But there are other things besides press opportunities and fundraising or awareness events that your fans are interested in learning more about. As I’ve talked about before, social media is about being social, so when you talk only about yourself or your organization, it gets old quickly. Spice it up. Here’s a list of 7 things a nonprofit can talk about on Facebook besides themselves:
- Industry news on your topic – Don’t just regurgitate the news for them, they can set up a Google e-alert for that, but rather, aggregate the news in a way that is engaging by asking them what they think. Don’t just post a link to a news article, read it and ask a question about their opinion.
- Newsletters – almost all e-newsletters have an option where you can view the newsletter online in a browser. Copy and paste that link into a Facebook post. See tomorrow’s post on how to do an effective engaging newsletter.
- Share pictures – Facebook folks love pictures and it’s the perfect place to showcase the people who make the organization run or people that you impact. Don’t take yourselves so seriously. It’s a social network so have some fun with it (i.e. Goofy Face Friday)
- Comment on current news – even if it’s not completely related to your organization, showing that there is a human behind the Facebook wall goes a long way with your constituents. And it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, always respond to comments to acknowledge that you hear them.
- Re-purpose content (photos/videos – not text) - I imagine that you probably have some great content out there of video or photos from past events, share them! You can have fun with it by calling it, “Friday from the Archives” or “Spring cleaning and look what we found…”
- Public opinion – ask your fans what they think about decisions you are struggling with internally. Trying to decide on what date to have something, throw up a poll. Trying to decide on a new template for your newsletter – throw them both up and ask them what they think. They want to help. People like to be heard.
- Be shameless – Facebook fans of nonprofit organizations like to help out online. They like to be given calls-to-action where they can make immediate impact. So, ask them to help spread the word to 2 or 3 people in their network. Maybe give away a $25 gift card to all of those who participated.
Now you’ll notice that I didn’t list quotes. Quotes get a bad rap because they’ve been overused on Twitter and on individual’s Facebook fan pages. However, quotes are good every once in a while by a nonprofit, especially if they are something inspiring or hopeful. But don’t be putting quotes out there every day or too frequently to fill up space unless you are a religious organization.
So there are definitely things you can talk about on Facebook that are not about you or that are more engaging than you just shouting out your update. Have you tried any of these techniques already? Do you have any others you’d like to add to the conversation? If so, post a comment below.