Monday, March 11, 2013

Facebook 101 for Business and Nonprofits

Hi guys, Kassy the Grants & Nonprofit Librarian here! Lisa is away in Texas this week for the great South by Southwest Conference, which means that I get to host all of the Catalyst Café folks tomorrow! This week at the Catalyst Café we’re going to talk to folks about Page creation on Facebook for small businesses and nonprofits.
You may we wondering why we’re going to be covering Facebook since it’s been around so long and not some other brand new social networking site, but there is a major advantage to going with Facebook: They are still the most-used social media site in existence. It is especially popular among women and folks with aged 18-49, according to the Pew Study. Nonprofits already have a strong presence on Facebook, with 98% responding that they are connected on Facebook, so if you’re a nonprofit and you don’t have a Page, get on it! There is also a great value to having a presence on social media for nonprofits, with the average value of a Facebook Like being a reported $214.81 over 12 months following acquisition. These statistics are coming from the 2012 Nonprofit Social Media Benchmark Report, which has a plethora of information for you to use to compare how well you’re doing. Businesses also have a large presence on Facebook. There are “more than 13 million local business pages on Facebook, with 8 million that are active monthly,” according to
So where do you go to get started?
Start off on Create a Page. You’re most likely going to choose either a “Local Business or Place” or “Company, Organization or Institution” when you’re setting up your new Facebook Page for your small business or nonprofit. The next step is to choose the appropriate subject category for your page and to enter basic location and contact information. (An aside: Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what category to choose. Once you’ve finished with creating the basic Page profile, you’ll be able to edit and add additional categories that you may fall under. This is going to be especially important with the new Facebook Graph search. Learn how to optimize your page so that your page comes up in searches more often.)
The next step in the process is selecting a profile photo for your page. If you have a logo, then this is most likely what you’re going to choose for the image.  However, make sure that whatever image you choose is easy to see in the thumbnail-sized image that displays in the newsfeed when you post something for your followers.
You’ll then be asked to give a short description of your organization. This is a good place to put your mission and a brief history. Do remember to put your organization’s website in there so that you can get folks back to go back to your site to either buy products, donate money, or take some other sort of positive action.
You’ll also be asked to choose a shortened Facebook web address. Try to make this something easy for your customers or supporters to remember and type into their browser. It will also help you out in the long run if you’re putting this web address on printed banners or flyers. For example, the Grants & Nonprofit Info Center’s Facebook web address is
The last thing in the Page Creation Wizard that Facebook wants you to do is add account information to enable you to pay for ads or promote posts in a variety of ways. I would probably skip this until you decide that this is something you want to invest in.
Those who are new to Facebook Pages should read this article on 10 Things You Need to Do When Getting Started on Facebook. It is a great that can be used by both businesses and nonprofits, and can help clarify a few of the finer points about Facebook Pages. You should also check out the Pages Help Center if you find yourself getting stuck.
Facebook does have an official Facebook For Business page for businesses who are using the social media website to boost sales, engage consumers, and brand their businesses. There are links to overviews on how to begin building your Facebook Fan Page
Conversely, the Facebook for Nonprofits Page is a little less well-organized, but still offers a few links to useful guides and additional resources. They mostly use this page to highlight specific nonprofit fundraisers and collaborate with larger nonprofits on spreading the word about specific causes and actions. It’s also a news venue for how nonprofits on Facebook accomplished specific feats, such as their recent post about the World Wildlife Fund getting 40% of all of the signatures on the Thai ivory petition from people on Facebook (March 5, 2013). However, while you’re on the page, you should definitely review the Guide for Nonprofits from Facebook that’s available in their Resources app.
Improve Your Page
There are already tons of blog posts and online articles that talk about creating engaging content, so I’m not going to talk about that now. Instead, I’m going to focus on a few tips and tricks for managing your Facebook Page in its infancy.
1.     Choose a cover photo that highlights the products or mission of your organization.
2.     Organize the Apps on Your Page so that the ones that appear in the toolbar at the top are the ones that will be most important to your followers.
3.     In the “Basic Information” section of your Page settings, make sure you add as many Place subcategories that are relevant to your organization.
4.     Post Milestones for your organization.
5.     Post at least once a day.
6.     Like other Pages for nonprofits, organizations or businesses that are related to the services your business or nonprofit offers.
7.     Part 2 of Liking Pages: Manage which Page Likes are visible on your Page in the settings. Click on “Edit Page” at the top, then “Update Info.” In the list of options on the left, click on “Featured.” You can then edit your “Featured Likes.”
8.     Announce the new Page’s existence and invite all of your contacts to Like your Page.
9.     Create Events and share them with your followers.
10.  Pin or highlight important posts so they remain at the top of your Page.
11.  Consider offering a “Deal” to drive people to your organization’s physical location. This service is in beta, so not everyone may see it as an option on their Page. (Offers are available to Pages with at least 100 Likes.)
I’m looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow! Come with all your Page questions. If I can’t answer them off the top of my head, I’ll try to find the answer for you.
Additional articles on Facebook Pages for Nonprofits
Facebook: Further Reading. A list of articles from Idealware for nonprofits on Facebook.
Additional articles on Facebook for Businesses
Additional Resources for Pages of either Persuasion
Facebook Page Insights Guide. Learn just exactly all of those insights mean and how they can help you tailor content to drive better customer/supporter experience with your business or nonprofit. Interesting note: Two of the metrics on Facebook (“Likes” and “People Talking About This”) that allow you to judge how popular your Page is are also visible to anyone who visits your page.

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