As I’ve thought more about how non-profits (and businesses in general) think of facebook, it’s struck me how many believe it’s the silver bullet that will bring in massive donation amounts or revolutionize their firm’s marketing. This just isn’t going to work. Success stories definitely flame the fire – where an agency is able to raise thousands of dollars through a tight campaign – but this is uncommon and usually has other factors. These factors should be studied and emulated. However, most people on facebook are primarily there for personal use, and this should affect how non profits use it.
I was speaking with a business consultant friend today who told me how he explains fb for his clients (who are not usually fb’s regular users): Facebook should be used in the same way that you build rapport if you were sitting in a client’s office. You ask about the kids framed on the desk, chat about the game coming up this weekend. These things make you seem human and personable. Since fb is inherently your audience’s personal space, you should use it to show that you too have a personality beyond work and your cause. If you don’t want any friends, then just post informational articles and promotional blurbs. Most people will breeze right past them. Instead, blend in pictures of your office having fun accomplish your mission. Be honest about how you feel about your day.
By showing your network of friends your personal side, you’ll still be keeping your mission in front of them but they’ll be paying attention.