To Facebook, or not to Facebook? That is the question many nonprofits are still asking. We say sit on the sidelines at your peril. Business Insider’s Chart of the Week lays out the situation well:
OK, so Facebook is growing like crazy. All the other social media platforms are way behind. What does that mean to you? Is Facebook is the answer to all your problems?
It depends on your problems, but generally Facebook isn’t the silver bullet. In fact, Facebook has some serious limitations that require you to think carefully about how you plan to use it:
- Facebook is in charge. Facebook decides what you can and can’t do on their pages. To add to the fun, they change the rules with little notice and without much concern for how that changes your plans. Facebook carefully regulates what you can and cannot do in terms of fundraising on their pages. It isn’t easy or always clear what is permissible.
- Facebook owns the content. Facebook owns your pages, words, photos, etc. Strange but true. Unlike your website, your content is theirs, if not legally, functionally. If your page is hacked or someone you trusted with administrative status blows it, months of content and hard work can disappear. And it is just gone. Sorry about that.
So ignore it? No. Understand it and use it. Hoots always tells people that they need to spend time “listening” to the conversation. So spend time watching other people who are like you. What do they do? How do they handle it? Do they know how to start a conversation on their page? Ask questions.
Then decide what your primary purpose is for using Facebook? There are people out there saying that because of Facebook you don’t need a robust website. That’s really not the best plan… remember the limitations above?
You probably won’t raise much money on Facebook, at least directly. Most NPOs do not appear to be raising much real money directly on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great tool. (Don’t even get me started on the Aflac duck!)
So what should you do with Facebook? The single best concept is to build a community. Create a place on Facebook for the people who love you to talk about you, talk with each other and talk with you. A community like that is what Facebook is best at. Do that, and you’re on your way.
So what about you? What do you think about Facebook? How are you using it?
Let me know what you think!
Don’t forget Tuesday’s Oneicity Unbook Group.
The book is Rework. If you want to hear about some of the most refreshing ideas on work and generally getting things done, then join us. There are some seats available. Here are the details:
Tuesday, April 13th
1:00PM to 2:00PM Pacific Time
We’ll hold the chat room open for about 30 minutes after we finish to allow for everyone’s questions and comments.
And of course, it’s FREE.
There’s still time to get a spot. Just send us an email and we’ll confirm that you’re in. You’ll be glad you did. The conversation last time was lively, fun and helpful.