Created by The iPlatform on Mon 28th Feb 2011
Facebook can be a valuable tool for non-profits worldwide. Thousands of dollars have already been raised in the immediate aftermath of the February earthquake in New Zealand after Facebook users populated the network with status updates imploring friends to donate money via the Red Cross online. Through Facebook Causes, more than $5 million has been raised since 2006 benefiting over 150,000 different causes.
But you needn't wait for a natural disaster to make Facebook work for your non-profit, as said by Sara Ines Calderon in her 10 Tips for Non-Profits on Facebook. There are many different ways to utilise the service for your non-profit, from creating an application to running a campaign or even buying Facebook ads.
1. Create a Competition, Game or Quiz
Finding creative ways to engage your fans is an important part of fostering an active Facebook community that will want to take their engagement from the virtual to real world by becoming involved in your group physically or fiscally. One way to do this is creating an application, game or quiz that fans can use once, or ideally, several times. This can include creating fun content that they can post to their Walls so friends in their networks can also learn about your organisation.
Today, the Fairtrade Foundation launches a social-media campaign to mark its annual promotional event, Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 28 February to 13 March 2011.
iPlatform is part of building the campaign in creating the Show Off Your Label, a unique competition with 14 challenges to get people showing off Fairtrade's label with the chance of winning some amazing prizes. One of the challenges invites users on Facebook to upload a photo of themselves using their favourite Fairtrade product, such as a banana to create a 'banana smile'.
2. Integrate with other Social Platforms
Fairtrade's campaign utilised social media to the max, not only focusing on Facebook and Twitter, but also utilising their own website, emails, phone calls and web banners.
The best campaigns use multiple channels. You can optimise your existing Facebook Page to promote awareness, discussion, and attract new activists and members. Fairtrade's 'Show Off Your Label' catchphrase and graphics are featured in every promotion and all over the site.
3. Tie in with other Brands
Richard Stobart, head of consumer marketing at The Fairtrade Foundation, said the annual event provided a significant platform for brands to showcase their CSR credentials. iPlatform's app for Fairtrade includes specific sponsors for each challenge, encouraging those brands to help drive traffic to the campaign. "Any brand with Fairtrade-certified products has an opportunity to join in the fun of Fairtrade Fortnight and talk about their relationship with producers in developing countries," Stobart added.
4. Friend Get A Friend
The "Friend Get A Friend" method was encouraged on Fairtrade's promotional video. "Tell your Friend. Your Friend's Friend, And your 563 Facebook Friends about it. Help us make the world's longest bunting." When supporters can get instant feedback on the effects of their efforts (seeing fan numbers grow), it makes them even more motivated.
There are all types of features you can add to your Page that allow your fans to feel ownership of your organisation, like a fan badge or a web banner for their profile pages. In Fairtrade's case, the added bonus of a promotion with an application is that, whether it's published to your fan's wall or their profile page, it also gets many users' and their friends' attention.
5. Listen to Feedback
Finally, communication is key in a social network. It's important to monitor your Facebook Page to see what's working and what's not. Do your photo posts get more comments than your video posts Are fans checking out your Application page or your blog iPlatform builds a customised admin panel for each project that allows you to moderate and view entries. As the administrator of a Page you can always check an admin panel or Insights Dashboard for specific information on the age, sex and location of your fans to see what's working with different groups.
Of course, these tips aren't limited to non-profit corporations. Anyone can use social media to leverage those same motivations.