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My Irritation With Facebook as a Promotional Tool for Non-Profits 6 June 2010

Posted by noellawood11 in Reflection, Tools & Tech, Trends.

Many of us in this program are most likely using Facebook and other social media platforms as a promotional tool for the cause.  There are a lot of special features for businesses when using a Facebook account for promoting a cause or idea, but if you don’t have the money to spend on advertising to further promote your cause, and hence expand your friends, how do you maximize Facebook for a business if you aren’t putting money into it?  If you’re a non-profit organization, and don’t have the money to pay for advertising to create more awareness, how are you going to maximize your Facebook efforts?

There are many obvious benefits to having a Facebook as an organization.  When having a Facebook account, your organization can connect with other organizations with similar interests or goals. It can also help inform supporters of the organization, attract volunteers, and get messages to your network of supporters without dealing with messages getting stuck in spam filters and the risk of getting blacklisted from an Internet Service Provider.  In order to maximize Facebook presence, it’s important to have various staff and volunteers involved to help contribute to the Facebook fan growth.  Without being able to purchase ads, you’ll need to have another way to grow your fan base. Having your staff engaged in the Facebook page as a fan and inviting their friends to be a fan, will maximize your efforts as an organization.

As the person who manages my organization’s Facebook page, I’ve noticed that it’s hard for me to search for people outside of my own personal network, and invite them to an event or to just be a fan of the Facebook page. To me this is frustrating and annoying.  If they are a fan already, then why can’t you invite them?  You can update the fans, but there’s no way to pick and choose.

Now I realize that certain aspects of Facebook are set to be this way due to privacy settings put into place by Facebook, and no amount of money would obviously change that. But obviously putting money into Facebook maximizes your exposure.  Based on my own experience, understanding and research, the only way an organization can continue to grow it’s presence on Facebook is by having all staff inviting their friends, and promoting social media presence through all forms of corporate communications such as the website, e-newsletter and blog.  If I am wrong, please feel free to enlighten me.



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