Facebook Best Practices
With more than 500 million users, Facebook is one of the world's most popular social networking websites. Maximize the power of your guild's Facebook page and connect with guild members, potential members and community supporters. Consider designating one member to regularly update your Facebook page information and status. When updating Facebook, keep the following tips in mind:
- Time of day matters. Have you posted items at 9 a.m. that received no comments? People tend to be more active on Facebook in the late afternoon and evening. If you post early in the morning, your post could end up at the bottom of the "news feed" on a follower's home page.
- Day of the week matters. Experiment with posting on both weekdays and the weekend to find an ideal time.
- Be active on Facebook when you're actively fundraising. If you have a guild event coming up, increase your Facebook presence. Remind your followers about what your event has to offer. Do you have a sought-after silent auction item? Will there be live music by a popular band? Consider posting "teasers" - photos or video of the person (s) who will be featured at the event. Share what will make yours a great party for an important cause.
- Ask questions in your updates. People may read your updates without commenting. Asking questions encourages responses and starts a conversation among your followers.
- Vary the topics of your updates. Did your treasurer just run a marathon? Share it! Keeping your posts interesting will make your followers more likely to check your page for updates. Shannon Jones of the Friends for Life Guild says, "We maintain a careful balance in reminding people of our fundraising efforts yet not filling their news feed. We try to keep posts interesting."
- Broaden your appeal. Are your Facebook followers moms, dads, professionals, retirees, young people? All of the above? Aim for your demographics and post topics that are as varied as your followers. (From your home page, you can click Account > Help Center > Facebook Insights to find information about your audience.)
- Promote other guilds. Shari Sparling of the Circle of Hope Guild says, "Partner with other guilds and support each other on Facebook. We're all in it to raise money for the same organization." Spread the word about each other's events, campaigns and fundraising successes. Another guild's event might spark interest in one of your followers, increasing their connection to Children's.
- Make it easy for others to spread the word. When you post a note or link, your followers can easily share it again by posting it on their wall. Consider providing links to applicable articles and videos.
- Interact! Comment on your followers' posts. Facebook is a conversation, and the more you engage, the more people will engage with you.
As you maximize your presence on Facebook, be mindful about appropriate content and protected information. Monitor the content of your wall discussions and check your privacy settings, carefully choosing what you want to make public. Remember never to share patient information without obtaining prior consent, including written consent for photographs.
Attend the April 1 Guild Association Annual Meeting training session "Using Facebook and Social Media to Promote your Guild," and contact the Guild Association for a copy of "Best Practices for Guilds Using Social Media."
For general questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-987-2153.
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