How to use Facebook's consumer marketing strategy for your nonprofit
[caption id="attachment_6004" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Flickr image courtesy of libraryman"][/caption]
Facebook just surpassed the highly boast-able milestone of 500 million site users.
And in an interesting PR move, instead of boasting about themselves and their product, the folks at Facebook are using the opportunity to highlight their users. You can read more about the project, Facebook Stories, at BoomTown
, but the premise is this:
- Facebook collects stories from users about how they've used the site for activities as varied as finding love, coping with grief, and taking action on disaster relief.
- These stories are published on a site within Facebook, where other Facebook users can view them by topic or region.
- If your story gets the most "Likes," it becomes a featured story on the site, where more people are likely to read it and be inspired by it.
Here's why Facebook Stories is a better PR strategy than just announcing the milestone and celebrating:
- It engages the community that fueled the success and growth of the site. In the words of Randi Zuckerberg, "We really think by surfacing these stories, users can explain what Facebook is a lot better than we can.
- It generates more content for staying in touch and sharing. Do you know anyone who has an amazing Facebook story? Do you have one? Imagine how thrilling it would be if your story got the most "Likes." You'd probably start telling all your friends (on Facebook of course), who would tell their friends. . . you get the idea.
- It gives Facebook insight into their users, what interests them, and how Facebook can continue to build a site they will like. If Facebook noticed that the most popular stories were the ones about using Facebook to adopt pets, they might start building more tools for pet adoption agencies and people interested in adopting pets.
Few of us will ever be able to speak to an audience of 500 million users, but there are some important takeaways here that you can use to fuel your fundraising success. You may not have 500 million supporters or event participants, but you can use these same strategies with a network of 500 or even 50 supporters. Here's how:
- Collect stories from your supporters on FirstGiving. Maybe your supporters can't talk about your work better than you can, but what they can do is talk about why your work matters to them and why their friends should donate. Ask for permission to use excerpts from what they've posted on their FirstGiving pages, or offer an incentive for submissions, such as free registration for next year's event.
- Publicize these stories everywhere you communicate with supporters and donors--on your website, your blog, your Facebook page, in your e-newsletter. Consider publishing a new story every month, and be sure to link back to your supporter's page on FirstGiving, where people can read more and donate.
- Find what is most interesting to your community and run with it. If people are donating, commenting on, or sharing these stories, that's a good indication that your community is interested in this type of content. Encourage more fundraising activity by offering opportunities for storytellers to lead teams at next year's event or share creative fundraising tips and ideas with other people on your Facebook page or blog.
And of course, you can always submit your own story about how one of your supporters has used FirstGiving's Facebook application to raise money online
What other ways have you grown your fundraising activity by focusing on your supporters?