An excellent blog: Why Your Company Probably Doesn’t Need A Facebook Page
I completely agree. And I think it’s true for many nonprofits, NGOs, community agenices and other organizations as well.
Shocked? Don’t be. Facebook is a great, appropriate outreach / engagement tool for many organizations – and a complete waste of time for others, as this blog explores.
Consider this: maybe all of your volunteers are on Facebook – but they don’t want to mix their Facebook activities with their volunteering. Offline, I don’t always feel comfortable talking about what I do as a volunteer at work with colleagues, or when I’m socializing with friends – perhaps I feel the same way online.
Having a booth at the local county fair might be a great way to create awareness about whatever issue your nonprofit is concerned with, or as a way to recruit volunteers – and might be a complete waste of time for others.
Same for putting an ad in the local newspaper.
Same for doing a PSA on a local radio station.
Same for putting a billboard up on a highway.
How do you know which outreach or engagement tool is right for your organization? Through knowing your potential audiences, through observing online activities by other organizations similar to your organization or also serving a similar community, and through asking your current clients, donors and volunteers how they heard about your organization and how they do or don’t want to use social media with your organization. Through experimenting. Through trial and error.
That said, if you are on Facebook, and want to use Facebook as a way to learn about effective volunteer / community engagement, about nonprofit / NGO management, about aid and development, or about my work, I would love for you to like my Facebook page. But it’s worth noting that a LOT of my friends haven’t done this, because they don’t like mixing work and fun (and they see their Facebook activities as purely for fun).
And if you are on Twitter, and want to use it for those similar reasons, I would love for you to follow me on Twitter. But, again, a LOT of my friends haven’t done this, because they don’t like mixing work and fun (and they see their Twitter activities as purely for fun).
January 5, 2017 update
I still believe 90% of this blog – and the blogs I link to in this blog. My only change is this: your nonprofit does need a page on Facebook, just to “own” your organization’s online real estate – the name of your organization on Facebook. This will mean people can find you on Facebook – yes, they are probably looking for you, and are angry when they cannot find you – and it will also prevent someone else from creating a page for your organization without your knowledge. But if you aren’t going to publish a status update on Facebook at least once a week, if you aren’t going to mark “like” on every single comment made on your status updates, if you aren’t going to respond to questions and criticisms made on your status updates, then say so: publish a status update that says your organization does not regularly update its Facebook status update, and the best way to know what your organization is up to is… what? Check the web site regularly? Follow you on Twitter instead? Also, publish your email address in that one-and-only status update, and note that it’s the best way to reach you. Finally, set your privacy settings so that no one can post on your Facebook page, and so that if anyone mentions your organization on their own Facebook status update it doesn’t show up on your page.