Last week’s blog post covered fundraising with Twitter so it seemed fitting this week to focus on fundraising with Facebook.
Facebook has differences to Twitter and this post will go through some of the features that Facebook has that differ from Twitter and can help you increase donations.
1. You can customise a fan page
Facebook has the ability to allow you to set up fan pages and you can use applications and widgets on these pages as well as customising the design of your page to match your brand identity. You can include a donate button that links to the donation page of your website, a contact form, a YouTube video feed and plenty of other options.
Facebook also provide you with statistics to let you know how many visitors you are getting on a weekly basis and how this compares to the week before.
Your fan page can be anything you want it to be and best of all if used effectively it can encourage donations and raise awareness to your charity’s values.
2. There is no restriction on characters for posts and status updates
Where Twitter has a character limit of 140 characters for posts, Facebook does not impose such a low character restriction. This allows you to provide more detail allowing fans of the page to have access to more information about what your charity is trying to achieve and the messages you want to share.
The more information you can provide on your page about what the organisation is trying to achieve and how important donations are, the more likely people will take notice and act.
It is important to remember that although you need to post status updates encouraging donations don’t overdo it and balance out the information you post on your page.
3. There is a photo gallery
With Facebook you can upload images to the photo gallery and these can be categorised and put into albums. This is really useful especially for charities that use images as a core of their activity. For example the Lifelong Animal Protection Charity uses albums to help them show which animals need homes and which have been adopted.
It is common knowledge that images can spread a message powerfully and by posting images relating to your cause you can create awareness to what you are fundraising for to encourage donations or further interest in your cause.
4. You can encourage discussions
A Facebook fan page is a great place to start discussions with supporters and the general public. Having a place where they can submit any questions they have about your cause or how money is used will give them a deeper insight into where their donations go and may encourage them to donate further.
Reach out to your audience and make sure they know how their support has made an impact. A Facebook page that encourages discussions will give your charity a more personable identity and donors may be more likely to relate to your cause.
5. Discussions can be viewed as thread
When looking through Twitter posts, if you are trying to look through a conversation or discussion it is difficult to keep a track of the replies as posts are laid out in a timeline. However, they have recently updated it so that you can see what message someone is replying to.
With Facebook it is much easier to keep track of a discussion and see what replies people have posted. This is a really good way of building a community around your fan page and nurturing the relationships you make with donors.
It is clear how Facebook is such an integral part of everyday life for many and this video infograph shows just how much activity takes place through Facebook. Although some of the stats in the video are related to the US, there is still a range of information relative to the rest of the world.
To find out how other charities use Facebook as part of their online strategy take a look at this article that has interviews with eight charities including Diabetes UK and Taking Action for Children about using Facebook – www.socialmediacharity.com/2011/05/interviews-charities-facebook.