Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with more than 900 million active users. Not-for-profit organizations are using Facebook for their outreach programs and also to keep in contact with current members and supporters.
Organizations can post content like articles, videos, photos and other multimedia to their Facebook fan pages. They can also create custom applications to help with their marketing efforts. For example, they can design an app that features content from their YouTube channel or Twitter account on their Facebook fan page.
Here is a list of eight of the top not-for-profit organizations on Facebook with a short description of their fan page marketing efforts.
1. Chase Community Giving
With 3,365,020 fans, Chase Community Giving is the largest non-profit Facebook fan page. The organization is generally active on its page and it posts updates usually at least once every two days. The postings are quite diverse in type and include videos, polls, articles and interesting infographics. One poll, for example, asks fans which charitable cause they would like to learn more about in 2012.
2. The Breast Cancer Site
This fan page has 3,305,129 fans and is the second largest non-profit on Facebook. Unlike Chase Community Giving, The Breast Cancer Site also has a significant presence on the rival Twitter social networking platform. The site offers fans the ability to contribute to their cause for free by clicking on a link at their homepage. The fan page is active and there are usually multiple posts on a daily basis. The Breast Cancer Site actively offers gift promotions that allow fans to purchase branded merchandise with part of the money going toward their cause. They use the web service offered by shop2give.us for their promotional campaigns.
They produce much of the content on their fan page themselves, but also share content from other sources that relate to the same topics. Products offered for sale on the page range from sweaters to prayer scroll necklaces and jewelry. Fans are very active in discussion on nearly every topical update posted by The Breast Cancer Site.
The (RED) fan page has 1,353,400 fans and nearly as many followers on Twitter. (RED) works with companies to help raise money and awareness in the fight against AIDS. One interesting marketing tool on their fan page is the (2015) Quilt. This tool allows fans to create their own patch to add to the quilt online. The interface uses a drag-and-drop technique to create the patch using a selection of designs. The organization updates the page about once every one or two days. The discussion level is not too active on the page as compared to the top two non-profit organization fan pages. (RED) does advertise many of its fundraising events on the page.
In one campaign, the organization partnered with football (soccer) leagues and charitybuzz.com. The page also sells a beaded bracelet that users can purchase to show their support for achieving an end to AIDS by 2015.
The viewer-supported television network has 1,161,855 fans and is the fourth largest non-profit on Facebook. The organization is quite active on the platform and usually posts multiple updates each day. Many of the postings are trailers or ads for upcoming shows on the network. The page encourages discussion from fans by often posting questions together with their updates. Furthermore, PBS has many other branded pages on Facebook like PBS KIDS, Masterpiece | PBS (Masterpiece Theater, PBS Newshour and PBS Parents. Each of these pages “likes” other PBS pages on Facebook.
The organization uses Facebook to advertise some of its local events. For example, PBS held the Masterpiece Sherlock event in New York City and promoted tickets on their Facebook pages. Another technique used is to have one of the show hosts answer questions from fans on Facebook. Science professor Nita Farahany, for example, answered select questions on brain science for fans of NOVA scienceNOW.
The GOOD network has 197,429 fans on its Facebook profile page. GOOD is a global network of nonprofits, individuals and businesses that work together to promote the same causes. The fan page is active with multiple updates posted on a daily basis. GOOD is a publisher so it able to post its own articles and infographics to its page. The infographics are of high quality and they tend to get shared frequently across Facebook.
GOOD also has another Facebook fan page called GOOD Maker that promotes the organization’s GOOD Maker product. GOOD Maker allows users to organize their stories and share them to the wider GOOD community. The main fan page promotes the organizations events that happen mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in other major U.S. cities. The organization also has 23 self-produced videos uploaded on its Facebook fan page.
6. World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum has 98,412 fans and is the sixth most popular nonprofit on Facebook. The organization aims at improving economic conditions across the globe. The Facebook fan page receives regular updates on a daily basis including polls, original content and content shared from other sources. The page has a YouTube section that features 12 videos produced by the organization on that popular social networking platform.
There is also a #WEF Live link that broadcasts the economic forum live during the event and offers the taped sessions during other periods. Fans can chat with other Facebook users during the live events. The organization frequently features polls on the fan page to interact with its online community. For example, one poll asked fans whether manufacturing and “making things” was still important for the economies of developed countries. The page, however, does not interact with other nonprofit organizations by liking their pages.
7. National Wildlife Federation
The page for the National Wildlife Federation has 94,412 fans. The organization helps with wildlife conservation efforts in the United States. One marketing technique used is to post cute pictures of wildlife as updates. Fans and other Facebook users share these photos widely across the social media site. The organization also promotes its blog and Twitter page on Facebook.
The Twitter section allows Facebook users to see all of NWF’s recent Twitter posts and also has a link to allow users to follow them. The Wildlife Promise Blog section features snippets from that blog along with links to the full blog posts. The page posts a wide variety of content including polls, articles and videos, and other content shared from external sources.
8. Be a STAR
The Be a STAR Facebook page has 22,828 fans. The organization promotes social interaction designed to encourage fair treatment and respect of others. The fan page mainly highlights the organization’s different events often posting invitations or photos from the events.
The organization sometimes offers promotional products like t-shirts in their postings. As the fan page started only in 2012, it is still new and offers no apps. However, it seems to be growing quickly as it has already broken into the upper echelon of not-for-profit pages.
The examples above indicate that the most successful nonprofits regularly post interesting content on their Facebook fan pages. The top organizations posted a wide variety of content including interactive polls and YouTube videos. They also tended to share both self-produced work and content originating from other sources.
Another popular marketing technique is to create multiple Facebook pages branded around different facets of the organization. PBS provides a good example of this strategy by employing fan pages for each of its shows. The fan pages interact with one another by mutual “liking” and also by sharing content between pages. Most of the top-rated organizations also feature their own applications on their pages that generally link to external content.
To get started putting together a fan page that actually grows your business, check out The Timeline Blueprint.