Changes to Facebook for Non-Profits

New Tools

In preparation for our October 1 workshop in Providence, Al and I are doing a little refurbishing to the Toolbox. Probably the biggest changes to our existing Handbook are tips on how to use Facebook. Since we first wrote the Handbook in 2008-2009, Facebook has changed quite a bit. One of those changes is to reach out to non-profit organizations that want to use Facebook by offering a step-by-step guide to setting up an account and tips and best practices for how nonprofits can use Facebook. See http://www.facebook.com/nonprofits to read more.

Consequently, we’ve updated the Handbook’s tips and instructions for using Facebook. We’ll post the whole updated Handbook soon. In the meantime, you can read our updated “(A Note on) Facebook and Social Networking” on Scribd.

Here I’ll also include a few other tips* I’ve found around the web that are not necessarily clear from Facebook’s Non-profits page:

  • Keep your page name short and accurate; you can’t change it after you create it.
  • There is a day or two lag time between the time you set up your page and when it will appear in search results for search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  • Create multiple Admins for your account (even if only one person is in charge of designing and implementing Facebook changes) so that you don’t lose access to the page. Having a Facebook page you can neither update nor delete would be very unfortunate.
  • It’s not the easiest thing in the world to delete a Facebook page. (Facebook is notoriously bad at any sort of support for people who are dissatisfied.) There are directions for how to do this through Facebook’s Help page, but really deleting all content has proven difficult for users in the past. Keep this in mind before starting a Facebook page.

In general, do your homework if you’re considering creating a Facebook page for your organization. Read thoughtful posts by authors who haven’t drunk the Facebook Kool-aid before you decide to set up your own account. As always, decide whether Facebook makes sense for your goals, for your audience (actual or intended). Also consider whether your organization has the capacity to keep up the “care and feeding” of tools like Facebook that require regular maintenance and updates in content.

(*Tips adapted from Beth’s Blog.)

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