Before You Get Started
You’ve decided to take the leap and start a Facebook profile. That’s awesome! But before you jump in there’s some things you should know.
We’re going to De-bunk some myths here. These may be myths that you’ve heard, or even myths you have told yourself. This post is in no way to scare you away from Facebook. In fact, it’s the opposite. I want to inform you. I want to make you so well aware of what to expect that you succeed!
Success begins by knowing exactly what you’re dealing with. So let’s take a look at some common (and maybe some not-so-common) Facebook myths for non-profits.
Myth #1: Facebook is the easiest Social Platform
False. In fact, Facebook is anything but easy: especially for non-profits and churches. But don’t let this discourage you. Think of it this way: if it were easy, everyone would have one. And if everyone had one then there’s more competition. Having a successful Facebook profile as a ministry is HARD. But it’s worth it! It’s a way to be leaps and bounds above the crowd and get right in front of your audience.
Myth #2: Everyone Will See My Posts
If only this were true. Did you know that less than 2% of your fans actually see your posts on Facebook? 98 of every 100 friends you have never see a single update! That’s insane. Thanks to Facebook’s (like other social platform’s) ‘pay to play’ initiatives, like/fan pages have taken a back seat as less relevant content.
Basically, Facebook has found that its users would rather see updates from their friends. They’ve found that those users are tired of pages trying to sell their stuff all the time. And they’re right! If you have a personal Facebook profile I’m sure you’ve seen some shameless fan page plugs.
But this doesn’t mean you “work around the system” by creating a personal profile for a business. This means you WORK HARDER. Why? Because the payoff is so much bigger. If you can create content that Facebook deems as relevant to your fans then you’ll end up in their news-feed.
Myth #3: I Should Shamelessly Promote My Brand
False! It’s this way of thinking that got us in trouble in the first place! You need to play by the 80-20 rule. 80% of your content should be about your customer (or target audience). What free resources, links, or information can you give them to solve their problems? What encouragement can you give them? 80%+ of your posts should have NOTHING to do with what you are selling (or offering).
The remaining 20% can be able you. But make it personal! How do you meet the need of your audience? How do you solve a problem? How do you save the world?
Myth #4: I Don’t Have to Dedicate Much Time
Some businesses have tried to ‘automate’ their social platforms and have failed miserably. Why have a social platform if you aren’t SOCIAL? Social media is about relationship building. It’s about posting relevant content to meet the needs and solve the problems your audience is facing. It’s about building trust.
This doesn’t mean you have to have someone on Facebook 24/7. But you do need someone to have notifications active to respond to messages and alerts. You also should dedicate some time to ‘liking’ complementary pages and sharing good content.
You’ll need to have a Facebook game plan. Whether that’s a content calendar or something else, don’t just shoot in the dark. Having a Facebook without a strategy is like talking into a wall. It’s loud, obnoxious, and people may be hearing but they aren’t truly listening.
Myth #5: I Don’t Need a Plan
Succeeding on social media is complex. Without a game plan you are truly spinning your wheels. Sit down with your team and develop a plan. Who is your target audience? What type of action do you want your target audience to take? Are they buying a product? Donating money? Attending your service or event? How do you speak their language? How does your product or service meet their needs?
Determine the right person to be your admin. Make sure this person is proficient at Facebook. Have a team that receives notifications and are trained to answer questions.
Don’t go into social blind. Social media will take time and it will take resources. But you can do it! As we continue this journey we will dive deeper into more specific social accounts and ways to improve your social media presence. So get started on your game plan!