Facebook Insights and 7 deadly Sins to Avoid

Facebook's Jon Fougner and BlitzLocal demonstrated how Facebook Pages and Ads can powerfully  connect nonprofits with their supporters in the  ReadyTalk Webinar Series on April 28.

Fougner said Facebook is better than other online sites at generating interest because it incorporates  social context. A person is more likely to click that they "Like" a cause or support it financially if they  see that their friends already have done so.

Dennis Yu, CEO of local Internet marketing firm BlitzLocal, demonstrated one social media engagement strategy for Facebook. His firm designed a Facebook Page tab that allows those who “Like” Friends of Trees, a Portland area nonprofit, to earn a badge for their support.

Webinar attendees learned that 70 percent of non-profits already have Facebook Pages, but that only 30 percent are running Facebook ads to them.  Thus, most non-profits are missing out on a massive source of highly engaging traffic. Facebook also offered a free $50 advertising credit for the first 1,000 non-profits that sign up.

This was scheduled to be the final session of "Online Marketing for Nonprofits," a four-part webinar series hosted by ReadyTalk. Now, due to overwhelming response, a bonus webinar appears to be in the works, according to ReadyTalk's series manager (more later).

Fougner, Facebook’s associate for ads product marketing, said he was delighted to address the group. "Part of the reason it's so exciting to speak to nonprofits is that the nonprofit community has been among the leaders in social marketing," Fougner he said. "Even before Facebook existed, nonprofits have leveraged friends and loved ones to communicate a message and to build support. There's nothing we love more at Facebook than to see our product used to effect change in the world."

If you missed it, you can view the webinar recording  here. If you don't have time to watch, here are some notes inspired by the event on the 7 Deadly Sins for Non-Profits on Facebook:

1. Not allowing fans to post on their page: The default wall settings show only posts by the administrator, effectively shutting out what your fans have to say.  The effect of this is to kill your viral traffic, because who wants to post on a page where comments don't show up?

2. Not creating a custom tab: Yes, you can have a tab on your page that has video, Twitter, a donation form — many things. You can brand tabs with your logo, colors and more. Sadly, few non-profits are aware of this option, which is via the Static FMBL application.

3. Not connecting their Facebook Page with their website: Social media sites don't live alone they need to be tied to your website.  Facebook has released Facebook Connect to allow you to do just that, so that what happens on your website can show up on your Facebook page — and vice-versa.  Best of all, it takes only minutes to implement.

4. Not taking advantage of the free $50 from Facebook: You'll have to download the code from the presentation to be able to see it.  As a special bonus to just attendees, the first 1,000 folks to use it will get it, so don't delay.

5. Not reserving your vanity url: Better get your name on Facebook before someone else grabs it!  Go to facebook.com/username.  Your shorter url will be easier to remember and is just nicer to have.  BlitzLocal's is at facebook.com/blitzlocal.

6. Treating social ads like search ads: Are you guilty of copying your Google ads to Facebook and expecting it to work in the same way?  Facebook is about friends who are connecting with each other, not people who are entering in a keyword at the moment they're interested in buying something.  Thus, on Facebook, you are generating awareness, as opposed to driving conversion at that moment.

7. Not tracking conversions: Number 6 notwithstanding, Facebook ads still drive great conversions.  Because you're targeting the people as opposed to keywords, the window from the click to the eventual conversion can be months, instead of minutes.  Measure your conversions properly via Facebook's new conversion tracking tool so you can determine ROI on your ads.

Simone Verhulst, who manages the monthly Webinar Series at ReadyTalk, said the response was strong. “We have had amazing feedback on the entire series, and a huge response to the Facebook presentation. The audience was highly engaged and we had a great Q&A session at the end which gave attendees some bonus material to take away,” she said. "We’ve currently got something extra in the works due to the vast response from our non-profit followers – keep an eye out for June!”

Series co-sponsor BlitzLocal wishes to thank all of its guests in the series, including Jon Fougner, Kristie Mun (Google Grants), Don Campbell (Expand2Web), Brett Meyer (NTEN) and Gillian Muessig (SEOMoz).

Should you have any questions, feel free to reach local Internet marketing firm BlitzLocal at nonprofits@blitzlocal.com.