In 2010, I was the communications chair for a nonprofit group that didn’t have the staff capacity or knowledge to handle their Facebook page. I needed to create policy and direction for their communications person, and this is what I wrote.
At the moment, Facebook is a small part of our communications. The page has been active for 15 months, and we have 64 “fans,” as of February 8, 2011. Facebook is a tool we use for PR, communications, community engagement, branding and relationship building.
Track the account administration info
- The tool name,
- The access URL,
- The account name,
- The password (redacted, but in the document for their records),
- The email to which the account is connected (très importante!),
- Who at the company manages the account, and
- And a two- or three-sentence statement for how the communication tool is used and any other important account management points to note.
- We promote The-Org’s content — events, news, press received, photos and announcements — with fierce diligence and utmost concern for quality of the information we present.
- We also post relevant and local news, such as press opportunities and grant information of potential interest to our members.
- We use links, a lot, and —
- include links to relevant information when available,
- link to specific information,
- use shortened URLs in updates (as opposed to bit.ly bundles or links to top-level domains),
- When possible, we use the @ function in status updates to link to others’ pages and profiles.
- We upload photos and video content when it’s readily available.
- We value formatting and review our published status updates, correcting or deleting those with formatting problems or inaccurate information.
- We post three to four times per week, max, and spread our news out over time and at different times of the day, rather than in clumps.
The Facebook pages that The-Org “likes” and adds to its “Favorite Pages” section are —
- The-Org members (including for-profit businesses),
- Local press, equally and all,
- Local elected officials, equally and all,
- Bloggers who cover/link to The-Org’s news now and again,
- Any and all Howard County human services organizations’ pages, regardless of their membership status in The-Org, and
- Relevant Howard County government agencies.
Facebook engagement with our community
- We occasionally check in on the Facebook pages of our members (easily found in the “Favorite Pages” section.), and we kindly promote some of the good news found on our members’ pages.
- We use judiciously the @ function in status updates as a strategy to have the The-Org brand show up in others’ news feeds.
- We set our news feed to be The-Org + Others and encourage members to post relevant announcements on our site. We aim to reign in over-active posters rather than disallow others from posting.
- We use email addresses associated with The-Org.org for primary account administration.
- We have multiple account administrators (the Executive Director, the communications consultant and a current member of The-Org’s communications committee), and we only make significant changes in the account when expressly approved by the committee.
- We have the communications consultant focus on status updates, announcements, press and media-oriented news; the active board member focuses on building relationships and increasing our fan base.
- The person managing our membership database works on keeping The-Org’s favorite/liked pages focused on our members and others identified as appropriate for our “favorites.”
- We understand that while we’re aiming to define project responsibilties, equally, we cross-train and understand than any party can work to support the other’s activities, and these functions are not considered “silo-ed.”
- Whenever possible, we add a “Connect with us on Facebook” type of message (or the logo as a stand-alone) on all relevant material: print, email, Eventbrite invitations, collateral, blogs, Twitter page and more.
- We remind our member organizations that we can, on occasion, promote their events and news.
- We provide monthly reports with screen captures showing the detailed reports for Users and Interactions.
- We provide narrative in these monthly reports to communicate any change in The-Org’s fans, total impressions for the month and any particular campaigns or activities that seem to be improving the effectiveness and engagement of The-Org’s Facebook presence.
- We provide these reports directly to the Executive Director and to the Communications Committee.
- Board members are encouraged to “like” The-Org’s Facebook page.
- Board members are encouraged to share The-Org’s Facebook content with their friends (preferably by creating Facebook friends lists for Howard County and/or connections for whom The-Org information is relevant).
- Board members are encouraged to engage on The-Org’s page with comments and “likes” and shares.
- We do not post status updates or other information that is interesting but out of the scope of the Best Practices direction found in this document.
- We do not “like” other pages beyond that which is articulated in this document.
- The Best Practices listed here can be updated and amended as needed after review and approval by the Communications Committee.
This document was last updated January 2011.