Extending Your Causes Reach with a Facebook Page - dummies

Extending Your Causes Reach with a Facebook Page

By Joe Waters, Joanna MacDonald

If your cause or company doesn’t already have a Facebook page, you should, 600 million people can’t be wrong. That’s how many users Facebook currently has.

A Facebook page for an organization is similar to the personal profile page you may already have on Facebook. The difference is that people don’t have to go through the process of friending you on a page. They can just Like it.

A Like on Facebook can trigger a chain reaction of Likes on other Facebook walls and activity at other social media sites. For example, if you Like the Facebook page for Cause Marketing For Dummies, your Like is recorded on your Facebook wall. If someone sees that Like and Likes your Like or visits the Dummies page and Likes it, it’s recorded on his wall.

Now take it a step further and say your Facebook Like prompts a reader to post the Dummies book or page on Twitter that goes out to their followers who can forward (retweet) it to their followers, and so on.

If the Facebook Like prompts you to save the page to Delicious, a social bookmarking site, or submit it to Digg or Stumbleupon, two social voting sites, the communities on these respective sites have the chance to see the story and rank it.

Yes, Facebook Likes can have a pretty far-reaching effect. And that’s exactly why you want to have a Facebook page.

Not convinced? Maybe you’re thinking, “You’ve already set me up with a blog to promote my cause marketing program. Why do I need a Facebook page? Isn’t a page a bit redundant?”

Not at all. Here are a few more good reasons to Like Facebook pages.

  • Facebook is a world unto itself. People love Facebook and spend a great deal of leisure time (and, face it, work time) updating their status, checking out the profiles of friends, and Liking the things they see. The point is that Facebook is a comfortable, familiar place, and adding a page for your company or cause and chatting up your cause marketing program makes it easier for your fans to follow your activities.

  • Facebook pages are open to everyone. You don’t need to friend someone to access the page. In a way, a fan page is like a de facto website that, thanks to vanity URL’s on Facebook (for example, Dummies Facebook), users can visit directly and even find it indexed in search engines.

  • A Facebook page is another place to connect and converse. It gives people another way to learn about your cause marketing program and to stay in touch with you. Again, it’s about not giving people an excuse to say no.

  • A Facebook page is easy to create and maintain. Because most people are familiar with the setup and functionality of Facebook and have their own Facebook profile to connect with family and friends, the process of creating and updating a page is simple.

  • Facebook is a great place to explain your actions when things go wrong. Use Facebook (and Twitter) to quickly respond to comments and criticism that may arise about a cause marketing campaign. Social media was a key driver in the criticisms of Komen’s Bucket for the Cure. But Komen never thought to use social media to quell the ire of even their most loyal donors.

If you’re not familiar with creating a Facebook fan page, a good place to start is Facebook, which has detailed instructions in its online help center on setting up a page. You can also find out a lot by checking out other company and cause pages on Facebook. Learn from example by visiting the leaders of business (Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Burt’s Bees) and cause (Komen for the Cure, Share Our Strength, Best Friends Animal Society).

Small causes and companies should also visit the guru of Facebook instruction and marketing, social media advisor John Haydon. John has tons of advice and videos on how to master Facebook, for pages and beyond.

Burt's Bees Facebook page
Looking for inspiration on what to include on your Facebook fan page?
Share Our Strength's Facebook Page.
You can learn from the leaders of business and cause, such as Share Our Strength.