How Networked Nonprofits Use Facebook


Networked Nonprofits are simple and transparent organizations that make it easy for outsiders to get in and insiders to get out. They engage in conversations with people beyond their walls—lots of conversations—to build relationships that spread their work through the network using tools like Facebook to execute their social media strategy and implement small experiments that not only help them learn what works, but also help build their network. Using a try it and fix it approach, these small reiterative efforts enable the organization to scale internal social media use and connect with peer groups.

Co-author of The Networked Nonprofit Beth Kanter will share best practices, taking an experimental learning approach to create the ultimate museum Facebook page. We’ll cover how to design an approach, recruit fans, drive offline actions, develop a content and engagement strategy, and most importantly, how to create and implement measurement techniques.

Some Thoughts About How Networked Nonprofits Use Facebook

This post includes the links and ideas we’ll be discussing. I’ll start with an overview of the Networked Nonprofit and the ideas relate to museums.

Then I’ll cover the following:

  • Networked Nonprofits that use Facebook effectively have a social culture that allows them to scale to have everyone using Facebook.
Networked Nonprofits or museum have leaders that aren’t afraid of being deconstruct their fear of letting go or being transparent. That make having everyone on Facebook a culture norm through professional development and learning for everyone on staff. They codified a social culture and make it easy for other departments to have a presence and to empower all stakeholders to spread the organization’s mission on social networks. They also understand how to leverage and work with free agents or groups that create “unofficial pages.”

  • Networked Nonprofits know how to listen, engage, and build relationships on Facebook that allow them to reach their goals.
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They scan for conversations about their museums on Facebook, but more importantly use tools like NutshellMail to monitor and join in conversations happening on their wall. Their status updates are not all about them or always asking their stakeholders to do something. And, they take the time to get to know their fans and transform them into brand ambassadors.

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  • Networked Nonprofits know how to use simplicity to do more with less.
They have made the mindshift from scarcity to the abundance that networks offer and know how leverage their networks. They make use of Facebook tagging feature in wall posts and have encouraged other users and fan pages with similar audiences to do the same – they don’t see it as a competition.

  • Networked Nonprofits have articulated SMART objectives and a target audience for their Facebook page.
Networked Nonprofits know exactly what they want to accomplish on Facebook and who they want to target. This helps them easily understand whether they need one Facebook page or several or how to rebrand a single page for different campaigns. They also know how to make use of a customized landing tab – articulating value at a glance and a call to action that ladders up to the objective. Take for example the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland or Yerba Buena Center.
Right now it is fairly easy to create a custom landing tab using FBML and tools like Pagemodo, Facebook recently announced that it will no longer support new installations for FBML for custom landing tabs (although existing installations will be supported).

  • Networked Nonprofits have a solid and aligned content strategy for Facebook and other channels where they link, distribute and co-create.
Networked Nonprofits know how to creatively give themselves some link love on Facebook. They have a carefully crafted content plan to cross distribute content via Facebook, email channels, and on the web that takes into account frequency, style, and format. The Metropolitan Museum of Art “Art of the Day” on Facebook and Web site is an excellent example. Their content creation strategy also includes opportunities for their fans to co-create content with them.

  • Networked Nonprofits practice deep engagement techniques on Facebook. They ask their fans their opinions, test their knowledge, pair promotions w/content, and say thank you. Here’s some examples and tips. They use fun conversation starters. Engagement conversations revolve around getting people to look and discuss the art or may encourage them to participate in a gallery activity inside the museum. They run contests, but they are sure to follow Facebook Guidelines. ( See these two posts for more explanation.)

  • Networked Nonprofits promote their Facebook presence through all channels.
Whether it is texting or promoting offline, they experiment with many ways to increase their fan base.

  • Network Nonprofits use measurement to learn and improve their Facebook strategy and presence.
They use an approach called Spreadsheet Aerobics.

Additional resources