Six Ways to Promote Your Cause Using Facebook
Social media has opened up new avenues for networking and connecting with new people and cultures. It has also opened up a new horizon of possibilities for promoting social causes. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, when used effectively, are powerful tools that can help spread awareness about social causes, alter audience perceptions, induce change and encourage positive actions.
1. Create a Facebook Page for Your Organisation
Use the world's most popular social media platform to spread the word about your cause by creating a Facebook page for your organisation. The process is free and simple to complete - just login and create a page (the page needs to be created by an already registered Facebook user).
After logging in to Facebook go here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php to create a new page.
Read this brief PDF guide to understand more about Facebook pages. You can add your logo and background information about your organisation. Adding photos to your page - of events, campaigns or staff - will keep people interested and hungry for more.
2. Add Applications to Your Page
You can add quizzes, polls and games to your page in order to get your supporters interested in your cause. Remember not to over burden your Facebook profile with tons of applications. Choose few and choose wisely. For instance, you could create a clever and entertaining quiz that not only engages the attention, but also educates those taking it about the cause you are trying to promote.
The following application will let you create polls that you can tailor specially to reflect your cause: http://apps.facebook.com/opinionpolls/create_poll.php
You should also read this guide about getting started with applications on Facebook.
3. Join Other Facebook Pages
Now that you have created your Facebook page for your organisation and added some interesting content, you need to focus on getting the word out about your cause and encouraging as many people as possible to connect with your page.
You can start doing this by connecting with other users through their Facebook pages. You could search for pages that may have been set up by organisations similar to your own, or perhaps you could connect with large national charities (such as Trocaire or Concern), and then encourage the people you meet there to connect to your page.
4. Promote Yourself Using Other Social Media Platforms
You can use other social media platforms to promote and support your Facebook presence. For example, you could set up a Twitter account and link that directly to your Facebook page. Similarly, you can embed Youtube videos directly into your Facebook profile, providing you with an additional powerful tool with which to convey your message. Other social media platforms you could use include Flickr and Ammado etc.
5. Inform, Engage, Educate
Always remember to give visitors information that is useful to them. Don't just lay out a long list of dull facts, but instead condense key info into smaller chunks, and then provide links directly to your website, where visitors will be able to find out more.
As mentioned above, you can help to keep the content engaging by producing polls and quizzes. Also, keep people up to date with all the latest news and event info from your cause/organisation.
6. Keep the Content Fresh
And finally, you need to remember that there's nothing worse than a website or social media profile that hasn't been updated in an age. It can create an immediate negative image for your organisation and can also lead to people drifting away from your cause (why would they keep visiting your Facebook page, if they've already seen all the content a dozen times before?)
It is therefore imperative that once you commit to setting up your Facebook presence, that you work to maintain it and stock it with engaging content that changes regularly.