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Joanne Fritz

Welcoming New Followers on Facebook Proves Powerful

By January 22, 2013

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Logo for Spark

With all the advice about how to engage on Facebook, I wonder if we've undervalued one of the easiest ways to do so.

I recently "liked" the FB page of the SPARK Center at Boston Medical Center. I got this lovely message back:


My name is Samantha and I am the AmeriCorps VISTA at The SPARK Center in Mattapan, MA. Thank you for liking our page! Support from people like you will help our organization to grow.

Can you share our page and ask your friends to like us too? Every like brings us closer to getting the fragile children at SPARK the care that they need!

Have a great day!"

Samantha, that AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, has her own personal blog too where she shares her experience of working at SPARK, a very special place for at risk children in the Boston area.

SPARK doesn't have a lot of followers on Facebook yet, but I'm betting there will be more, thanks to this lovely thank you and call to action.

Thanking each of your followers is a lot of work, but it may be one of the most powerful ways to engage.

Some things to remember is that you can only message people from your personal FB profile, or you can reply to someone who has already messaged you at your business page. In this case, Samantha messaged me through her personal profile. A little more trouble this way, but it could create a lot of good will.

If sending a personal message is too much trouble, you can also thank new followers right in your updates to FB. My fellow About.com Guide to Pet Shops does this frequently. Here is a screen shot of one of those thank yous.

FB thank you to a follower from Pet Shops at About.com

Because it's not guaranteed that a follower will actually see your update, this is not as useful as sending a personal message, but it also has the side effect of letting readers of your newsfeed know that you are earning new "likes."

What creative ideas have you come up with to encourage new "likes" and engagement on your nonprofit FB page?

Oh, do "Like" the SPARK page too.

Image: The SPARK Center

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January 23, 2013 at 6:38 am
(1) John Haydon says:

Joanne – What I like about this approach is the effort and sincerity behind it.

But I wonder how many people might be put off by it (and not say so). I for one, would find this type of message spammy (and I do wonder if it’s a copy/paste) – especially the second half about sharing their Page. I’m mean, I literally just became a fan, and now you’re asking me to share the page?

They might be better off creating a strategy that leverages awesome content AND the assets BMC might have (email lists, Facebook Page, etc.)

January 23, 2013 at 7:27 am
(2) nonprofit says:

Hi John! Yes, I liked the sincerity too and the fact that it came from a VISTA volunteer. That seemed charming to me. I didn’t find it spammy because I had liked the page for some reason and it is from a nonprofit. I think it would be spammy if it came from a business. But, there are lots of ways you could use this tactic, as you suggest in your last paragraph. It is not that easy to do though….You have to switch to your personal profile and then find the person who sent it. It definitely is a good job for an intern or volunteer, I think.

January 23, 2013 at 7:47 am
(3) John Haydon says:

See?! You don’t find it spammy, but I might. Everyone has different boundaries around their inbox.

January 23, 2013 at 7:57 am
(4) nonprofit says:

Touche! :-)

January 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm
(5) Vinod Kamath says:

John brings up an interesting point. For some pages, I could definitely see it being construed as spammy. But for smaller organizations, I think it could come off as friendly, mainly because I feel like I am actually connecting with an actual person (and not just a group).

That being said, I know a lot of people who are very particular with their FB and use it purely as a way to browse things going on (aka procrastinate), so I can imagine this sort of message being off putting.

I guess there is no right or wrong way, since it all depends on the person.

January 24, 2013 at 7:03 am
(6) nonprofit says:

Thanks for stopping by, Vinod! I’m glad this idea has generated some debate.

January 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm
(7) Faith says:

So true, thanks for posting! I’ve recently joined a fundraising platform and liked its Facebook page where I have noticed they were engaging their fans at best, take a look if you like http://www.facebook.com/1ClickDonation.

April 6, 2014 at 10:37 am
(8) Mr. Louis says:

Thank You very much Joanne Fritz, for posting this great idea, I took your suggestions very serious. Because of your suggestions above, thus far, our facebook page: Hope for a New Generation (nonprofit org) https://www.facebook.com/hopeforanewgeneration has received 20 more likes.

Thanks a lot,


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