We're All Newbies When It Comes to Fast Moving Facebook
Facebook Marketing For Dummies, John Haydon, Paul Dunay, Richard Krueger (Wiley, 2012).
Facebook is not only the biggest of the social media gorillas, it is changing at warp speed, introducing new features, new looks, and new challenges almost monthly.
Whether you are a nonprofit just figuring out how to promote your cause via Facebook, a seasoned social media for good user, or a business that markets to nonprofits through Facebook, you may find yourself spending precious time just figuring out what to do next.
Because Facebook is such a moving target, you should have at least one book that provides baseline information that you can refer to again and again.
I have chosen Facebook Marketing for Dummies to keep by my side.
Why this particular book? Well, if you're in the nonprofit world, you already know one of the authors--John Haydon. John is one of the three authors of Facebook Marketing for Dummies, and the main reason I'm into the book.
Haydon is not only a social media expert, but he has taken on the task of interpreting Facebook for nonprofit organizations. All I can say is, "thank God." There are a lot of social media experts these days, but John stays at the level that many of us need...the basics. In some sense all of us are newbies when it comes to social media because it is such a moving target.
The Book Is Just the Start
John has multiple online identities, and I recommend that you follow at least one of them. Take your pick of Inbound Zombie (this link is to the FB page for John's Internet marketing consultancy), johnhaydon.com, and nonprofitfacebookguy (my personal favorite). John also provides content and conducts webinars at CharityHowTo. John does a lot of other things too, but these are some of the most valuable ways for nonprofits to take advantage of his knowledge. Bookmark John's websites and Facebook pages, follow him on Twitter, and subscribe to his newsletters. I'm a fan of RSS, so I subscribe that way too.
Facebook Marketing for Dummies is not specifically for nonprofits, but it does cover the basics of using FB whether you are a nonprofit organization or not. That's because both businesses and nonprofits use the same FB platform to market themselves.
Most people now have personal profiles on FB, but business entities, including nonprofits, use "Pages" (sometimes called "fan pages" or "brand pages") for their official, organizational FB presence.
Facebook Marketing for Dummies takes you through the basics of setting up and customizing your organizational "Page" and provides a set of best practices. You'll also learn how to build your fan base, engage with readers, and incorporate your Facebook marketing with your other communications tools.
After you get set up and launch your marketing through FB, you'll need to follow someone like John to keep up with changes and the evolving ways to best use Facebook for your organization.
You can also hire John to help you, and/or you can use the products he has created or recommends to help manage and improve your Facebook Page. One product recommended by John, for example, is PostPlanner, a handy service that helps schedule FB updates. John and his co-authors suggest a ton of tools that you may want to use.
I've also learned from John how to make my FB updates more attractive, and how to engage and respond to readers. Being a writing person and not very numbers savvy, I'm still learning how to use the analytics that FB provides.
Facebook is intuitive for a lot of people. I'm not one of them. I've needed a basic resource to explain Facebook terms from "landing page," to "tabs," to the new "timeline," to FB Insights."
If you're at a similar point and confused about why your nonprofit should even be on FB, much less understand just how to do it, I suggest you start with Facebook Marketing for Dummies.
Yep, FB will change and the rules will change, but after reading Facebook Marketing for Dummies, you'll know how to keep up, where to go for more information, and what questions to ask. Also, there will be a Facebook Marketing for Dummies, 4th edition, for sure.
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