This post was featured in Mashable.
With all the news swirling around Facebook’s messy IPO, it’s important to remember one thing: nothing has changed about the site...yet. Despite shareholder lawsuits, NASDAQ fumbles and a stock price faceplant, Facebook is still a powerful tool that can be used to effect positive social change. And when it comes tocorporate volunteering, Facebook is a priceless way to stimulate employee engagement.
Similar to Pinterest, Facebook offers a dynamic way to gather support while highlighting your company’s corporate social responsibilityefforts. Unlike Pinterest, however, Facebook provides the ability to make your content available strictly to those who join your fan page, which you can create exclusively for your corporate volunteer program. Deciding ahead of time whether you want to use Facebook as a broad promotional vehicle or tailored outlet for your employees will help drive your privacy settings.
Haven’t begun using Facebook to drive corporate volunteering? Here are five ways to get started:
- Display Purpose: Without a clear goal in mind, corporate volunteers won't understand why they should be using your program’s Facebook page. State your reason for this page in the “About” section and make it clear in the content as well. If you’re crafting the page to highlight your corporate volunteering efforts then stay focused on that topic.
- Tell Everyone: Most social media efforts that fail do so because the team forgot to inform their targeted users about the new feed, page or site. If you want employees to join your efforts, highlight the Facebook page within your volunteer management software, in your newsletter or on any other marketing material that gets distributed internally.
- Be Active: There’s a reason your community joined the page - they want to learn more about your corporate volunteer program. Remind them with content that encourages employees to dive in and get involved. Fun tips on how to help out or stats on the importance of giving can go a long way, but remember to update the page daily or else it will lose its impact. And it goes without saying - respond quickly to users that interact on the page.
- Show Off: I strongly believe that people are encouraged by others’ goodwill. Your program’s Facebook page is a great way to get the inspiration flowing, with minimal work. Post pictures at the next volunteer outing and you’ll get the ball rolling; other followers will “Like” the picture and send it to their Facebook communities, which will encourage still others to join your page and volunteering efforts. Then lather, rinse, and repeat often.
- Get Help: After you’ve built your page, it’s important to tap into the energy of your members. Sending out challenges to your page (“we need 100 volunteers for our next blood drive, can you help?”) can motivate your community to assist. Point users to the right volunteer management tool so they can sign up without forcing you to coordinate and keep people involved; if users see that you’re close to your goal, you’ll be surprised at how much support comes from your online community.