Ask yourself this question: “Why am I doing this?”
(This is a pretty good question to ask before doing most things.)
If you can’t answer that question clearly and specifically, you should do more thinking before you make a Page. Answers like “Because everybody’s doing it” and “Because somebody asked me why we’re not on Facebook” don’t count.
There’s been much discussion of why and whether nonprofits should create Pages, and I won’t duplicate that here. If you’re still thinking this through you might find some of these resources helpful:
However, less has been written about how (in detail) to create a Page.
Is that because it’s easy? Maybe. If you’re already comfortable with Facebook. And you’re mildly geeky. And you know about all the settings a tweaks you should put in place when setting up your Page.
Since a good number of people aren’t all of those things, here’s a little help.
Before messing with Facebook for your nonprofit you really, truly need to understand the differences between Profiles, Pages, and Groups. Why? Because if you use the wrong tool Facebook reserves the right to take action up to and including disabling your personal Facebook account.
Is Facebook mean enough to do this?
I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out.
Important: the distinctions have been in flux over the last year, and unfortunately Facebook’s official help on the topic is fleeting (they recently deleted and didn’t replace what little advice they offered on the topic). So understand that the rules might change over time. You can find a more recent discussion of the issue in my post, “Nonprofit Profiles, Groups, and Pages: Facebook Policy“.
Ok, so I’m cheating a little on the counting thing.
If you don’t already have a personal profile, you’ll need one so that you can be your nonprofit Page’s administrator. In this case go to the login page and create an account for yourself.
Get to the login page. (If your Facebook account logs you in automatically, you’ll need to log out to see the login page.) Click “Create a Page” at the bottom of the sign-up area.
Then under “Brand, Product, or Organization” pick “Non-Profit”.
Finally, promise that you’re authorized to represent the organization then click “Create”.
Now you’ll see something like this blank page:
Click “Edit Information” at the upper right, fill in whatever information you’d like to, then click “Done Editing” in the upper right.
You should now see your home Page along with the basic information you added. Move your cursor over that huge question mark image in the upper left and you’ll see “Change Picture” appear. Click it.
Your organization’s Photo Album will open with a message that there are no pictures. Click “Change Profile Picture”.
Under “Upload Picture” click the Browse button and find the picture or logo that will represent your organization. Once you’ve found it, certify that you have the right to use it and click Upload Picture.
Facebook will automatically pick part of the picture to be your thumbnail. If you don’t like what it’s picked you can click the thumbnail window and drag the image until it’s the way you’d like it.
Finally, click “Back to Editing” in the upper right.
You should see a message at the top saying your Page hasn’t been published. Click “publish this Page”.
You can get to a few of your settings by clicking “Settings” near the top of your page—it has a little gear next to it.
But to see all the settings click “Edit Page” in the upper left:
Poke around in all of the settings to understand your options.
If nothing else you’ll want to think about your wall settings. Do you want fans to be able to post to your wall (i.e., more opportunity for interaction and a sense of community)? Or do you want editorial control of the site (i.e., less opportunity for people to post things on your wall that you wish they hadn’t posted, and that you have to clean up after)?
Here you can also define which tab from your Page people will arrive at by default.
Q: What happens if you get hit by a proverbial bus? Or, worse, a tangible one? Who will be able to administer your organization’s Page?
The best way to avoid that kind of unwanted job security is to add one or more additional administrators. While still in “Edit Page” mode, look at the right-hand column of options. You’ll see a little box called “Admins” and your Facebook profile picture. Click “Add” to give more people the right to administer your Page.
If you’d like you can create a new Discussion area where people can… well… discuss things and stuff. Just click the “Discussions” tab at the top of your organization’s Page and then click “+ Start New Topic”.
In the tabs at the top of your Page, click the big plus sign and choose Events, then click the “+ Create Event” button and fill in the details.
Click the “Save” button then provide any other details you’d like to, including inviting your Facebook friends to the event, then click “Finish and View” in the upper right.
Click your organization’s name in the upper left and you should see your organization’s Page including the newly created event.
The Notes feature is like a little blog that posts only to your Facebook Page. To add a Note (i.e., to post to your Facebook blog), click the Plus tab at the top of your Page and choose “Notes”.
After adding the information for your post, click the “Publish” button and your note will appear on your Page.
John Haydon’s blog has a great post on using Facebook Notes.
The Insights feature is great for understanding your fan base. Look for “Insights” in the right column of your Page and click “See All”. Note the the information will be pretty dull until you’ve got a few fans and they’ve interacted with your Page.
Facebook gives you two easy ways to promote your new Facebook Page on your website: Fan Boxes and Badges. These let you put little snippets of HTML code on your organization’s web page to create a link to your Facebook Page.
Click “Edit Page” in the upper right to go to your global settings. Now look down the right-hand column, near where you found your picture in the Admins box. You’ll find a link to “Add Fan Box to your site” and another link to “Get Your Badge”.
Both of these are similar in that they give you a snippet of code that you, or someone geekier than you, can add to your organization’s home page. The difference is that a Fan Box is larger and includes the most recent additions to your Page, where a Badge is smaller and just gives basic information.
Here’s a Fan Box:
And here’s a Badge:
You might want to wait until you have some fans, though. Both the Fan Box and the Badge will show how many fans your Page has. (As in, “My Loser Organization Has 0 Fans”.)