All Facebook pages will become timelines at the end of March. Here are some simple tips how you can use timeline to highlight how your charity is changing people’s lives.
Making sure you’ve got an interesting cover image
An engaging cover image that is representative of your organisation is essential; it’s the first thing your supporters and potential supporters will see as they land on your page (although your profile picture will still appear in feeds).
Your cover image is an ideal opportunity for you to showcase the good that you do and the change that your organisation affects; this could be a picture of your charity in action, your volunteers celebrating their goals or an image of one of your success stories.
Merlin – the frontline medical charity – have gone for an action shot.
Some charities have been really ahead of the game, and have designed a range of cover images for their facebook fans to use on their own profiles; giving fans another simple tool with which to take action and show their support, while getting loads of free publicity into the bargain!
The World Wildlife Fund is just one such charity who have made specially designed facebook timeline covers for their fans and potential supporters. These WWF images let their supporters share the positive action they have taken.
There are other ways you can use cover images to get your supporters on board, like this cheeky example from the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, which incorporates user’s facebook profile pictures and puts them literally at the centre of their cover image and campaign.
The power of pinning and highlighting
Another feature of the new facebook timeline is that it allows you to highlight or pin your posts. Highlighting means your post will stretch the width of your timeline. Pinning a post keeps it at the top of your timeline for up to seven days. You can also now hide posts without having to delete them.
Both highlighting and pinning are great ways to make your best content stand out. Feature your best content – videos, blogs, pictures, most visited articles, special achievements – to showcase your charity and your impact.
Invisible Children a US non-profit who work in Uganda have highlighted this video of George Clooney to help convey their cause.
No doubt you’ll have an embarrassment of riches to share – has one of your volunteers won an award for helping people in the community? Have you just launched a new campaign? Has a VIP bigged up your work? Are your supporters taking part in charity challenges for you? All this is great content for you to highlight, pin and share.
Snapshots of activity
Another feature which should be of interest to charities keen to demonstrate your social media impact is the Admin Panel. If you have admin rights on your organisation’s facebook account you’ll see it at the top of the page when you log in.
It highlights people who recently “liked” the page and fan activity notifications. The Admin Panel is great for seeing what you are doing right / wrong and can feed into your future campaign planning.
Also, many charities will be glad to hear that Pages can now accept direct messages from users, which allows sensitive matters to be discussed privately instead of on the wall.
That was the day…
The new facebook timeline also allows you to set dates on your posts meaning you can add content about your charity that happened before facebook’s inception in 2004.
This new feature can be used to really help build up a picture of the history of your charity, and help demonstrate your impact to your supporters and encourage future ones.
It gives you the opportunity to dust off your archive, and get some of your major achievements and highlights on facebook.
The date setting feature is also a really powerful storytelling tool for the future of your charity. Through it, your supporters can follow the stories of the people whose lives you are aiming to change and how your charity is helping them.
The facebook changes have already started, and with more than 845 million active facebook users – it’s time to embrace timeline.
For more information on your charity’s social media presence email firstname.lastname@example.org