Earlier this summer, I had the huge privilege to visit Romania and help with the Local Philanthropy Workshop. It was so much fun and it was an amazing experience to work with people like Chris Worman and meet with so many local nonprofit and community changemakers. The social impact landscape in Romania is complex and exciting – you can see struggle and hope, fear and enthusiasm mixed in every conversation and every presentation.
The 3.5 day conference was split into two tracks for IT and NGO, sometimes meeting separately, sometimes coming together to collaborate. I had the opportunity to facilitate the IT track and had lots of fun poking, prodding, and supporting some really interesting conversations and sharing sessions. I also had the chance to provide a couple presentations to the NGO track, one focused specifically on using facebook for campaigning in Romania. The slides are below as well as some notes.
In June 2010: 253,360 new users joined in Romania – Coming in 3rd in the world for adoption for the month. In July 2010: 1,555,360 total number of users in Romania. For context, think about it this way: in a country of 21 million, where only about 7 million have internet access, about 1 in every 20 is on facebook!
When it comes to campaigning on facebook, the real question is page vs group. The way functionality changes so rapidly means that what you need to think about the options in so far as they can be helpful to what you want to do today, in case the way you want to use them is discontinued or changed. Not the best scenario for a campaigner or organizer, but it is the reality.
Some of the key attributes that you may want to include:
- a welcome page/message that highlights who you are and the calls to action – remember that it’s more important for people to take the action related to your campaign than it is to only join your page/group
- connect events to your group or page – part of the role you or the organization can play is that of shepherd to the community, helping move people between online and offline; part of that comes from any events (whether they are online things or offline events) can be created using the facebook events tools and connected to the page or group so members that join on one side can follow through to the other
- add applications that can help automate the work – do you have a blog, add a blog or rss application to auto post for you; do you have a twitter account, add the twitter application to connect conversations – not all of the content or communication needs to be automated, but remember that there are lots of options out there and you can try out tools to see what’s right for you and your campaign
- don’t be afraid to have secondary pages/groups – for some, the organizational presence is the appropriate place for the campaign information and calls to action, but for others it is more appropriate to create a separate page or group just for that campaign, especially when the campaign may only target some of your full organizational audience and/or has other organizations partnering/contributing
I’d love to hear your examples of campaigning on facebook! In the slides, I highlighted some of the work of 350.org but I know there are lots of great examples out there. Has your organization campaigned specifically on facebook? I’d love to hear how it went!