Facebook Promotion Tips for Animal Rescue Groups and Shelters
Groups, Pages, Friends,
Likes... Does it Matter?
We are going to "step on some toes" here... Sorry, but we must be
honest and share our findings. No offense intended.
are several ways to be "on" Facebook... and each one has its place,
but not ALL are appropriate for Rescue Groups and Shelters.
first glance, you may think that starting a Facebook "Group" is the
most appropriate way to interact with your fans. After all, they find you,
join your group, and take part in your day to day conversations regarding
several problems with groups. One is that FB keeps changing the format of the
groups. Another is that many people (fans) are hesitant to join a group, or
if they do join, quickly leave because they haven't figured out the correct
FB setting to keep from getting flooded with emails about every post.
can be Open (to everyone) or Closed (must be added by the group
administrator). As a rule, we don't recommend Rescues/Shelters use the group
format for their main Facebook presence. We do, however, think that the group
format is great for "internal" communication. Make a closed group
that is used by your network of volunteers and fosters, and use it for
communication, instead of playing email tag with a large number of people.
originally setup so friends could easily find, network, and communicate with
each other. It is fairly straight forward. You sign up with an account that
is in your name... other people "friend request" you... you approve
the request if you know them and want them as your friend... and all this
works well. After all, if a long lost friend suddenly "finds" you
and wants to touch bases with you, they have no problem putting in a friend
request and waiting for you to approve it.
now you have people very comfortable with their own "friend
accounts"... they are discovering the power of Facebook networking, and
decide to put their Rescue Group or Shelter on Facebook.
then create a FB "friend" account in their Rescue's name, and
proceed to build a network of "friends" (aka fans) by simply
approving every friend request that comes their way. This approach has many problems
and is NOT a good way to have your group represented on Facebook.
thing you may have noticed, is that some of the names of these groups have to
be altered, changed, etc... just to make Facebook accept them. A
"friend" account was designed for a person... with a first, middle,
and last name. It will only allow so many "names" and so many
"capital letters"... so not all rescue names work.
problem is that a "friend" account is for "people". It is
actually against Facebook policy for a group to use a "friend"
account. This is not something that they enforce that often... however, I do
know of a few groups that "upset" another group on Facebook... and
the upset group "turned in" the group with the "friend"
account, and their account was suspended. Not a good thing.
if you plan on running your Rescue/Shelter for a long time, a "friend
account" is a terrible option for the simple fact that you are limited
to 5000 friends. Pages, on the other hand, can have unlimited
"likes" (aka fans) and can grow as fast and as large as your Rescue
or Shelter grows.
biggest reason to NOT have a friend account for your Rescue is a simple, and
well known fact. Facebook users (potential fans) are very impulse driven. If
they land on your page, and want to connect with your group in the future, it
is easy for them to click "like"... maybe post something... then
with having to submit a "friend request"... waiting for it to be
approved (or wondering if it will be approved)... then returning at some
point after being approved to interact with your page. Facebook, like many
other things in life, works best when you "keep it simple".
of you reading this "went down the wrong path" and now have your
rescue tied to a "friend account". Do yourself a favor, start a
"regular" page for your group... invite all your friends to visit
and "like" your page, and continue on.
may have many, many "friends" on your current account, and may be
hesitant to do this. Trust me, the "Friend" count is just a
number... if they are truly "friends" of your rescue, they will go
to the new page and become your "Fan". If not, were they really
your groups "friend" anyway? Don't get hung up on numbers... you
are going to find out in future chapters that the numbers on Facebook mean
Using a "Friend Account" for a RESCUE or SHELTER is Against
Facebook Rules... your account could be Closed Down!
HERE FOR IMPORTANT INFO
FB Pages are easy to spot. When you land on one for the first time, there is
a "Like" button on the top. You don't don't have to "friend
request" the page or anything like that... you can simply click on
"Like" and interact with the page.
are many more options, applications, tabs, etc... available to Page owners, that are
not available with "friend accounts". It is also much more
professional to represent your Rescue Group or Shelter on a "Page".
We will soon explain why "fan interaction" is the #1 importance on
Facebook. By having a "Page" that is easy to "Like" and
easy to interact with, you are doing your group a huge favor.
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