If you've been using Facebook to build a fanbase and market your nonprofit, you've probably noticed consistent ways that Facebook users behave.
You've probably also noticed correlating patterns between your efforts and your results on Facebook. In fact, these patterns are so consistent, it's as if they're driven by a set of laws.
Here are six laws at work:
1. The Law Of EngagementEngagement is not just a nice idea -- it's a law. You learn about interesting Facebook Pages when your friend's interaction with that Page show up in your news feed. And because you trust your friend, and share similar interests, you "like" the Page.
This is why an increase in engagement will always lead to an increase the number of fans.
2. The Law Of The Native LanguageOne of the fastest growing nonprofit Facebook Pages is UNICEF. You'll notice that the updates on their Page are simply and sincerely human.
The native language of Facebook is human. It's not Jargon, Acronym, or Brochure-speak. It's simply the way you talk to your friends.
3. The Law Of The FlockBirds of a feather are friends on Facebook, and the average flock is 130 users. So when you're complaining that you only have 500 Facebook fans, remember that with the right bird seed, your potential could be 65,000. In other words, when a fan interacts with your Page, over time their friends will likely to do the same -- simply because they share the same interests.
4. The Law Of Reason501 Mission Place has book giveaways, NPO management tips, and featured fans each week -- things you won't find on Twitter or their email list. In other words, there's a clear reason to like the Page.
Expecting potential fans to like your Page just because you asked with be get disappointing results. Facebook users (you and me) like Pages that give them reasonable value in exchange for their time.
5. The Law Of The StageThere's a reason why you don't post how you ate two pints of Ben and Jerry's after your boyfriend dumped you. But you will post a photo of your new iPad 2.
In other words, Facebook users are on stage.
The more you can make your fans look like rock stars, the better. This is why fans will be more likely to comment on a positive story than a negative one (check out The Science Of Facebook for more on this).
6. The Law Of The BlessingYour fans don't trust what you say, but they will trust what your fans say about you. This ties back to the first law of engagement.
Your job isn't to "convert" people directly, but to create a situation where your fans love talking about you to their friends.