social media

Add Facebook Feed to a Website

FB Like boxWith the holidays, it’s been a while since I posted. Good to be back!

My last post was about how to put a news feed (RSS) onto your organization’s Facebook fan page.  You can also very easily put a box on your website that shows the posts from your Facebook Fan page.  It’s called a “Facebook Like Box”.

To install this box, you will need to be an administrator on your FB page, as well as have access to the “backend” of your website.

To generate the code you will need, go to your FB page, and under the picture in the upper left corner, click on “edit page”.   On the page that pops up, in the left side menu, choose “Marketing”, and then “Add a Like Box to your Website”.  (You can also just click here.)  In the dialogue boxes, put the required information.  As you enter the info, the application changes to show how your box will look.

To get the URL (web address) of your FB Fan Page, go to your page, then refresh the page once to remove leftover tracking code, then copy the entire URL (including “http://www.”).

You might not know exactly how wide you want your box to be, so pick a ballpark number, knowing that you might have to come back a couple of times to refine the size.  Just for reference, the post box in this blog is 490 pixels wide.  Start small (say 300) and work your way up.

There are a few other choices there– click and unclick them to see what they will look like.  When you have your box looking like you’d like it, click on “Get Code”.  A box pops up with two sets of codes– use the “iframe” code.

Copy this code to your clipboard.  Then navigate to the edit function of the page you’d like it to appear on.  You will embed this code differently depending on what content management system or website builder you are using.  You may have to search in the support area to see how to do this.  Hint: Google calendars use the same iframe ebedding, so you might search for “Google calendar embed”.

I use mostly WordPress sites with my clients.  In WordPress, you’ll need to enter the code in the HTML editor in the placement on the page that you want it.  It may take a little guesswork, but you can usually figure this out.  WARNING: iframe codes do not “like” switching between the HTML & the Visual editors in WordPress and this will cause errors, so make sure that you don’t need to go back to visual editor before you embed the iframe.  (If you accidentally go back to the Visual editor, don’t panic. When errors display, go back to HTML editor, remove the iframe code, save the page/post again, fix any problems in visual if needed, then generate the iframe code and start again.

You won’t want to create a round-robin of updates between FB & your site, so decide if it makes more sense for your organization to put news feed posts from your site onto FB, OR your FB updates in a Like Box on your website.  I’d love to hear from you in the comments: does your organization send FB posts to your site? Or a news feed from your website to your FB Page?

Social Share on Constant Contact

Last week, Constant Contact (the email marketing service lots of non-profits use for newsletters) made it a whole lot easier to promote your organization on social media through your newsletter. Before, you could use the web address (url) of your emailed newsletter to post it on Facebook or Twitter, but you had to know that you could find it (in your sent email, you had to click on “having trouble reading this email? Click here”), and manually grab the url, and go to your social media account to create the link (getting a shortlink along the way if you were tweeting).  That’s a lot of work to expect on the part of your readers.  Or you could have paid Constant Contact $5 a month for their “Archive Feature”, and used a social share button there.  But now there’s a much easier solution included right in your basic fees. Last week, Constant Contact added the option to add with one click a social media share bar that includes a Facebook “Like This” button.  You’ll find this option on the last page as you are setting up the email to send.  It will add the share bar at the top of your email.  This bar will let your readers quickly and easily add a link to your email newsletter to their Facebook and other social media accounts.   Right next to this option, you’ll also find an option to “Tweet this email”, which lets you send a tweet from within Constant Contact using a short-link for your email. The bar looks like this in your email: While it looks so small with only the three most popular social media platforms on it, when you click the red plus sign, it drops a window with more than 250 other social media platforms to choose from! Not everyone will want to use this feature.  For example, one of my clients is a small trade organization whose newsletter is oriented internally toward members.  They’re not interested in having their newsletter shared so publicly. Most non-profits (and small businesses!) however, will definitely want to start adding the Social Share bar to their emails.  You might want to call it to the attention of your readers and invite them to please post to their accounts to help share the message and work of your organization.  Sometimes you have to explicitly make this request to help people get the idea. I’ll be curious to see how this works for your organizations.  Please come back and post a comment here to let us know! .

Tips for Online Communities

A couple of weeks back, I blogged about using private online communities for your organization.  This week, I ran across a great post giving some tips for using this platform. Geoff Livingston at Mashable offers 5 Tips for Creating Online Communities.  I especially appreciated these tips:
Listening to your community remains a core social media principle.
The classic community mistake is to use a network to drive information out into the public as opposed to creating a compelling experience for members.
This is SO important!  I find that organizations that are just getting started in social media tend to think of their Facebook page or Twitter account as a bulletin board “driving information out into the public.”  Social media is about relationships, and relationships involve two-way communication.  Listen more often to what people are saying, both about their questions and concerns, and what they are saying about your organization. And, did you catch the last half of that second quote: “creating a compelling experience for members.”  That’s what you want to be thinking about in creating an online community: connecting your online members in a compelling way.  What can they experience in your online community that they cannot experience anywhere else– even when they are face-to-face? I also appreciated Geoff’s last tip, which has to do with inter-connecting all your various communication platforms.  This kind of interconnection is not a one-way connection, but moves communication in both directions.  Facebook can serve as a “beachhead” to steer folks toward your online community, but you also want to have your members communicating about your organization’s activities back in the wider online community. What do you think?  Might some kind of private online community become a part of your organization?  I’d love to hear about your thoughts! .

Less Sell, More Interesting

I’ve been doing workshops lately on using Facebook & email newsletters for non-profit folks who want to use these media to promote their organizations.  I encourage them to use social media (and newsletters too, actually) to “sell” only about 30% of the time. I use this example:  When you go to a dinner party, everyone wants to avoid the rabid salesperson who is only about pitching a sale to you.  But if the person I meet at the party is interesting, has something to share with me without ulterior motive that might be of value to me, is personable and tastefully humorous, then I don’t mind a bit of a sell as I network with them. This is the concept behind value-content in newsletters, but it goes for social media too.  Post links & comments, share interesting info, respond to other people’s posts, be intentional about a relationship with me and then invite me to your fundraiser. Share

Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Resources

Christian churches may be interested in the resource Spiritual Formation Newsletter Content, and online resource that makes available short articles on spiritual formation appropriate for email newsletters.