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Haiti Experience - Facebook Insights & Tips


14 July 2010 at 2:50 pm
Irina Bourova
UNICEF’s use of Facebook during the Haiti earthquake disaster shows NFP’s can use social media to build trust and demonstrate efficiency


Irina Bourova | 14 July 2010 at 2:50 pm


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Haiti Experience - Facebook Insights & Tips
14 July 2010 at 2:50 pm

UNICEF’s use of Facebook during the Haiti earthquake disaster shows NFP’s can use social media to build trust and demonstrate efficiency and the organisation is offering other Not for Profits valuable insights and tips about using Facebook successfully.

In a video posted on the ‘Nonprofits on Facebook’ page, Esther Choi, Assistant Director of Interactive Marketing at UNICEF, offers her insights based on the Haiti experience.

UNICEF’s Facebook page has over 250,000 fans and proved its worth as a useful communications tool during the Haiti earthquake crisis when the page was used to take donations and provide donors and supporters with real-time updates on the relief effort.

Through the Facebook page, UNICEF was able to simultaneously issue a call for donations and demonstrate to donors where their money was being spent.

Choi says people could see the supplies UNICEF was putting together – the blankets, first aid kits, tents and other life saving equipment that is needed in an emergency – so that they knew if they were to donate, this is where the money would go.

Choi says it is really important for people to donate to a trusted organisation, and one that is as efficient as possible. Facebook helped UNICEF build trust, visibly demonstrating the efficiency of the relief effort and letting donors know 100% of donations were going to work in the field.

The encouragement coming from the Facebook page was important for motivating staff working through the night, and Choi says messages of encouragement from donors and supporters were passed on to people working in the field.

Choi’s offered the following tips for NFP’s trying to develop a successful Facebook page:

Multimedia sharing

Videos and photos are the greatest way to engage an everyday person with the cause, according to Choi who encourages any NFP with a library of multimedia to upload it as soon as possible.

Choi says the imagery they are able to capture and show makes people feel closer to UNICEF’s work, and that one of the strongest assets to their brand in just having a wealth of images and videos.

Finding the right balance

NFPs need to find a healthy balance with their status updates, news feeds and alerts. UNICEF posts 2 or 3 times a day, at intervals that are spaced out. Choi says there is a point of diminishing return when you are spamming people with too much information.

Users want action and involvement

Users really engage with posts that provide an option for them to get involved with the cause. She says people want to perform an action, rather than just donate, such as shopping online, making a purchase, and having the donations go to UNICEF.

View the UNICEF Facebook page here : www.facebook.com/unicef

View the video on the Nonprofits on Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/nonprofits


Irina Bourova  |  Administrator  |  @ProBonoNews


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