Let’s play a little game that’s familiar to all of us.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Looks like a regular Facebook brand page with some wall posts, right?
Now take a closer look at that wall.
You’re witnessing a brand in 100% broadcast mode. Ouch.
In the era of dialogue and active social conversation as a crucial means for building nonprofit support and advocacy, Donate Life America fans are faced with a steel door to open community dialogue on the page above.
Let’s take a step back. Why does this even matter?
Simply put – flushed potential in terms of online engagement. Let’s face the facts. A brand fan page is merely a collection of fans unless you open the doors to allow active engagement. Likes, comments, content sharing and subsequent rich dialogue are the lifeblood of successful brands on Facebook. Brands experiencing success in the digital realm are not just gathering fans to gather fans. Instead, they are providing a crucial infrastructure that allows them to spark an active community and fuel brand loyalty over time.
Restrict the ability to like and comment and you’ve put a fork in Facebook’s ability to gauge what’s attention worthy in a user’s news stream. What are you left with? A stifled community that is projecting commentary into space. With zero response from the brand and zero ability for fans to engage with other fans, you’ve negated the ultimate value of a Facebook page, stifled fan growth and established a protective barrier that shuns away a community that wants (and needs) to connect with one another.
And why is community important?
Negate community and you lose advocacy. Lose advocacy and you lose the power of word-of-mouth influence. Lose peer influence and you’re faced with a far, far more difficult path to educating and encouraging people to register as organ/tissue donors.
For brands facing a similar struggle of wanting to engage online without being able to allocate appropriate community management resources, take a step back. Conduct a full communications audit and assess what’s truly making an impact to help drive towards your goals. You may be quick to find that realigning that $X traditional ad spend towards a community manager hire could possibly be far more effective in achieving your goals.
Note: This post was written with the utmost love for my colleagues at Donate Life America. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge champion for organ donation and fully understand the internal resource or possible privacy constraints of DLA – the DLA page merely serves as an example for other organizations to frame their own efforts. Don’t forget to register as an organ donor.