How to Use Facebook for your PTA/Booster Club
Facebook can be an easy way to communicate and connect with your membership. Here are a few things to think about to maximize the effectiveness of your club page.
Pages vs. Groups
There are two different channels on Facebook available to use when forming your membership: Pages and Groups. Think of Pages as a mini-website. It can be viewed by the public which might be great for fundraising, but could pose privacy issues, too. Groups is more like a private blog where only your members can view and comment. Under Groups, members also receive an alert when a change occurs so they may be more likely to see your updates. It's also a safer way to share pictures, videos, and schedules. The downside is, your administrators will have to vet and approve new members often.
It's good to have at least two Admins on your Facebook page in order to divide the workload and serve as a sounding board. Admins will be responsible for approving new members and responding to messages and comments.
Depending on how you set up your page, members may be able to post in your feed. As a result, your feed could be cluttered with things that your Admins may not approve of and that could also get in the way of important, official information from your group. Decide on this as a board ahead of time so you don't run into problems. Come up with some way to indicate an official communication. Some choose to use Facebook as a great resource but use their website or email for "official communication".
Keep Your Page Updated
Update your Facebook page often so as to not look stagnate and unprofessional. Have your Admins agree to a certain amount of posts per week. Also, make sure to keep information like board members' names and contact information up-to-date.
Create Page Rules
There are good things that come from allowing your membership to comment and connect on Facebook. However, inevitably, you will get an inappropriate or hurtful comment. Creating rules for your page ahead of time will give you guidelines on how to handle these inevitable comments. Once you've formed your rules, keep them pinned at the top of your page so they can be referred to if need be. These rules can be as simple or as involved as you decide. Here is an example from the National PTA:
Comment Policy: National PTA encourages users to engage on our Facebook page to share their thoughts, questions and opinions. While we welcome constructive dialogue, we must insist that users adhere to the following guidelines:
• Refrain from all personal attacks. Please be mindful that your comments are respectful of other readers. Personal criticism directed at other users will result in the immediate removal of the comment.
• No Spam: Repetitive comments will be deleted. Users engaging in spamming will be banned from the page.
• No profanity
We appreciate our readers and thank you for adding to the discussion.
If you need help forming your "house rules", check out this article from Social Fresh.
Facebook can be a great tool in your toolkit and is easy to curate following these few steps. How has your club found success using Facebook?