Just when you have the hang of the Facebook game – it decides to change not only the goal posts, but the playing field and the players. This can be detrimental to organisations that rely on volunteers and staff to update Facebook and therefore can feel dissuaded in using this vital social media platform.

In 2015, Community Houses using Facebook should at least:

Share Visual Content

Most people are visual. At the moment, Facebook favours video above all other posts (even photos) and therefore, will naturally show video to more people.

It is very easy to whip out your smartphone (with 75% of people having either an iPhone or android phone – someone in your Community House is bound to have one) and take a snippet of a course you are conducting or what the volunteers are up to.

But don’t forget adding photos into the mix. It is always best to showcase photos at the size of 1200px x 628px. Your photo remain seamless regardless of whether you post a photo or a link to your website.

Link back to your website

If your website is visually poor or hard to navigate, then I strongly recommend to fix your website before your pursue Facebook.

You want people to come back to your website – one way to do this is to post a weblink. This weblink could either be a short course you are running or a blog post that showcases a fun activity your Community House has done.

When you bring a link across to Facebook, the picture it automatically shows may not be the optimum size. No worries. Follow the instructions below:

Above: What the image will look like when the picture is less than 1200 x 628px.

1)    Click +UPLOAD IMAGE.
2)    Make sure the image is 1200 x 628 and click OPEN.

This will automatically replace the smaller image and gives greater impact to your message.

Above: How the image should look for every link

Post Regularly

I hear so many organisations state – “I don’t want to post every day as I’m afraid I might spam my audience”.

Did you know Facebook will show your post organically to only 1-2% of your LIKED audience?

If you are not posting at least 5 times a week – then you are missing out in engaging with your audience.

Only post something of value though. The post needs to resonate with the audience. The more they like, comment or share – the wider the audience your message will get across to.

Facebook Sneak Peak – Private messaging to a public reply:

Ability to reply to comments privately with a message. In the past, Admins to Business Pages could only publically reply to customers who commented on a post or privately when the customer messaged them.

Admins will be able to reply to public comments with a private message, which enables you to solve private customer requests more efficiently and make the experience more personal.

Like Motivating Marketing Facebook Page for more Social Media information or visit www.motivatingmarketing.com.au and subscribe to our Motivating eNewsletter to get the latest social media information, delivered to your inbox.

I hope to see some really interesting posts on your Facebook Page soon!

Contributed by Marina Cook

Marina has been involved with Community Houses for over 10 years, marketing for nearly 20 years and is the Digital and Social Media Strategist for Motivating Marketing.

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I usually hear managers talking about goals generically. This includes statements like “The business needs to make more money or gain more funding or needs to have more people attending courses.”

This is a beginning of a goal – however, they aren’t complete goals.  Goals should be SMART along with the objectives that lead up to the goal.

Let’s look at the goal of wanting people to attend more courses.  

The above goal is still wishy-washy. The goal has intention, however we can’t measure it or know how many people you would like by a certain time.

Therefore your goal may now change as “To achieve an 80% enrolment rate a week before each Accredited Course begins”.

This fulfils the SMART Criteria.

SPECIFIC – The specific is to achieve enrolment for each accredited course

MEASURABLE – In this case – the measurable item is 80%

ACHEIVEABLE – There is no point stating 80% enrolment if you don’t intend to market the course. Unless the course is incredibly amazing – then it is unlikely you will achieve this through word of mouth only (especially if it is a reoccurring course). There is nothing as disheartening as setting an unachievable goal. You set yourself up to fail. This leads us to being REALISTIC

REALISTIC – If you don’t have the budget to print many brochures or the time to spend on networking, then the goal may not be realistic.

TIMELY – this is favourite and one many community organisations forget. In this case – we stated a week before each Accredited Course starts. Having a deadline to when your goal finishes allows the organisation to assess what has been achieved.

Strictly, Goals do not need to be SMART – even though I strongly recommend it. This gives direction and purpose to the organisation – which will therefore bring you closer to success.

You can have more than one goal to attain. One goal may be to increase numbers for a particular class and another goal maybe to gain funding to build a new garden.

Once you have goals in place – you can then create certain objectives in order to achieve your new goals. Watch next week’s blog for tips on how to create objectives

Contributed by Marina Cook

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Having effective performance conversations in a community sector workplace can feel like criticising a good friend. Uncomfortable, nausea-inducing and something you just downright don’t want to do.

Picture this: You are in a leadership role and your staff member is a good friend. But the work that your colleague is doing could compromise or has compromised something in the workplace. Or, worse, you’ve received a complaint about their work that has been validated. Are you cringing yet? I know, it’s a tough one, because you genuinely like your friend and colleague.

It’s your job to have a performance-related conversation, but gosh-darn, it’s hard. So what can you do to make it effective and constructive and at the same time, not jeopardise your friendship?

To be honest, you could simply Google “How to have difficult conversations” and come up with a thousand useful articles with great tips and lock-step processes. You could pretend the problem is not there and it will go away by itself. And of course, there’s always the “compliment sandwich.”

However in the supportive environment that defines neighbourhood houses, a coaching or mentoring approach may be the most effective way of delivering constructive feedback and critique. You can’t afford to put it off, so take a deep breath and step in.

Top tips:

  • Be clear and firm about your goal, what you want to achieve in the conversation. Make sure you are clear with yourself before you start.
  • Check in with your colleague throughout the conversation. It may be appropriate to share the dilemma you faced when deciding to bring this matter up. Don’t make assumptions.
  • Consider options, opportunities, professional development, mutual learning. Make sure it’s a conversation and you both come up with some ideas.
  • Leave the conversation with a way forward. You’re both going to have had a nerve wracking time so be kind to yourself.

I don’t love being the recipient of criticism and I don’t love telling friend-colleagues that their work is not up to scratch. But in my experience, being authentic, clear and constructive are the key elements in this role. And the absolute key – don’t put it off. The more you procrastinate, the more the monster will grow. Good luck.

Contributed by Sharon Buck, Advanced Dip Community Sector Management Trainer CCH

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