Facebook: Know your audience

The first step in effectively managing your Facebook account is understanding how it works. Facebook basics, knowing who you want to reach, and knowing what to say, are three keys to an effective social media campaign.

Facebook terminology: Get familiar with it  

Facebook users should know the difference between a Facebook profile, a page and a group. They each serve different functions.  

A Facebook profile is a personal account where you share your information and connect with family and friends.  

A Facebook page is a public profile created for businesses, brands, celebrities, causes and other organizations.  

A Facebook group is the place for small group communication where people can share a common interest, information and experience, and express their opinions.

You need a Facebook profile in order to create a page or group. Profiles should not be used to represent an American Legion post, district or department.  
You should create a Facebook page for your post. A very easy way to learn how to manage a page is to search within Facebook Help Center or www.facebook.com/business. This is a good place for the novice to learn the basics. And it serves the experienced page manager as they expand their knowledge and when Facebook changes things up.  

Those already familiar with how Facebook works will benefit from liking some of Facebook’s pages. Facebook tips, Facebook business, nonprofits on Facebook, and Facebook media are all designed to educate and assist the user.  For an even more in-depth look check out Facebook for developers and Facebook engineering.
Understand your audience

People will follow content on pages that they feel is consistent with their own goals and objectives. Facebook pages are an opportunity to attract like-minded veterans to a Legion post.  The question becomes, “What is your mission?”  For a post it may be to promote the four pillars of The American Legion and events and accomplishments that serve veterans, their families and the community.

Facebook posts should reach out to all members of your audience and engage them.

Content

You need to feature useful and compelling material that will drive interaction on your Facebook page. Interaction is key to attracting page followers and American Legion members.  

To start, look at your page content from a visitor’s point of view.  Scroll through the last several months of your page feed and determine if you conveyed the right message. Ask yourself, “Would I know if this is the place for me if I am looking to join an American Legion post?”  

Make your Facebook posts relevant about engaging with the community, serving veterans and their family, and camaraderie.

Things to include in Facebook posts are Legion post meeting times and location, programs and fundraisers. Lounge events can be promoted, but make sure that is not your focus.

You want to give your audience a reason to comment, like and share what you post.   

In conclusion
- Use a professional, yet friendly, voice that positively represents The American Legion.  
- Know your audience and understand your mission. And make sure that your mission reflects The American Legion’s four pillars – Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children & Youth.
- Post relevant content that will attract a more engaged audience.  
- Be strategic about your social media channels to increase Facebook followers and members within your American Legion post.