When Is One Million Fans on Facebook Worth More Than A Million Bucks? | Beth's Blog

When Is One Million Fans on Facebook Worth More Than A Million Bucks?


HSUS Director of Emerging Media Carie Lewis Celebrates

Answer:  When they are engaged and ready to take action for you!

Earlier this month. the Humane Society of United States reached 1 million fans on its Facebook Page.   Says Carie Lewis, director of Emerging for the HSUS, “Although we prefer not to focus on numbers as a measurement of social media success, one million fans is a huge landmark that we are celebrated with our online community.”   We know that animal welfare nonprofit rule on Facebook, but how did HSUS do this?   Says Carie, “By listening to concerns of our fans, producing content that people want to share and making sure every post provides value to our fans and to the animals they care about.”


Facebook alone doesn’t do get an engaged crowd that takes action.  As  NTEN points out, the campaign include integrated tactics:

  • They have a custom landing tab on Facebook for the campaign, tied to a contest: they’re asking their fans to share their pets’ stories and photos. Everybody who uploads a photo gets a discount coupon to their online store.
  • Their CEO shot a video and blogged about the milestone.
  • They issued a press release and will be sending a message to their full house file.
  • And, there’s a banner on their home page.
  • They highlighted the campaign in their email newsletter – before, during, and after the event.
  • Click to see full infographic

    Like all rock star nonprofit social media mavens, Carie Lewis is a curator of social media metrics.   She and her team build their integrated strategy around results metrics.   Says Carie, “We look at three things: actions taken, donations made, and customer service wins. That’s also how our department has been able to obtain more resources to handle the volume we have.”      They also have metrics for specific campaigns and Carie is very good at tracking tactics against data to improve and get better results.

    For this campaign,  they wanted to create a celebration so that fans could engage and participate in the fun.   They wanted to create a personalized experience that makes the fans feel like they are a part of something really great that’s why they created a video and an opportunity for their fans to share their photos of their pets and why they love them.

    Some counting metrics they captured were:   # likes, # photo submissions, # mobile submissions, # tab views, # video views, # shares

    Says Carie, “We from our past experiences that we need to make it as easy and simple as possible for people to participate.  And good news works best, people love to celebrate and feel a part of something.”

    Further, Carie is a master of capturing data and reflecting on what works and what doesn’t – channel by channel.  Take for example her very useful tips about how to activate Facebook Fans to share and take action.

    What’s the secret to measuring integrated campaigns?   Carie says that  getting everyone on the same page is crucial.   “We have a daily noon meeting where someone from each end of communications – website, email, social, PR, and video – gives a 1 minute account of what they are pushing out that day. We also have a weekly cross-sectional meeting that talks about longer term projects. About 2 months before we launched the campaign, I presented my plan to the cross-sectional meeting, and got everyone on the same page. That was key.  There were things that I never would have thought about – photo disclaimer language, working around our CEO’s crazy schedule for taping the video, etc. And there were a lot of great ideas that were born that I never thought about, like creating an infographic about our Facebook fans. Make sure you know what resources you have at your disposal.”

    Conversely, when they are helping a campaign promote their work using social media, they have a “menu” of social media tactics that we review with them, letting them know the options and use cases for each.  As Carie notes, “This has really shown others that don’t work in social media everyday that a Facebook post on HSUS’ page isn’t always the best answer. Social media is no longer an afterthought in communications at HSUS.”   Here’s an example of some of that template, notice they ask for a screen capture of the action and to record any feedback.

    The biggest thing I’ve learned from measuring is to write down the metrics before you launch the campaign so you know what it will take. We actually have a measurement template that says “if you’re doing this, you should measure this.” For example, if you’re doing a Facebook event, you should measure # invited, # RSVPs (yes, no, maybe, not responded), # registrations sourced from Facebook, # wall posts.

    How is your nonprofit measuring integrating social media campaigns?

    13 Responses

    1. LOVE this, and woo hoo Carie!

    2. Tammy Gordon says:

      Good info. I feel like my team does a great job of sharing across the organization. We share our social messages of the day with over 300 (self-opted in) staffers across the country via a Yammer.com group – and then coordinate in person at a weekly all communication leads meeting where we talk about what’s coming up the next week and how we can all leverage.

      Definitely feel weaker on the stat collection – we’re collecting, but not as much. I like how hers focused on actions. Gonna have to pick Carie’s brain on that!

    3. Carie Lewis says:

      Thanks everyone, and thanks Beth for the opportunity to share our story!

    4. What a great example of a nonprofit (or any organization, for that matter) doing social media right! Engaging fans, giving them a reason to interact, and having strategies and policies in place.

    5. […] 1 million fans on its Facebook page. But as Beth Kanter, nonprofit tech guru, points out, “Facebook alone doesn’t get an engaged crowd that takes action.” The Society runs an integrated campaign, combining email, […]

    6. Beth says:

      Thanks Carie for sharing! Tammy — the volume of data collected is not important – it’s having a process to reflect and learn and use it to improve!

    7. […] Beth’s Blog: When Is One Million Fans on Facebook Worth More Than A Million Bucks? […]

    8. […] 10,000 fans when Kim Murray clicked the “like” button. Inspired by the Humane Society celebration of reaching one million fans, I couldn’t let benchmark go by without some commentary. While numbers of fans isn’t […]

    9. Marcela Paz says:

      Yo ingrese a esta pagina, http://ailaik.net/login/ me loguie, segui todos los pasos y en un par de horas tenia fans, alrededor de 2000 por dia… a mi me resulto, espero que a ustedes tambien!

    10. […] ways and some obvious ones such as marketing messaging, educating about a social issue, to celebrate a successful campaign,  to report to stakeholders on key performance metrics, an  annual report, and even a marriage […]

    11. […] So when you tell the story of your cause, you need to show how supporters ultimately create the outcomes. […]

    12. […] So when you tell the story of your cause, you need to show how supporters ultimately create the outcomes. […]