Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Liking Facebook Like Pages

The other day our whole Vanderbilt research staff (15 of us!) was discussing emerging trends in the industry of prospect research. These are things that are irresistibly going to merge into what we do. Social media was heavily discussed. One thing our group was sure of: there are reams of great prospects self-identifying with high attachment, and this is happening at Facebook Like Pages.

I think you know what these are; it’s where you see (or search for and see) a local business, place, company, NOT FOR PROFIT (ahem), food, artist, band, etc. and hit the ol’ “Like” button. Whenever the organization announces something – puts out information or opportunities – this goes out to all who have liked them. People are commenting and liking and name-linking Like Pages all the time. It’s the same effect as having a Facebook friend.

Check this out: One (of several) Vanderbilt-owned/managed Facebook Like Pages had over 80,000 likes, and is growing at the rate of 600 a week. On this page were comments from all sorts of “likers.” Many were very positive. No kidding, one comment said “you are an answer to my prayers.” I looked this particular person up in our development database. There was not a record of any development contact.

I hope you are like me – what a TON of opportunity!

The challenge is that the folks that run the Facebook Like Pages in my organization are not (yet) harmonized into our development enterprise. Not a huge surprise. Development kind of is given a certain mandate. Marketing/communications – another. However, I am proud to note that early stage collaborations in my greater organization are underway. Everyone has thankfully been – “Yes, good golly, we need to get on that!”

Isn’t it that simple? What could possibly go wrong? What if our organizations could aggregate important Facebook data into our development database – wouldn’t this help significantly with prospecting? Has anyone reading done such a thing? Hit me back with ideas or questions!

Geoff Little, Past President, APRA MidSouth

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