'Takeover' of Popular Facebook Page Benefits Nonprofits
Annapolis, Maryland's Facebook page is turning over administrator rights for a day to a nonprofit group that garners the most votes.
With almost 43,000 followers, the Annapolis, Maryland Facebook page, which isn't affiliated with the city of Annapolis, is one of the area's most popular pages.
And it recently handed administrative rights of the page over to the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.
"It's a huge audience and we like to give back to the community," said John Frenaye, who is one of the two administrators of the page. "The public was asked which nonprofit groups they'd like to see take over the page and from there, whichever had the most 'likes' won."
"We said this might be a good experiment to try," Frenaye said, who then laughed. "It might be all puppies all day."
At the end of the day, it wasn't just puppies—the SPCA posted about cats, bunnies, guinea pigs and even, Jeff the turtle. In all, it had about 20 posts during the course of the day with adoption information, educational facts, senior citizen discounts and appeals for support.
Plenty of others posted pictures and stories of pets adopted from the SPCA.
"We had people talking about the organization in ways we were never able to have happen before," said Kim Teter, SPCA's volunteer and foster coordinator, and the one who was posting for the SPCA on the takeover day.
Teter said the SPCA's own Facebook page gained fans thanks to the takeover.
"I want to say 300 to 500 popped on after doing that," Teter said.
For an organization with less than 4,000 fans on their Facebook page, having the ability to reach a potential 43,000 people was huge.
"I think it's fantastic," Teter said. "I think it's a really great opportunity for nonprofits to get the word out to the community."
And it wasn't just the community of Annapolis.
"It got us to hit Anne Arundel County in a way we don't normally get to," Teter said.
Mark Dignen of Denton, MD, who has a lot of family history in Annapolis, started Annapolis’ Facebook page in May 2009.
On the day of the SPCA takeover, Dignen worked with Teter, providing his insights from having posted a lot of information throughout the past few years.
"He was great to have as a resource throughout the day," said Teter.
Frenaye said the takeovers will continue on a monthly basis.
He said he would like to see other pages with a lot of fans follow suit and hopes one day a post from one of these nonprofits will catch the attention of someone who might be able to make a big difference.
"The benefit of the page and giving admin rights—we're taking the message and putting it out there," he said. "With such a broad audience you never know where the network will lead. They say Facebook has reduced the six degrees of separation down to four. Who knows, hopefully Warren Buffet is connected and feels moved to donate a couple million dollars."
A few weeks after the SPCA takeover, the public was again asked which nonprofit group they'd like to see takeover the page. The Light House shelter came in first and that page takeover is scheduled for Jan. 25.