The essence of any good scrapbook is the story.

Think of your high school yearbook. I’m guessing there was a section devoted to the cost of a car, the Best Actor award winner, and the song that hit the top of the charts during that year. The story of your high school life is told among inscriptions, photos, ticket stubs and doodles and the memories within the bound pages are reminiscent of… what exactly? Feelings! Emotions! The love, laughter, tears and frustrations of your adolescence.

But small condo dwellers and frequent relocators rejoice. No need to lug that heavy book of memories around with you anymore. The scrapbook has gone digital (and public) with a company called Facebook.

Instead of scissors, glue and a late Friday night (oh wait, I’m writing this on a Friday night), you can upload and post your story with photos, videos and status updates for friends, friends of friends and the entire world to see.

But what does this mean for associations?

Everything. Think about the thousands of stories throughout your association and the belonging and hope they often bring out in others! Belonging and hope are feelings. And while people may not remember the specifics of each story, they will remember how you made them feel.  Stories are the heart and soul of your association. They are the tiny threads that bond your members and your fans together.

Your job is to evoke feelings on your Page with photos, videos and status updates to make a good story. When this happens, people will spread your mission quite naturally!

But how do I do that?

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Use the features in Facebook to let images tell your story.

Cover Image– the easiest way to reflect your brand. Don’t be afraid to change it frequently! Tell your story from different perspectives using different images or color themes.  Image size is 851 px by 315 px and high-res photos are best.

Profile Pic– with a thumbnail of only 32 px, it must be simple and easily viewable within the defined space. The large size is 180 px square. Most associations will use a logo, so be sure it fits. If it doesn’t, you may want to incorporate the logo into the Cover Image. This is what Facebook users will see the most.

Custom Icons for Third-Pary Apps- you can upload your own images for the app feature by clicking the pencil icon. Use consistent colors with your branding and 111 px by 74 px in size.

Pinning– allows you to feature an update for 7 days. Again, what you pin should evoke emotions or contribute to your story.

Milestones– tell your bigger story by posting goals, successes and advancements in  your cause using photos.

Highlighting– like pinning, you can highlight an update that furthers your story plot and that contains unique photos or videos (preferably high-res). This will enhance the visual make-up of the timeline and draw the eye to the content that you want to display. Click on the star icon at the top right of any post.

What kind of stories work?

  1. Stories about how your members are “using” information/knowledge gained from the association. Job offers, anyone?
  2. Stories that show your mission at work. How have you saved lives, promoted your profession or supported education?
  3. Personality sketches of members or member companies.
  4. Stories that show the personality and culture of your organization.
  5. Stories that highlight your programs and services at work (by members).

Where can I find them?

  1. At conferences and other in-person events.
  2. Calls or emails from members to your staff.
  3. Calls for stories sent to members.
  4. Random comments overheard or “watercooler” conversation. 

Read more: The Stupidly Simple Facebook Page Features by John Haydon, author, Facebook Marketing for Dummies