With over 1.5 billion active users worldwide, Facebook may be one of the best ways to expand your adoption outreach. In this article, we will provide guidance on how to effectively use Facebook to connect with expectant parents considering adoption.
Let’s start by taking a look at what other hopeful adoptive families are doing on Facebook. You can search within Facebook using terms such as “hopeful adoptive parents”, “hoping to adopt”, “looking to adopt”, etc. As you will see, there are many adoptive family pages out there. Some with under 100 “Likes”, others with over 1,000, and everything in between. With so many families out there, how will your Facebook page get noticed? Let’s review some basic tips that will help.
Create A Dedicated Adoption Facebook Page
Don’t use your personal Facebook page for your adoption journey. Create a brand-new page exclusively for your adoption. This will keep your two worlds from colliding and allow you to take full advantage of Facebook’s marketing tools and outreach. You can find out how to create your page here.
Building Your Facebook Page
Content, content, content! This is what drives social media, and this is what you need to help get your adoption page noticed. Make sure you use good, quality photos for your cover and adoption profile photos. Complete the “About” section, making sure to include a website address. This can be a link to your Adoptimist profile page or your own website if you have one. You should also consider including an email and phone number so expectant parents can contact you directly. You can learn more about building your Facebook page here. Now it’s time to create posts on your page. But what kind and how often?
Maintaining Your Facebook Page
As with your adoption profile, the focus of your Facebook page should be very narrow. Your posts should tell the story of who you are and why you would make a good parent. Remember, your goal is to have expectant parents view your Facebook page and contact you. So it probably isn’t a wise idea to post potentially divisive or controversial content. Consider also reviewing some of our blog posts on crafting headlines and profile writing to get a feel of how to write quality Facebook posts.
There is no steadfast rule on how often to post to your Facebook page, and you will get different answers depending on what article you read. A good suggestion is to post to Facebook at least 3 times per week. But remember, it is the quality of your Facebook posts that will matter most, not the quantity. You can view who and how people are engaging with your Facebook posts by reviewing your page’s “Insights”. You can learn more about that here. Now that you are posting regularly to your Facebook page, how will you get noticed (and “Likes”) by potential birth parents? Let’s introduce you to some tools.
Getting Your Adoption Facebook Page Noticed
The good news is that there are many ways adoptive parents can be discovered on Facebook. The bad news is that the most effective methods will involve paid advertising. If you don’t want to advertise or can’t afford to, you should definitely still maintain your Facebook page because you never know who might discover it. So don’t give up hope. After all, a great many of the families we mentioned at the beginning of this article probably aren’t advertising. And yet we found them. But even if advertising on Facebook isn’t something you are prepared to do right now, you should still know about your options.
Facebook has very good documentation to help guide you through marketing your page that can be found here. You can start advertising directly from your Facebook page in a variety of ways: promoting your Facebook page, promoting your website, and boosting your page posts. Why is this necessary? To get your Facebook Adoption page noticed by expectant parents considering adoption as well as those who are outside your current circle of friends and contacts. Certainly, it is okay to have friends and contacts “Like” your Facebook page. But in order to effectively reach out beyond your current following, you will need to engage in some advertising. Let’s look at each option:
Promote Your Facebook Page. This is a great option if you feel you have a really strong Facebook page that gives visitors a clear idea of what your family is about. You can promote your page by clicking “Promote” under your profile picture and selecting “Promote Your Page”. In the window that appears you can choose your audience, budget, and how long you want to run the promotion.
Promote Your Website. This is a solid option for families who have invested a lot of time and energy building a deep, engaging website that needs to be seen. When you setup your Facebook page you should have included a website address in the “About” section; you will need a website address in order to promote it. Click on “Promote” under your profile picture and select “Get More Website Visitors”. As with promoting your page, in the window that appears you can choose your audience, budget, and how long you want to run the promotion.
Boosting A Page Post. This is a nice option if you have created a single Facebook post with a great photo and caption that just ‘says it all’, a post that will definitely resonate with your target audience (people thinking about adoption). After it is created click on “Boost Post” in the lower-right corner of the post. Again, in the window that appears you can choose your audience, budget, and how long you want to run the promotion.
Which option will you choose? There is no right or wrong way and you might find yourself trying all three at some point. You might also be interested to learn that Adoptimist actively uses all of these methods to help our families connect on Facebook. In fact, in spite of our large Facebook following (60,000+ Likes), every single family post you see on our page is boosted / sponsored. This gives our families the very best chance to succeed. But always be judicious and careful with your advertising spend. If you don’t feel comfortable creating and maintaining a campaign on your own, either start with a very small budget or seek professional help.