10 Facebook tips for the social nonprofit
Thursday, August 30, 2018
There is no doubt about it, today’s society is completely, irrevocably and unequivocally entrenched in the ebb and flow of the influence of social media. The lives of Americans and those across the planet are now being dictated by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Pinterest… but those people aren’t just utilizing these platforms to connect with their social networks anymore. They are using these channels to distribute their thoughts, opinions, values, brand loyalties, product reviews and more.
That’s right: consumers expect to be able to engage with and advocate for their favorite brands, receive empathy from their least favorite ones and they want it right now.
On one hand, social media has ended the aforementioned one-way style of brand-consumer relationships. On the other hand, using social media can help increase online donations, engage current supporters, boost year-end donations, inspire donor retention, etc. Either way, it looks like social media is here to stay, making it important for brands—nonprofits included—to stay updated on best practices.
One of the most popular and highest used of these channels is Facebook. In Q2 of 2018, there were more than 2.2 billion monthly active Facebook users. Don’t be left behind. As marketers, nonprofiteers, business owners must ask ourselves: Am I doing what needs to be done to effectively reach my audiences through this social channel?
If you are, excellent. Keep up the good work. If you feel like your strategy could use a refresh, never fear. Read on for some quick Facebook tips for the successful social nonprofit.
- Make sure you’re up to date with the new Facebook Page’s template change. This update is designed to increase customized functionality for businesses and organizations in order to best connect with their followers.
- Stay consistent. Make sure that you are intentional about the kind of content you post on Facebook and ensure that you are posting regularly and frequently. If you decide that one post per week is sufficient, stick to that as your minimum. We recommend aiming for one post per day. This keeps your content relevant and gives your followers the most opportunity to engage.
- Present a variety of the kinds of content you share with your followers. Don’t be so text-heavy that you never share anything else. Your nonprofit is a complex organization, so illustrate it with high-quality pictures, videos, links to your blog, infographics, personal testimonials, and great storytelling. You aren’t boring, and your nonprofit isn’t either, so your social media profiles certainly shouldn’t be.
- Follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should appeal directly to the interests of your audience (e.g., why your organization will somehow benefit them or help them help others) and 20% should expressly focus on your direct, solid call to action.
- Appeal to people’s emotions by telling real stories. This helps to make your organization’s profile relatable. Showcase your volunteers: who they are, why they volunteer, why they support your cause, how they make an impact. On that same note, showcase the people (or animals, or environments, etc.) that your organization is charged with helping or protecting. Keep things clear and concise to fit the platform, as well.
- Invite sharing. This goes without saying, but make sure that you make all of your content shareable so that your followers can do part of the heavy lifting for you!
- Do NOT just post, post, post. Engage with your followers! Tag your top donors! Your Facebook profile should illustrate a series of conversations with your fellow nonprofits, volunteers and audiences.
- Schedule content ahead of time. Doing this saves you time, reduces room for error and has the added benefit of the ability to post at statistically prime times and pull reports after the fact. There are various platforms through which you can do this, like SproutSocial or HootSuite.
- Ensure that your content is responsive. People don’t log into Facebook only on their desktop computers. They use their phones, their tablets and their smartwatches, to check in with their network. If your content isn’t accessible and attractive across those devices, that’s a problem.
- Make sure that your Facebook marketing strategy is tied together with your other social media channels, website content, email marketing, and traditional marketing tactics. This is just another reminder to be consistent with your brand and communication with your audiences.
When it comes to social media, Facebook still appears to be the reigning channel, making it important that your nonprofit uses it intentionally and effectively to best increase your brand loyalty, donor retention and yearly donations.