One of the most helpful resources for nonprofits on Facebook is actually Facebook itself. Go to https://www.facebook.com/nonprofits for Facebook’s official resources to help your nonprofit organization maximize the benefits of this popular platform.
Some Facebook strategy tips include:
- Weekly/Monthly Themes: Each week or month, pick one or two issues that your organization focuses on, and find content relating to those issues. Mixing up too many different stories/themes can get confusing.
- Curation Platforms: Why spend valuable time searching for content? Let the content come to you. Services like Scoop.it and Spundge allow you to curate content based on keywords or themes.
Some basic best practices
- Be human, and engage with your audience. Social media is not simply there for you to broadcast news about yourself, and if you use it as such, you will lose your supporters.
- Use your organization’s logo as your profile picture. Make sure it can fit neatly into the small square and still be recognizable. Having a ‘social media version’ of your logo is an important consideration if your logo is not easily scalable
- Encourage dialogue and interaction on your page by asking questions and inviting participation from your followers. You can also encourage your staff to post on your page and respond to questions to get a dialogue started.
- Select a username for your site that is as close to your organization’s website URL. Previously you had to have “25 likes” before you got to choose your vanity URL, but now you can choose one as soon as you set up your page
- Have more than one trusted admin for your Facebook page. Don’t risk having your Facebook admin leave the organization, and lose access to your page and followers.
- Install apps to include Twitter and YouTube on your Facebook page. Go to http://www.involver.com/applications/ to see the free apps.
- Don’t update your page too frequently each day: 1 or 2 updates is enough. More than that risks having people leave your page or ‘hide’ your updates as they would be cluttering their newsfeeds.
- Promote your page on your e-newsletter. Do more than including a simple “follow us on Facebook” like. Talk about what kinds of posts and information people can access on your Facebook page that isn’t as accessible elsewhere.
- Ask your followers to “suggest your page” to friends, to help grow your community.
- Advertise your Facebook page on all your correspondence, even your ‘thank you’ notes.
- Post powerful stats about your area of work and your impact. This is very helpful in sparking interest and generating support.
- Embed social media on your website – a simple “like” and “tweet” button on articles on your site to make it easy for people to share them is sufficient. You don’t have to include options to share on every social media network known to mankind!
- Promote your Facebook page with a ‘like box’ on your website
- Remember that social media is all about the human story. Use pictures and real case studies of your work to help connect with your audience.
Facebook Best Practices
- Creating a clean and clear username for your Facebook page is a definite MUST!
It makes your organization look professional – it is also easy to use when it comes to branding and marketing, to have a clean Facebook URL (ie; the NonProfit Leader). Here are some great tips and steps to secure your Facebook Page web address.
- We all know it takes 30 seconds to make a first impression, or in this case, it could take a visitor to your Facebook page 30 seconds to lose interest and move on – **NB: Invest in quality graphic design for your Avatar (a.k.a. Profile Picture), Timeline Cover image and Tab Icons. Here is a great FREE site to use: www.canva.com (there are many others). Sharing good, clear photographs is also important.
- Add Facebook icons to your website and/or an e-newsletter/blog. This encourages “Likes” on your page and engagement which is key.
- Include additional information about your organization, by using ‘Milestones’. This is different from the “About” tab.
These are important dates for your organization (ie; the date you launched an important initiative, the date you reached a certain number of fans, the date you reached an important fundraising milestone, etc). Milestones give your fans the opportunity to see the history of your organization. Include nice images when you include a Milestone. Click here to learn how to add a Milestone.
- We all enjoy lazy Saturday and Sunday mornings – catching up on the week’s news! This is an ideal time to schedule posts in advance, so you’re included in Timeline feeds at those times. Do this with great images and by sharing your inspiring success stories. You may even want to ‘Boost’ your post by spending (a little) money on ensuring it really gets out there.
- Experiment using the Facebook events function (for your fundraising events). When fans RSVP/“Join” a Facebook event, the event is added to their Facebook calendar, it can also be seen on their friend’s timeline (which is a great marketing opportunity). Fans are also notified the day of the event to increase attendance. Be sure to add a link to your Facebook event when promoting events on your website and/or blog and e-newsletter to increase RSVPs and spread the word.
- We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words and that people react more deeply to visual representations than to words. USE THIS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! Prioritize uploading photos over posting links – you can always include a link in a post that has an image. Research consistently demonstrates that photos receive more engagement than any other type of post.
- On the theme of keeping your page looking clean and professional, remember to use a URL ‘shortener’ when posting a link. Good sites to use are bit.ly or TinyURL. Posting long links can look untidy!
- When you have an important post to share or when a post already shared, gets quite a lot of engagement, pin it to the top of your page. This is a great feature to use from time to time.
- Add an address to your page (to add Facebook Location) to enable fans to “check-in” to your page and thus share your page with their fans when they “check-in”. Do this by adding your physical address to your page.
- ‘LIKE’ the fan pages of your (corporate) donors, other important organizations you wish to interact with, and other important non-profit organizations. Just as you ‘Like’ a page in your personal capacity – as a Page, you can also ‘Like’ other pages. This is a great way to keep up to date with their news (it will appear in your newsfeed) – which then gives you the opportunity to engage with them.
- For some great examples of successful nonprofit pages, click here (some of them are definitely worth your organization “Liking” too).
Remember Facebook etiquette 101: When someone comments on your page, asks a question, or challenges you on something you’ve posted, it is important to answer them – to reply and engage. If you feel the conversation could be taken offline rather – ask for an email address/telephone number so you can contact them directly.
Facebook is definitely here to stay, so have fun with this popular social media platform, engage with others and watch how your organization reaps some great rewards!