It goes without saying that social media engagement is necessary for any business or organization. As one of the most omnipresent networks, Facebook is a large part of most nonprofits’ social media presences. That means your organization needs to know how to maximize Facebook, especially amongst all the noise on your supporters’ timelines. We’ve asked nonprofit marketing expert, John Haydon, for some quick tips on how nonprofits can better leverage Facebook during campaigns. Here are his top 10 easy and quick tips for improving your organization’s Facebook appeals!
Like traditional fundraising, it’s never a good idea to have to ask anyone for something the first time you engage with them. The same is true on Facebook.
Before you post anything on Facebook, it’s important to remember that it is a friend network. People are there primarily to socialize. They are not there to register for your fundraising event or to see what’s new with your nonprofit. It just so happens you can create engaging content that will interest them, despite their sole purpose for being on the network.
Make sure your appeal focuses on WIFM – “What’s in it for me?”
People are more likely to engage with your appeal if it has a benefit for them. For example, rather than asking for money to help your nonprofit fight cancer, engage them to take a stand for what they believe in. This way, what’s in it for them is having a direct impact on a cause they care about.
Avoid using the word “we” in your Facebook updates. Remember, the reason why people support your nonprofit is because they view you as a partner. Use the word “you” whenever you make an appeal so you can connect the impact you’re making through your programs with your audience’s interest in your cause.
Brain science teaches us that people are more likely to take action if it triggers an emotional connection to your cause. Before posting on social media and making an ask – whether to share or to donate – ask yourself, “How does this post make me feel?” Or, even better, ask someone else unrelated to your organization how the content makes them feel and observe their reaction. This could be a good temperature reading for your own audience’s reaction. This great post from the Buffer blog chronicles – in detail – the science of emotion in marketing.
It’s better to ask people to share or donate when you’ve pinpointed something that resonates with them. Simply commanding people might come off as abrasive or aggressive. Try to add the condition “if” to your ask. That small word turns the command or the call to action into an opportunity for people to share something personal about themselves. For example, “Share if you know someone impacted by the war.”
Use insights to understand what type of content performs best with your fan base. Within your Facebook Insights page, click on the “posts” report and then the “post types” report. Pay attention to the post type that has received the most engagement, rather than the post type that has had the most reach.
While you should always get creative and build out new, interesting content, it takes time to do. I know resources can often feel stretched thin! If you’re struggling to find engaging new content, try to recycle the top-performing posts from your page – it’s almost guaranteed to get your fans to like and comment on it. Follow the 7 easy steps in this post to give recycling a whirl.
When you reply to comments on your updates, or tag users who have commented, notifications are automatically sent to these users, bringing them back to the update to continue the discussion. This in turn sends out updates in their friends’ newsfeeds. (It’s easy to see the potential for exponential reach here). Therefore, it’s critical to ensure you’re getting notifications for your page. You can get notifications on Facebook or by email by clicking on your settings tab (in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook page) and updating your notifications.
Use targeted, boosted posts to create even more engagement on your top performing posts. Again, visit your Facebook Insights and click on the posts report. Then, rank your updates’ engagement rate. Select the most relevant post as it pertains to your event or fundraiser, and then make sure you target your audience thoughtfully. (For more details on effectively boosting posts check out this step-by-step guide).
After your campaign is over, make sure you set aside time to discuss with your team or other stakeholders how your Facebook content performed. Specifically, discuss why a particular update worked or didn’t work. What makes your fans like, and share, content? This is the ultimate question. When you share insights with your team, you’ll be able to work collaboratively towards posting creative, thoughtful content that really engages your audience.
About the Author: John Haydon is one of the most sought-after digital marketing experts for nonprofits and charities. He has spoken at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, New England Federation of Human Societies, New Media Expo, BBCon, Social Media 4 Nonprofits, AFP New Jersey, and several others. John is also an instructor for Charityhowto and MarketingProfs University.