With over a million daily Facebook users worldwide, the social media giant’s power is well-known.
But how can your nonprofit take advantage of such a large community?
Let’s find out how by looking into these points:
- Why you should include Facebook in your nonprofit’s communication strategy
- How to create your nonprofit’s page in just a few clicks
- 14 quick tips to become a nonprofit Facebook Guru
- The pitfalls and limits of Facebook
Why Facebook Should Be Part of Your Nonprofit’s Communication Strategy
A Facebook page is a must have for any nonprofit that wants to be relevant today!
Firstly, it allows you to build a community. By involving and interacting with the people interested in your nonprofit, you’ll become closer to them. Your Facebook page can turn into a true meeting point between your nonprofit and your community.
Next, if you wish to attract new volunteers, donors, or members, a Facebook page is the ideal place to do so! In addition to energizing your community, Facebook can help you grow it.
Defining the objectives for your Facebook page will help you build your editorial line (discussed below).
How to Create Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Page in a Just a Few Clicks
To start off, you need to have a personal Facebook account to create your nonprofit’s page. Once you’ve created one or signed in, head over to: facebook.com/pages/creation.
Select "Business or brand". Next, enter your nonprofit’s name and category, for example "Non-profit organization".
Add a profile photo, this could be your logo for example.
Also add a cover photo!
Small piece of advice: go for a simpler profile and cover photo that truly reflects your core missions.
Fill in the maximum amount of information on your page "About" (seen above). This way, visitors can easily identify your core mission and contact you if they are interested!
Don’t forget to add a short description of your nonprofit, of 2 to 3 lines max.
Also fill in your website details, as these will then be shown on your Facebook page.
Personalize your nonprofit’s Facebook page address. We have for example transformed www.facebook.com/765373/assoconnect into www.facebook.com/assoconnect.
Do not forget to add the "Call to Action" button to your page. Ask yourself: What do I want people to do when they see my page? Some possible actions are:
- Becoming a member
- Sending a message
The first call to action will send the visitor to your donations page on your website, and the second one to your membership page. The third will open a direct chat with your nonprofit through Messenger.
In general, try to have the most complete profile possible – fill in your address, contact information, your nonprofit’s story with some key dates… This way internet users will have access to your information quickly and no one will leave your Facebook page without the information they were looking for!
"A Facebook page has become the digital business card of any organization, including nonprofits. It needs to be carefully constructed by providing as much information as possible right from the start", Amanda Michel - Social Media Manager.
14 Quick Tips to Become a Nonprofit Facebook Guru
Tip 1: Define Your Editorial Line
This means defining your identity. It is essential to ask yourself the right questions when defining the editorial line of your Facebook page.
What information will my donors be looking to find? How often? Which tone should be used? What are the page’s objectives (to promote your work, bring your community together, give advice, share news, etc)?
If you are unsure, you can conduct a survey on your contact’s expectations before starting this process.
Tip 2: Catch Your Audience’s Attention
To be successful on Facebook, you need to stand out from others in a very, very short amount of time.
If you personally use Facebook on a regularly basis, you’ll know that everyone decides in a tenth of a second whether a post is interesting or not. This is also true for your potential new audience on their newsfeed.
However, with so little time to capture someone’s attention, this is easier said than done...
The golden rule for a Facebook post is to make your content both exciting and direct to keep your audience’s attention.
In terms of content type, videos are very popular. If you have enough resources, this content can really be worth the cost. If you do not, don’t worry - websites such as http://giphy.com/ allow users to easily share gifs – moving images that are used in a humoristic way.
Tip 3: Keep Up the Pace!
It is essential to post frequently on Facebook, so that your audience does not forget about you. Do not go overboard with this either, you need to try and find the right balance. For a small- to medium-sized nonprofit, 2 or 3 posts per week is the ideal amount.
Keep in mind that you also need to post regularly. You should spread out your posts in the week, instead of posting 3 times a day.
You can put in place an editorial calendar beforehand. Tools such as Hootsuite and Trello can help you with this.
Tip 4: Build Links With Your Website
Does your nonprofit have a website? Then share it far and wide!
Think about creating links between your website and your Facebook page. You’ll not only gain more visitors to both, but search engines will also give you a better ranking!
To do so:
- On your Facebook page: fill in your website address in your "About" page (as explained earlier in How to Create Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Page in a Few Clicks).
- On your website: place a visible icon, which when clicked will send the visitor to your Facebook page.
Another possibility is to display your Facebook posts on your website’s home page with a widget (see below):
Tip 5: Set Up Labels
Use labels at the start of your publications, such as: [NEWS] [RESULTS] [BEST OF] [PORTRAIT] [JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP] [TO FOLLOW] [DEBATE].
By using the same labels week-in, week-out, your followers will be able to quickly identify the post’s main topic.
Tip 6: Set Up Weekly Posts
For example by publishing every Sunday the [VIDEO OF THE WEEK], your community will be expecting your post and look forward to it. You can also do this in the form of a hashtag: #VideoOfTheWeek.
Tip 7: Assign a Community Manager
Managing a good Facebook page takes time. Ideally, you should assign a community manager within your nonprofit, that will be dedicated to this task.
Luckily, this is one task that can be given to younger volunteers, as they are more at ease with social media. You just need to supervise it by giving the right framework.
Tip 8: Think About the Timing of Your Posts
Finally, think about the timing of your posts. As your audience is not always on Facebook, some moments of the day will have more activity than others.
Below you can find out the best times to post on Facebook:
Tip 9: Mix Up Your Content
There are lots of different types of content you can post online: videos, photos, articles, events, news, links, questions, content from other Facebook pages, etc. By mixing up the content, your followers will stay interested in your posts.
Tip 10: Get Your Members Involved
Encourage your members to interact with your community. Get them involved by asking them to participate in your events, sign petitions, react to your debates, visit your website…
Tip 11: Go Behind the Scenes of Your Nonprofit
Internet users love seeing what happens behind the scenes - do not hesitate to show off your latest pictures of your volunteers prepping for a project!
Tip 12: Publish Quality Content
Writing articles to defend your cause or updates about your club will attract a larger audience. However, if you are not a natural writer, do not stress, you can also stick with sharing shorter and simpler content related solely to your nonprofit.
Tip 13: Illustrate Your Posts as Much as Possible!
With illustrations, your posts will have more impact as images and videos are preferred over text on Facebook. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Tip 14: Analyze the Success of your Posts
Last but not least, measuring the success of your posts will allow you to adjust your Facebook strategy.
To do this, go to the Statistics tab of your Nonprofit’s Facebook page, where you will see different graphs with different measurements. Learn from these statistics and apply that knowledge to your future posts.
The Pitfalls and Limits of Facebook
Facebook is a great way to communicate and interact, but there are some pitfalls to avoid.
First, check who has access to the content in your page’s posts. Make sure you have your members' permission before posting photos of them on the internet, especially for minors.
This is underlined by Unicef: “Reporting on children and young people has its special challenges. In some instances the act of reporting on children places them or other children at risk of retribution or stigmatization [...]. When possible and appropriate, this permission should be in writing.”
Facebook has a great deal of potential, but only when used correctly. According to Locowise, a website specializing in social media analysis, the reach of a post is limited to only about 10% of your followers.
The reach of a post refers to the number of people who will see your publication compared to the number of people who like your page. This ratio changes depending on the type of publication:
- Videos: 12.62%
- Images: 11.79 %
- Links: 9.08%
- Status: 5.7%
Facebook also offers a paying service: "Facebook Ads". This service allows you to promote your posts, but is often expensive and achieves arbitrary results.
Although it is mainly offered to companies rather than nonprofits, it can still be helpful if you need a helping hand in promoting a membership or donation campaign.
Finally, despite its popularity, Facebook is less popular among teenagers, who prefer other social medias like Snapchat or Instagram.
Additionally, it is difficult to reach older people, since less than 10% of Facebook users are over 55 years old. You will need to evaluate how much time you should devote to your page depending on your nonprofit’s audience.
You now have all the information you need to become a true Facebook Guru for your nonprofit!