Facebook Strategies for Non-Profits
posted by Hiep
on Oct 29, 2015
We are living in a world where it is simply bizarre (and somewhat awkward) to ask someone for their Facebook account only to learn that they don’t have one. Today, individuals connect on Facebook and other social media networks more than in person. We hardly start a conversation with, “How’s the weather?”; rather, it’s, “Did you catch his status update last night?” or “Why did she change her relationship status?” instead.
It is clear that Facebook is one of the great ways for companies – especially non-profits – to market their message and cause. It’s all about connecting with fans, reaching potential donors, and raising funds, and Facebook’s interface is naturally geared for those interactions. The platform has the ability to show an organization’s efforts through various means – posts, photos, videos, advertising, event invitations – and allows it to interact with followers in real-time on a much wider scale.
However, recent adjustments to Facebook have created major hurdles for non-profits; organic reach calculating methods have changed, making it difficult for organizations to gain the recognition they’d been receiving in the past for the same limited funds. Major budgets are now necessary in order to truly promote an organization – a fact that is limiting the reach of non-profits and preventing the spread of their good works. While it is true that monetary investments are generally the surest way to garner results, it certainly isn’t the only solution to gaining recognition on social media.
Without a well-planned Facebook page, significant funds do not guarantee thousands of likes. The ultimate question then is this: How can we setup a Facebook page effectively and efficiently to meet the organization’s goals? The strategies below can help you find the answer.
Create Engaging Content
The average Facebook user has 1,500 posts in their news feed competing for his attention. For some people, that number is even higher, implying that it would be a waste of time and resources if you are not crafting relevant and appealing content.
Finding creative ways to engage your target audience with content is a vital aspect of creating a lively community that spreads your voice from the virtual to the real world by actively being a part of your cause. You can do this with the help of tools and apps that allow your audience to invite their social circles to take part in your organization’s journey.
You can also create visual posts – pictures relaying your story and efforts – to better engage your audience’s emotions. By using images, you’re providing persuasive evidence that you’re constantly fighting the battle and that the visitors can be a part of it.
Use The ‘Donate Now’ Button for Non-Profits
The Donate Now button – when integrated into a Facebook page – will appear beside posts in the news feed and also at the top of the organization’s page. When a user clicks this button, they can enter the desired payment and the donation is processed immediately. This button also allows people to share your post with their friends.
Needless to say, non-profits are very interested in using the feature. The bonus here is that Facebook doesn’t charge a fee to process donations and instead pays the fee itself. As a result, 100 percent of the donations go to your organization.
Use The Facebook-Integrated Fundraising Tool
There are plenty of applications for organizing a participant-driven fundraising campaign with Facebook as a major component. For example, Fundrazr lets you create campaigns and then automatically posts updates, contributions, likes, and comments to your Facebook timeline and fans’ news feeds. Other tools like Blackbaud’s TeamRaiser utilize social integration as well.
Expand Your Reach With Facebook Ads
While non-profits usually don’t have huge budgets for marketing and advertising, Facebook ads are an affordable and effective alternative when used correctly. It is important to note an ad’s cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand impressions (CPM), as well as how these options charge you once selected. Another key to a well-run Facebook ad is to ensure that it reaches the desired audience. For instance, you can target influential bloggers and journalists so that they can report about your cause (a feat that requires the specific individuals’ Facebook ID numbers and email addresses, but is worth the extra effort).
Talk To Your Community
Let’s face it: You cannot spread the word without advocates. Nurturing your community by connecting with them, sharing news about your activities, and inviting them to events are all key to accomplishing the goals you set. Such steps will ensure that your non-profit is viewed as an organization with a voice rather than as an organization that is simply bombarding followers’ news feeds for donations. While it is not necessary to reply to every comment posted by followers, doing so – or simply liking the post – is a great way to show that you appreciate the people helping spread your message.