Fearless Facebooking for Nonprofits – Tips for Better Engagement

Child in Superhero Costume Arm RaisedBy: Megan McMillan

Ah Facebook, you were my initiation into the realm of social media and I will always gaze upon you fondly. That being said, after a year of testing and re-testing, Facebook did not emerge at the center of iWave’s social media plan (it plays third fiddle to LinkedIn and Twitter), but if Facebook is right for your organization, here’s how you can get the most out of your  Nonprofit Organization Page:

  1. Timing: Facebookers are on Facebook in the mornings, at lunch, in the evenings, and on weekends (so pretty much all day, every day).  Facebook is great because posts receive higher engagement (17% higher) during non-busy hours than during busy posting hours.  The reason behind this is that posts can stay at the top of someone’s newsfeed for long periods of time based on their EdgeRank scores unlike Twitter where Tweets are constantly pushed out of sight by newer posts due to the sheer volume of activity. You can also use the Insights tab (see #8) to look at when your fans are online and time your posts accordingly.
  2. Frequency: Facebook suggests that you post once per day, but since every audience is different you should keep an eye on engagement levels.  If you find that engagement is low, then try adjusting the frequency of your posts to test what works best for your org.
    How to check your engagement:
    • Open your organization’s Page in Facebook
    • Click the Posts tab
    • Scroll down to All Posts Published
    • View the Engagement column on the right
  1. It’s all in the details: fill the About section of your Page with your organization’s information such as: organization type, URL, mission, contact info, etc… And don’t forget to claim your vanity URL!
  2. Picture perfect: be sure to use eye catching profile and cover photos and keep in mind that recent changes to Facebook now allow for larger images (click here for all the details). And while we’re on the topic of photos, Facebook is a great medium for sharing images as posts with pictures are most likely to be liked, commented on, and shared.
  3. Check your ego: Along with sharing images and posting photo albums you’ll want to test different types of content to see what resonates best with your audience. Be wary of an egocentric timeline – Facebook users who like your organization want to hear about interesting content that is relevant to you, your cause, or them, but they don’t always want to hear about you directly.
  4. Focus your efforts: target your posts by particular demographics such as: location, gender, etc., to curate content that is of particular interest to a specific portion of the people who like your Page.
  5. To thine own self be true: as always – be authentic!  Speak to your Facebook audience like you would speak to someone standing in front of you.  Making your audience feel as though you are a real person speaking directly to them is much more important than showing off your vocabulary.
  6. Just the facts, ma’am: get to know and love the data provided in the Insights tab which is designed to help you:
    • Monitor what’s working and not working on your Page.
    • Understand the people who like your Page and engage with your posts.
    • Make decisions about the best ways to connect with your audience.

Is your organization using Facebook? If so, what are your tips for increasing your fan base?

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