Facebook for nonprofits overview

In this article we’ll look at the establishing a basic strategy and guidelines for your Facebook page. We will unpack these concepts in future articles.

Your strategy

Your Facebook strategy should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound 

An objective of using your Facebook page to “raise awareness” is not an objective at all. Raising awareness is not an end in itself. However, if your objective was that you wanted to raise traffic to your website where people can learn more about your cause by 25% over 6 months, this would be a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound objective.  

How to be seen

Not everyone who ‘likes’ your Facebook page sees all your posts. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine which of your posts are seen by which followers.

Keep this in mind if you change your Facebook strategy suddenly – many people will simply ‘hide’ your updates from their newsfeed if your posts are not interesting to them so although you may not see a decline in ‘likes’ on your page, you may see a decline in how many people viewed each post. 

Some quick tips:

  • Videos and photos are more likely to be seen in more newsfeeds.
  • Keep posts between 100-250 characters
  • Create a dialogue with your fans by responding when they comment, posting questions, or commenting on their page.
  • Speak in the first-person narrative
  • Facebook places a higher priority on posts with comments than with ‘likes’ – so write posts that encourage people to interact with you. 

Promoting your content

If you are running a campaign or trying to generate more interest in your page, it is worth investing some money in Facebook advertising. You can set a budget as small as R500 and see some results. Facebook allows you to target your ads to very specific demographics, including just targeting friends of people who are already connected to your page. You can also create ‘sponsored stories’ which appears in your fans’ newsfeeds when they interact with your page. 

Facebook posting guidelines

A useful guideline for posting is the 70:20:10 rule. 70% of your content should inform your audience about the issue; 20% should be shared content from other organisations; 10% should be promotional content (eg. advertising events, your newsletter, and content that promotes your organization specifically and not necessarily your cause.) 

Many organisations try to manage their Facebook pages like they would manage their personal Facebook profiles. Although you can post more casual content on your page, remember that it is still a professional space that represents your organisation. When you’re posting hard news and issues on your page, it is incongruous to do so next to pictures of a staff party or people having fun around the office!

When you look at your Facebook page, are you comfortable with the image of your organisation that is being portrayed? 

Post at least 5 times a week, but be careful not to post too often and overwhelm your fans’ newsfeeds.

Studies show that posts on the weekend or after hours receive more engagement.

Metrics

Facebook provides detailed statistics about your fans, their demographics, and their engagement with your posts. You can use these statistics to help you plan future posts, and help you understand what kinds of content your users respond to. 

We will be looking at each of these factors in greater detail in future posts, and sharing tools and resources to help you improve your Facebook presence.