No doubt, Facebook has the eyes and ears of the people you want—and need—to succeed. Count your donors, fans and clients among the roughly 1.4 billion daily active Facebook users around the globe.
But with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms and recent Cambridge Analytica controversy, where does that leave nonprofits? How can you capitalize on this massive medium when “reach” is getting harder, newsfeeds are constantly churning new content and we’re all still a little spooked about potential invasion of privacy?
Changing times, new ways to connect
At the beginning of 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to Facebook “rankings.” The intention: To curb the onslaught of business and branded posts and bring Facebook back to the people—closer together for more engaging, personal interactions.
Nonprofits are, of course, a business. But they are also very much “of the people.” Using business savvy combined with the innate ability to connect with people, nonprofits can amplify their voice and build vibrant social communities on Facebook, no matter the algorithm. Here are five tips to help you along your way.
1] Post off-peak. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Think of it this way: You’re beating rush-hour traffic. Data from Sprout Social shows users’ highest engagement on Facebook with nonprofits occurs on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2 p.m. Other notably high engagement occurs on:
- Mondays at 9 a.m.
- Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
- Thursdays at 10 a.m. and noon
- Fridays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Overall, there’s mid-to-low engagement on weekends, especially Sundays, but with an uptick on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., when folks are posting photos of their weekend activities.
For healthcare, the study says users engage most on Fridays at noon, with Saturdays offering the lowest engagement. Educational brands see users engaging the most on Thursdays at 2 and 3 p.m., with weekends offering the least amount of engagement.
TAKEAWAY: To maximize reach, try posting just ahead of peak times to beat the congestion.
2] Boost posts. Boosting posts means you’re buying more reach to get your post to a wider audience. It can be a worthy investment to promote a special event or important campaign. You can boost according to your budget with a host of other benefits, including targeting specific audiences and scheduling when your post will appear.
3] Try videos. Videos account for less than 1 percent of posts but get 5.2 percent of likes and 11 percent of shares, according to SocialFlow. As for length: Short videos do best. After an analysis of 100 million Facebook videos, Buzzsumo reports that videos between 60-90 seconds received the highest engagement. After 90 seconds, engagement falls.
You may even want to try Facebook Live. “Live” allows you to connect and interact with followers in real time. Both people and pages can “go live” for up to four hours. What a great way to share an event with supporters who are miles away!
4] Use link posts. Make good use of your content by sharing your organization’s blog posts, web page links and other web pages to Facebook. It’s easy: Paste the link into your status update and, within seconds, Facebook loads a large photo, headline and some teaser text to draw readers in. (After it loads, you can delete the URL and write your own comment.)
5] Think about all your social channels. Keep cross-promotional opportunities top of mind. When you share impact stories on your website, ask your followers to share them too. A quick prompt to “Help us get the word out!” or “Spread the news!” can do the trick. Additionally, link your Facebook post to Instagram and Twitter. Include social media share buttons with email campaigns as well.
We’ve got a few more tips to help you make the most of all your social channels in our free download “3 Things to do Today to Advance Your Mission With Social Media“.
Share what you’re sharing! Tell us a social success story and how you made it happen. Include a link to your post(s), below, and enjoy even more traffic to your cause.
PS—Stelter can help you create compelling Facebook content. Working with you, we’ll develop creative, engaging Facebook copy and design. Take a look at what we did for Humane Society of the United States.