Is Your Nonprofit on Facebook? Here Are 3 Mistakes Not to Make.

Everyone has a presence on Facebook these days. Your mom, your aunt, the small business down the block, Target, heck, even the NFL has a page. Nonprofits are represented well with 97% reporting they have a Facebook page.

Still the largest and most-used social media network, Facebook exposes your nonprofit to the broadest audience and offers a comprehensive set of business tools for getting your message out.

All said, Facebook is a great place for your nonprofit to be. But be wary of these common mistakes.

Mistake #1: I Have An Account, You Have An Account, We All Have Accounts

Curiously, while Facebook will not let a person have multiple personal accounts (it’s against their terms of service), a business (or nonprofit in this case) can have multiple accounts. So, you may be tempted to create separate pages for your different audiences, departments, campaigns, etc. Don’t.

By creating additional pages, you lose access to the friends and followers that your main nonprofit page already has. You’ll be starting from scratch to build your audience.

Instead, collaborate with the social media manager for your nonprofit to see where and when you can provide them with content around giving. Make a calendar of all the important giving days (National Nonprofit Day, Volunteer Recognition Day, Giving Tuesday, Estate Planning Awareness Week, etc.) and plan out Facebook posts to recognize each. (Here’s a calendar of these days you can download.)

And take advantage of Facebook’s targeting options, which include ways to target organic posts. You don’t have to engage in advertising to target an audience.

Mistake #2: Winging It

Planning for the time, resources and budget you’ll need to create and support a successful social media presence is often an afterthought (at best). Maybe because people view social media as “free.” But even if you’re not going to use Facebook advertising, there are hard and soft costs you’ll need to consider.

Start by creating your social media marketing strategy. Doing this should include setting goals, creating a schedule, assigning your resources and brushing up on best practices. Look into the tools available in the Facebook marketplace and how you can use them to boost posts and target specific audiences.

Plan to test. Testing alternate headlines, copy or images in your creative helps find what resonates and draws the best response. This requires time and resources. But experimenting and optimizing as a campaign moves forward can have a huge impact on response.

Mistake #3: I’ve Built It, Now They’ll Come

We’ve talked a lot about drivers and destinations. Your Facebook page can be both a destination and a driver.

As a destination, it’s the place your donors and prospects can go to get to know your mission, hear stories from grateful recipients of your donors’ generosity, see videos of your staff in action and find volunteer opportunities.

But you have to get them there. That’s where drivers come in.

Drivers (tactics such as direct mail, email, surveys, social posts, etc.) are the tools that reach out to your donors and prospects to spark interest and then spur action. Visiting your Facebook page could be one such action.

Facebook can also be a driver, with posts linking to other platforms such as your website, YouTube channel, blog, planned giving page or a specific event or campaign microsite.

Developing your drivers in concert with your destinations will ensure you are not spending time on something no one will ever see.

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