6 Facebook Considerations for Nonprofit Fundraising and OutreachFundraising, Fundraising Services, Lottery fundraising, News, Non-profit fundraising, Online Fundraising, Philanthropy, Social Media for Nonprofit Fundraising, Telephone Fundraising | Desi Cabrera | July 12, 2012 at 12:01 am
I am continuing my Social Media Summer Series geared to improving nonprofit fundraising and donor engagement with the second part to my 7 Facebook Page Set-Up Tips from Tuesday. Today I would like to share 6 considerations nonprofits should keep in mind when running and maintaining their organization’s Facebook page.
- Engage. A large misconception is that a nonprofit’s presence on Facebook should be primarily to fundraise. Ultimately that is the goal but Facebook should be regarded more as a communication and engagement tool that nonprofits should use to expand their reach, spread awareness and communicate their message. It’s through the engagement of new supporters that may lead to increased fundraising revenue in the future. Recently at the AFP TechKnow Conference Derrick Feldmann presented 4 Ground Rules of Facebook Fundraising, which completely encompass what a nonprofit’s intent should be when maintaining a presence on Facebook. Your Facebook engagement initiatives will be more successful by first identifying the purpose of your presence on the platform and secondly by actively participating.
- Posting Practices. Regularly posting and sharing content is important, but equally as important is how often and when to post. Generally posting or sharing information an average of 3-4 times per day is reasonable provided the content is relevant, topical and engaging. Mashable recently reported on the best times to post or share content on Facebook. Links sent between 1:00pm and 4:00pm get the most traction, with Wednesday at 3:00pm being the best time to post on Facebook all week. Further to that, the report also identified that postings after 8pm or before 8am don’t get the most clicks, with overall traffic fading after 4pm.
- Insights. Often the most underutilized tool on Facebook, the Insights is an excellent source of information of your audience’s demographic and the effectiveness of your Facebook content and posts. Knowing your audience will help you create and share demographic specific content to strengthen engagement. Insights also help you evaluate your content and what posts performed better than others. Although at first glance it may seem overwhelming, Facebook has improved the user experience with small question marks that provide detailed descriptions of each measured area. Reviewing these will ultimately help with setting targets and goals.
- Applications. One of the best uses of applications is to tie in other platforms to your Facebook page including Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest. There are also a variety of business related applications that can help with fan engagement and building your own community. However, it’s important to consider that installed applications function well, are user-friendly and in keeping with your organization’s image. You can review the list of apps to see what is the best fit.
- Groups. Starting a group can be an excellent way to engage and provide group specific information in a relatively short period of time. From a volunteers and/or employees group, to a group for board members or supporters and advocates, a group can be created to communicate updates and event dates, create polls and ask questions. Groups can be set as either open and viewed publicly without restrictions or closed with information only visible to group members. Ensure you include your organization’s profile picture/logo as the group icon. Depending on the size of the group, you may also want to designate Admin rights to a select few. It’s important to select your admins carefully. If starting a group doesn’t suit your situation you can join an established group to network with other like-minded individuals with similar missions or goals. You can review the Groups features and benefits to determine best suit.
- Advertising. Facebook Ads can be beneficial to a nonprofit if used strategically for fundraising appeals and spread awareness. Because Facebook Ads can target ads specific to different segments of your demographic, you can create ads to be specific and targeted to the likes of your supporter demographic. Facebook also allows you to set your budget and pay structure, either paying by 1,000 impressions or paying per click. Reporting in the Ad Management area helps you determine the effectiveness and success of your Facebook Ad campaign.
Facebook is definitely the king of all social media platforms and as such will continue to seek ways to improve the overall experience for both personal and business/nonprofit use to keep that title. It’s important to remain up to date with new features to help maximize your Facebook marketing and fndraising efforts and enhance donor engagement. A couple of excellent resources is the Facebook blog and the Facebook page, which you can Like and follow updates. Twitter is next up in my Social Media Summer Series next week so stay tuned!
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.