Facebook for Nonprofits

For the past decade, Facebook has been the dominant social media site. When considering a social marketing strategy, maintaining a Facebook page is often assumed essential for any organization.

Pros and Cons

With over a billion active users, Facebook is often the first place people search for information about a company. The platform’s global popularity lends itself particularly well to nonprofits that work internationally. The average user spends more than 20 minutes on the site while Americans spend double that. Thus, people are devoting much of their online time to Facebook.

While it has a large user base, it’s important to consider your specific audience. Although the site was initially exclusive to college students, Facebook’s demographics are now skewing older. The largest growing segment of users is over 55. Younger audiences are gravitating towards Twitter and Instagram as their parents and grandparents become more active on Facebook.

Set-up

If you do decide to create a Facebook page, here is the set-up process:

1. Log in to your own Facebook account and select the drop-down arrow on the top right.

2. Select the “Create Page” option.

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3. Choose the type of page you’ll be setting up, select a category that describes your nonprofit, and enter the organization’s name.

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4. Fill in the fields that ask for specific information about your nonprofit. Try not to leave blank sections. You want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to know what your organization does.

5. Create links that direct users to your website and other social media platforms. Doing so will drive traffic to your other online platforms and perhaps result in donations.

6. Be sure to use high quality images for both the profile icon and the banner.

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7. When in doubt, take a look at what other nonprofits are doing on their own Facebook pages.

Whoever set up the page will automatically be the Administrator, with full access to make changes. In order to give someone else on your staff editing privileges, the existing Admin will need to either be Facebook friends with the person or have their email address associated with their Facebook account, and the desired admin will need to have liked the page.

Content

Since Facebook users are primarily interested in connecting with their friends socially, posting content to your page that is shareable is ideal. The type of posts that are most popular often include strong visual elements. Pictures and videos tend to see strong engagement, as do quotations. As you’re getting started, pay attention to the kind of content is getting the most interaction from your followers.

How to Measure Success

Facebook offers an Insights tab directly from your organization page. The tools they offer are fairly comprehensive: you can monitor your page likes, see which posts garnered the most engagement, and basic demographic information about your followers.

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In order to determine if you’re getting a solid return on investment (ROI) from your Facebook marketing, first ask yourself what your goals are for the site.

Are you trying to expand your nonprofit’s reach? Measure your impact by keeping track of your follower growth (and when un-follows occur).

If you’re looking to actively engage your community, keep an eye on which posts get the most likes, shares, and comments. This can give you a good sense of what topics or types of content get your followers most excited. You don’t want to continually post surveys if your network responds more actively to photographs.

If you want to run your own analytics on your data, Facebook has an option to export the information into a spreadsheet.

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With the raw data, you can create your own charts and track metrics above and beyond what Facebook gives you.