Using Facebook to Boost Your Nonprofit Business
June 23, 2016 Lynette Garet Fundraising 0 Comment
Facebook- a Key Player in the Nonprofit Business Arena today
Have you ever heard someone say, “I facebooked Joe about XYZ?” Given Facebook has achieved the same verb status as Google (“I googled it.”), it seems as if using Facebook to boost fundraising results is a no brainer. However, it takes a bit more effort to achieve the same results as the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign did.
What Facebook can do?
Facebook won’t create donors but it can boost awareness of your nonprofit organization’s purpose, programs and current campaigns. A fan page encourages peer-to-peer interaction and can lead donors to your website.
Facebook’s proprietary algorithm limits the number of your posts that appear on a follower’s news feed. Your posts don’t automatically appear on your followers’ pages; only 6 to 9 percent of fan page posts make it to your friends’ news feeds, and that too, only the important ones.
As irritated as you might be by it, Facebook wants to generate some revenue from its non-profit users. There are strategies and work-arounds that will help you boost your followers and by extension, your donations.
What you can do?
If you don’t have one already, the first step is to create a Facebook account. Next, you need a fan page. Don’t waste time on an individual or group page. Before you begin, do some thinking.
- Set clear, measurable goals for your fan page
- Which campaigns do you want to promote on your page?
- Will your campaigns be one-time or ongoing?
- Determine your audience
- Facebook has tools to help you identify your target audience. Use different search engines, such as topsy.com, SocialMention, SamePoint or Blogsearch and goal-specific search terms to add to that list.
- Decide the image, tone and content of your page
- Will you use personal stories, press coverage, activities?
- What pictures, images or infographics are appropriate?
It’s easy to create a fan page; on the left side of your home page is a gray bar—look for “Create a Page” under the Pages menu (also take note of the “Create an Ad” link, you may want that later). Click on it. Facebook will walk you through the steps, beginning with name, skip the promote page section for now.
- Do use your logo for a profile picture—it’s your brand
- Select a cover photo that fits your image and mission
Facebook is an excellent medium for stimulating peer-to-peer engagement. Such engagement builds followers and visibility on Facebook, which increases your potential donor outreach. To ensure success, you must actively manage your page—it must be someone’s job or part of his job description.
- Regularly post relevant and appropriate status updates. Talk about current campaigns and their progress; post donor stories, beneficiary stories, high-quality photos and videos, key facts, graphics and news reports. Especially, play up your successes. The operative word is regularly—pace yourself to avoid overloading your followers.
- Include a specific call to action and prominently feature a donate button and links to your website in the post and on your fan page.
- Ask readers to sign up for your newsletter; provide a link to do so
- Ask readers to host a fundraising event; provide a link
- Prompt followers to like or share your posts on Facebook. Remind your website visitors to like or share your Facebook page by spotlighting it on your webpage. Ask them to add your fan page to their Facebook notifications.
Finally, consider paid advertising on Facebook to promote your page or support specific campaigns. You can limit the duration of the ad and also control your ad budget. For $5 a day, you can promote an upcoming event to your chosen Facebook demographic. You can also choose between per impression (the number of times it appears on a demographically selected page) or the number of visits to your webpage.
Facebook has an enormous audience, with careful management you can connect with a much larger donor pool for very little expense.