Facebook Releases Guide to Help Nonprofits Maximize

By on Friday, March 29, 2013

Facebook released a guide this month to help nonprofits improve their relationship-building and marketing through Pages. If you’ve been managing a Pages account for a long time, it’s a great refresher on best practices, but there’s not a lot of new content. If you are new to managing Pages for a nonprofit or association, there’s plenty here to absorb and apply.

The guide includes a weighty endorsement for using Instagram in conjunction with a Pages account and encourages nonprofits to think visually about their messaging. Having a great cover image at the top of your page is encouraged, and Facebook encourages nonprofits to cultivate their own personal voice (not an institutional one) and engage in dialogue.

Great reminders:

Be brief when writing posts – posts with 100 to 250 characters receive about 60 percent more likes than longer posts. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a long one every once in a while – but if all your posts are waxing poetically verbose, you are likely driving down your engagement.

Use images and videos with your posts to get more attention – posts that include images or videos generate about 100-180 percent more engagement than the average post. You should experiment with what works for you and gets the most posts.

Be personally authentic – speak in the first-person and use voices from within your organization or the voices of those touched by your organization to cultivate your authentic voice on Facebook.

Be current and relevant – mention a quote related to a national holiday, or post something special on a day related to your cause. Facebook reports that posts referencing Independence Day received 90 percent more engagement than all other posts on July 4th.

Think engagement – thank supporters for posting, re-share what they say, use fill-in-the-blank posts to get people contributing, ask questions, and make your supporters the stars of your page too.

While the guide doesn’t go into the nitty-gritty of understanding Insights results that track your nonprofit’s page or weigh in on the frequency of posting debate (other than to say you should post daily or weekly), it does underscore key themes that reflect good Page management.

The guide also underscores the importance of nonprofits using Pages on Facebook. Every once in a great while, I still see a nonprofit with an “individual account” that is not using Pages. You should know that if Facebook discovers organizations acting like individuals, they typically delete and ban the individual accounts, which effectively sends the nonprofit back to square one at building a Facebook presence. If you are still operating on an individual account, you need to start transitioning to Pages immediately.

Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design work for publications and websites (portfolio). Ami blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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