I’ve got a bone to pick with Facebook.
Listen, Zuck, you want to push for-profit brands to advertise in order to increase their visibility on the platform? Fine. You need to make money, I get it. But forcing nonprofits to advertise their Pages in order to attract donors? Do you see the problem here?
I was lucky to be part of the first wave of nonprofits that used Facebook to attract prospective donors. As head of communications for a major children’s nonprofit, my team increased new donors by 25-30% annually. We even scored a 278% increase in new donations in a single year.
But Facebook announced in January that it was making major changes to its algorithm and prioritizing posts from friends and family—and users would see fewer public posts from organizations, brands and businesses. Some brands saw a fast drop in numbers The reaction from social media managers was swift: organic engagement is dead.
Not so fast.
Yes, there are ways nonprofits can still use Facebook to increase visibility and attract potential donors. Here are a few:
It might surprise you to learn that authentic video—not high-end, professionally produced footage—gets more engagement. So get your spokespeople on camera, do some quick editing and post it. Better yet, do a Facebook Live event to get a conversation started.
The largest resource any nonprofit has is its employees. Train them on your social media policy, then ask them to support your brand online. Encouraging them to Like your content or comment on it instantly amplifies your signal to their friends. Will it be perfect? No, but remember: authenticity wins.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but content matters more than ever. Keep your Page fresh with visuals like eye-catching images and infographics. It’s smart to re-use older content if you take the time to freshen the headline, ask a question or change up the opening line.
Yes, you should still use Facebook to promote your cause and drive potential donors to your website. A word of caution: be careful about blasting links to your site in every Facebook post. Still, link back to the site occasionally to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter or volunteer—and donate!
Kris Austin is Principal of KS Austin Communications. In this webinar, Kris shows you how her team leveraged social media to find potential donors, increase online donations, and help one healthcare organization meet its fundraising goals.