No kidding! Charities and nonprofits do great on Facebook.

Oxfam GB gained new audiences and increased online purchases by 1.8X Facebook video ads.

Support grew, and sales crossed 8,400 for an ecological NPO’s campaign - The Honu Movement because of Facebook and Instagram campaigns.

Young Guru Academy in Turkey increased donations by 4.7X because of Facebook and Instagram video campaigns.

93% of social marketers use Facebook regularly. And you should use it too! By following a few best practices, your nonprofit will get the exposure it deserves. And over time, you will be able to convince donors that your purpose is worth both - their attention and donation.

  1. P.O.S.T Method

Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff co-published a book called ‘Groundswell” in which they introduced the POST method for social media success. The POST method is a proven way to create successful social media campaigns.

The POST stands for:

People: Sit with your team and brainstorm for whom you are going to post on Facebook. Who is your audience, and what characteristics do they have?

Objectives: Define what you want to achieve (in this year, in this quarter, over the next few days) by publishing content on this platform. More followers, more donations, or greater awareness?

Strategy: Whether it is a meaningful pledge or a sweepstake, think of how you will offer enough value to encourage followers to take action.

Technology: Once you chalk down the above three aspects, leverage different tools on Facebook to promote your nonprofit. For example, if you intend to use Facebook as a tool to interact with donors, then Facebook messenger or Facebook Groups could be your best catch.

2. Curate or Borrow - Content

Facebook does not have a single algorithm, rather multiple layers of machine learning models and rankings. This predicts which posts will be most valuable and meaningful to the audiences over the long term. Instead of a flat, chronological order, the Facebook algorithm arranges posts in descending order of interest for each user.

Moral of the story? Strive to make your content viral-worthy!

In Jonah Berger’s words, “Compelling content hinges on one key detail: its shareability.” For your content to be viral, it needs to be shareable.

Create more Video Content

Whether you use Facebook to create fundraising campaigns or just awareness, you can amplify your message through videos or (live videos). Create engaging videos (as mentioned below) to encourage followers to share them in their newsfeeds.

  1. Square videos outperform landscape videos in terms of average engagement, views, and reach. This is especially true on mobile.

  2. 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound even though Facebook auto-plays videos with sound on mobile views. Add captions to all your videos to not lose a follower due to lack of listening or understanding.

  3. Can you summarize your video in one single sentence? Focus on one key aspect to make your video shareable. If your video intends to ask followers to pledge against hunger, make sure to stick to that and focus content accordingly.

  4. Upload your videos natively (with Hopeful!) The interaction rate for Facebook native videos is on an average 109.67% higher than for YouTube videos.

  5. Give a preview of the video in your copy. Facebook recommends “pulling out a key quote or moment from the video as the text component of your post." This will set up the viewer's expectations of what the video is about.

3. Polarize your efforts (Through influencers and Facebook groups)

Facebook influencer strategy is as effective as Instagram to make your campaigns reach a wider audience.

Facebook posts only reach an average of 4% of an NPO page’s fans. Influencer-based marketing campaigns can help you overcome this hurdle to a large extent.

For instance, for their campaign #PowerToChange, Women for Women International collaborated with the Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner. While this could be a big move, you can always think of looping micro-influencers in your niche.

Besides this, Facebook groups provide nonprofit leaders an opportunity to understand industry trends. Also creating your own community through a Facebook group gives you a chance to share relevant information with others and keep members informed and engaged.

Protips for using Facebook Groups

Take time to build relationships with the members. If you have a donor community, steer them on your Facebook group to nurture long-term relationships for continuous support.

Facebook trolls are something that your nonprofit will have to deal with at some point in time. Make sure to keep your group private to minimize disruption.

Keep your group alive and engaged. Make sure to post relevant information or keep the conversation going through polls and surveys.

4. Facebook Charitable Tools

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said that people have raised over $5 billion for nonprofits and personal causes through Facebook and Instagram.

Page Fundraisers are great to create traction for a new campaign or raise funds for a pilot or short-term project with a near-term deadline.

Facebook introduced The “Donate Now” button on its platform in 2013. You can either choose to create a post and then add the donate button or place the call to action on the header of your Facebook page. You can also embed it in your live videos and get more accomplished.

The platform launched its Fundraisers program back in 2016 on the back of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Since then, it has added various tools to support nonprofits and personal causes. For instance, the company birthday fundraisers as part of its peer-to-peer fundraising strategy is an excellent way for nonprofits to steer donations. Individuals can help your nonprofit accept donations through Facebook Payments or Network for Good.

Additional Resources

Wild Apricot's good list of Facebook groups for nonprofits

Hopeful Social Media Best Practices

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