How do you maximise traffic through your non-profit organisation’s Facebook page?
One of the biggest challenges of running a non-profit organisation (NPO) is ensuring a consistent supply of resources including funds, volunteers and equipment.
Social media platforms such as Facebook are a cost effective ways of raising awareness about your NPO. Social media can be used to share success stories; generate awareness about your NPO; and for fundraising campaigns.
The key to maximising Facebook’s benefits is to ensure your supporters regularly visit and engage with your page. The more your supporters comment, like or share your posts; the wider your NPO’s exposure on social media. Maximising supporter engagement is critical to growing your support network.
I had the privilege of running the Husky Rescue KZN Facebook Page for 12 months with great success. During this period we managed to increase the number of followers by 33%, as well as raising over R70 000 through various Facebook campaigns. And while I don’t claim to be an expert, I followed my gut and learned a lot about maximising Facebook engagement during this period. This article is the first in a series that share the lessons learnt on social media.
1. KISS – Keep it Simple
The social media generation do not read a lot of words, therefore keep your posts short, sweet and to the point. Use bullet points; highlight facts and don’t waffle.
2. Tell Stories
Stories engage your audience’s emotions. They create interest and sell your NPO.
For example in an animal adoption post, you can say “Adopt Fido” or you can tell Fido’s story. Where did he come from? How was he rescued? Stories pull at people’s heart strings and open their hearts to your cause.
It would seem that point 1 & 2 contradict each other, but you can tell a story with few words if you pick them carefully. Alternatively introduce the story and point your reader to a website or blog for more details.
3. A Picture Speaks 1000 Words
Use images or graphics in your posts to catch your audience’s eye. People are more likely to stop and engage with a post containing an image, than one with only text.
Remember to keep the image simple. Don’t clutter it with text. If you do have to use text, use a font that’s easy to read and only include critical information.
4. Important Stuff First
Get to the point quickly and put the most important information first. People will only click on “see more” if the information they have already read has caught their interest.
Where details for fundraising events are concerned use bullet points and keep it simple. You want your audience to remember the important things like when and where your event is taking place.
5. Use Headings
Headings help the reader understand what your post is about. They encourage them to read further, if it’s a topic of interest. Headings can also create an emotive link to the topic if selected carefully.
Two ways to make headings stand out are to use BLOCK LETTERS or #HashTags. Both methods work effectively.
6. Say “Thank You”
One thing I’ve learnt is that you can never say “Thank You” enough. Thank people for donations. Thank them for volunteering. Thank them for sharing or commenting on you posts. People want to feel appreciated.
“Thank you” is hard work, but worth it.
Tag them in your “Thank You” posts so that their friends and followers know about it. Thank you is a simple way to show appreciation while creating awareness.
When you tag an individual or organisation, all their friends and followers see your post in their feed. This gives new people the opportunity to learn about your organisation and your network grows. The more your followers and their friends like, comment or engage with your posts the wider your audience becomes.
Use the @ symbol in front of a page or individuals name and Facebook picks it up and tags them (e.g. @unorthodoxme or @johnsmith)
#HashTags enable users to search for specific topics on Facebook. #HashTags can be used to highlight key information in your posts. #HashTags can be picked up by someone searching for a specific topic, even if they don’t know your organisation.
Instagram has just introduced functionality where you can follow specific #HashTags regardless of which page it is on. I’m sure Facebook will introduce this functionality soon.
9. Balanced Content
One of the biggest mistakes many NPOs make is only using Facebook to beg for money. This makes the organisation appear desperate.
NPOs need to use Facebook to educate and inform their followers, in addition to asking for help. Therefore it is important to balance content between topics such as:
- Information about the NPO
- Relevant educational information
- Statistics related to your NPO
- Success stories
- Requests for help in terms of volunteers, funds and other things
- Thank You’s and more Thank You’s… You can never have enough.
10. Frequency of Posts
In order to appear on your target audience’s newsfeed you need to post frequently. A minimum 15 to 20 posts per week. If you’re not posting and engaging with your audience on a daily basis, the Facebook algorithms will stop including your posts on your audience’s newsfeed.
Bonus Point: Permission
It is important that when you post photographs of people you have their permission. Especially if it is pictures of children.
If you are posting links, photographs or other information from alternative sources always acknowledge the source and if possible get permission first.
Coming soon… articles on crowdfunding campaigns and maximising the benefits of Facebook events for your fundraising activities.