Social media is an important channel for reaching, reconnecting and engaging with supporters. It is a cost effective way for community groups to meet their target audiences. Below are tips and resources for getting started.
Facebook Tip Sheet
Facebook is still the best-placed platform to deliver to a wide and diverse audience, with a broad age range of users. Like national newspapers people are going back daily to look at a vast array of content
Why do people engage in social media?
- Build relationships
- Seek advice and give advice
- To build their identity – who is my audience? What are there interests?
- Make my “friends” “follower” “fans” feel something – strong emotion
Setting up a page
Your page gives your non-profit a voice and presence on Facebook. Positing to your page creates an opportunity for new people to discover your organisation and can serve as a hub for connecting your community. People who like your page may see your posts in a News Feed when they visit Facebook. People can also like your posts, add comments and share them with their friends.
How can I use my Page to Support my mission?
- Educate your community about your cause and update them on your organisation
- Find and connect with new supporters who share your passion
- Engage your community by creating opportunities for people to interact with you and each other
- Inspire people to take action by spreading the word, attended events, volunteering or donating funds
How do I create my page?
To create a Facebook page for your non-profit, you’ll need a Facebook profile and a few minutes of your time. If you don’t have an existing profile, go to Facebook to sign up. If you do already have one follow these steps to set up your page.
Create a Page
- Log into your personal Facebook account. Click the arrow in the top-right corner of any page and then select Create Page.
- When you use your personal profile to set up your organisation’s page, you’ll be the page admin by default
- Pages admins can be changed or added at any time under Manage pages
- You’re admin role won’t affect the privacy of your personal profile and won’t appear in your Page posts or other activity
Choose a Page Category
- Choose company, organisation or institution.
- If you choose Cause or Community, your Page won’t have access to the exclusive tools Facebook has made available to nonprofits
- You don’t have to be registered non-profit to list your page in this category
- You can choose one of many sub-categories for your page in the dropdown menu, including non-profit organisation, NGO, Education, Political Organisation and more
Add Details about your page
- About – this is your chance to give people a quick preview of what your organisation does. Briefly state the mission of your organisation and the impact your programme creates. This is also a good place for contact information.
- Profile Picture – your profile picture is a way to help people recognise your brand when they see your post from your page in News Feed. Use a square version of your organisation’s logo. If you don’t have a square version you could use photo shop or a version of this cropping tool to make it square or enlist the designer who did your logo to make appropriate adjustments. Keep in mind it will often appear small.
- Cover Photo - your cover photo should be an image which represents the work your organisation does and the communities it serves. Use a high quality image which is visually appealing. Your cover photo can be changed at any time and is a good place to feature a special event or initiative. Image format recommendations:
- Choose a high resolution photo
- Choose an image that is at least 720 pixels wide by 150 pixels tall. Cover photos display at 828px wide by 315px tall on your page
- Use PNG file format rather than JPEG
- Keep the image file size under 99KB
- Avoid small text in images
- Add to favourites – adding your organisation’s page to your personal profile Favourites list creates a quick link to your organisation’s page to make it easier for you to find and moderate.
- Preferred Page Audience – Identifying the type of people who are your best current supporters gives you a better opportunity to connect with more people and grow your community.
Video and Images
- Adding photos and albums to your page will offer more depth and understanding of the work your organisation does and the impact you create. When you upload a photo or album, your supporters will see it as a post in News Feed. If you have videos which showcase your organisation’s work and mission, add those here too. Some additional tips:
- Add descriptions to your photos
- Tag volunteers and supporters in the photo where possible, or ask them in your post to tag themselves or others
- Milestones are a great way to show people the history and progress of your organisation. Your page is a place to celebrate your organisation, staff, supporters and key events, like a programme launch or anniversary.
Consider including things like:
- When your organisation was founded
- Impact from your successful programmes and events
- Your organisation’s contributions to the progress made on major issues
- Your page is a great way to let people know about the events your organisation is hosting. All you need to do it click Event, Milestone+ and then choose Event. Events created from Pages are visible to the public. When people accept your invitation, it’ll be added to their list of Facebook events. They’ll get notifications when you make a change to the event and will get the reminders of the event’s date and time. You can also see who’s accepted your invitation, so you can plan for how many people to expect.
A note is a version of a post you can use for longer messages or statement.
How do I manage my page?
After creating your page, you can access it:
- By clicking the arrow in the top right of any page on Facebook and selecting Manage Pages
- In the left column of your homepage under Favourites if you added it to your Favourites list during set-up
- In the left column under Pages. If you’re an admin for more than one page, you may need to click more to see all your page links.
Measuring and Tracking
By measuring how your Page performs over time, you can see if you are accomplishing your organisation goals on Facebook. You can track your Page and post metrics monthly, weekly or daily to evaluate how your Page is growing over time and adjust your content to fit your growing community.
Focus on your organisation’s objectives
Start by deciding which metric is most important to your organisation. For example, you might consider:
- Post reach
- Engagement such as likes, comments, shares or video views
- Actions taken such as shares, website visits, sign ups, event RSVPs, donations and so on
- Audience demographics such as gender, age, locations or languages
- Total page likes
Keep in mind that it’s important to consider which metrics are most relevant to your organisation’s goals, and be careful of metrics which may not contribute to those goals. For example, Page likes are a useful metric for organisations which need a large audience, but may not be useful for organisations looking for a highly engaged audience. Similarly, engagement is a valuable metric for measuring online interaction with campaigns, but doesn’t always contribute to conversion metrics like donations.
The insights section on your Page helps you to measure how people are interacting with your Page and posts. You can quickly see the volume and type of people who are viewing your page activity.
What are Page Insights?
The insights section on your Page helps you measure how people are interacting with your Page and posts. When you know how many people you reach, you’ll be able to post more of what they love.
When should I use Page Insights for my non-profit?
After you’ve set up your page and have at least 30 likes, the Insights section will automatically show info about the people engaging with your posts and page. Page insights let you track who’s engaging with your posts on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. After 28 days the stats are replaced so it’s good to keep a monthly record on a separate spreadsheet.
How can I use page insights for my non-profit?
- Measure how many people each of your posts reached
- Identify the posts which people are linking, commenting on and sharing to find the types of posts which resonate best with your supporters
- Learn more about your supporters, such as their gender and where they’re located, to inform your campaign strategy, content creation and targeting
- Look at metrics for other similar organisations working in your space to see what they post and what works for them
Page Insight Tools
- Overview – a snapshot of recent page activity. There’s also a Pages to Watch section, so you can see how other organisation’s like your are using their Pages
- Likes – a breakdown of total page likes and where they came from
- Reach – how many people saw your posts and how they interacted with them
- Engagement – a measure of the unique number of people who liked, commented, shared or clicked on your posts in a given time period. Engagement is an aggregate measurement of how much your post encouraged people to interact with it in some way
- Page views – how many people visited your page and what sections they’re looking at
- Actions on page – you can see what people do when they see your page information – like clicking on your website link or clicking to “get directions”
- Posts – insights on posting. You’ll see when people are online most, the types of posts they respond to and how other pages reach their supporters
- Videos – how often people have watched your videos
- People – the demographics of people who like your page
Posts on Your Page
The primary communication on Facebook happens through posts, as it’s the easiest always available way to talk to some or all of your followers. Posts can be about anything, and can include text, images, video, links and more.
Grab People’s Attention
The Facebook News Feed is designed to show people content they’re interested in. Facebook uses engagement as a way to determine whether a post is relevant to people. For example, posts that people like, comment on and share are considered more relevant, so creating posts that people relate to is key to raising awareness.
Know your Audience
Knowing your audience is essential for creating posts people will engage with. Here are ideas for creating content that is relevant to your audience:
- Make your posts timely, based on seasonal and current events
- Ask yourself whether your friends, fans and followers would share the content you’re about to post
- Think about the kind of content supporters probably want to see in New Feed before you post
- Research your target audience’s interests and talk about them in your posts
- Connect your cause to other posts people are already engaging with on Facebook
TIP: Many people view Facebook on a mobile phone, so always consider what your post will look like on a small screen. Aim to grab attention with simple, short posts. Before linking to a website, check how it looks on a phone first.
Find your Voice
Facebook is a place where people connect with friends and communicate in a personal, casual way. Oragnisations tend to succeed when they also use a conversational, authentic way. Overly formal language can feel out of place. Posts which evoke emotion often stand out in News Feed. Inspiring, solutions-orientated messages are often the most engaging.
TIP: Aim for clear, compelling brief headlines when posting a link. People prefer headline which help them decide whether to read the full article, rather than click bait or long summaries.
Facebook is a great place to humanise your organisation to supporters. People want to know what motivates your work and who the people are behind your efforts.
- Share relevant personal stories from members of your organisation which showcase their experiences
- Be honest about the ups and downs of your organisation by celebrating setbacks and reflecting on setbacks
- Post-on-the-ground stories from the field or photos of events
- Post-behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your team at work
- Have a dialogue with supporters by asking for feedback about what they love about what you do and what they’d like to see improved.
There are lots of ways to make a post eye-catching. Choose the type of post you create based on what the goal of the post is:
- Video: videos are 7 times more engaging than on other types of posts. Keep in mind a video will start automatically without sound when it appears in News Feed so try to make the first 3 – 5 seconds especially compelling.
- Images: photos and graphics can bring a post to life. Visuals can personalise your organisation and the people you serve. You can add images to a post, include them in an album or share directly to Facebook from Instagram.
- Infographics: infographics can help to communicate data and complex ideas. They make info easy to digest, which also makes them appealing to share.
- Links: if you add a link to a post, it’ll automatically create an image and large clickable area which sends people to the linked website. This instantly makes posts more visual.
TIP: You don’t have to start from scratch. Use content and visuals you already have. If it looks good in print, it’ll probably look good in News Feed. Do you photos, blog posts, videos, printed brochures, and so on you could re-purpose in Facebook posts? To use Facebook efficiently as part of your outreach strategy, re-purpose the great content you have already.
You want to create valuable, relevant content to attract, acquire and engage your audience
Basically you want to tell your story in a way that adds value to someone’s day – good examples of this is Edmonds, Fonterra
Ask yourself how I can be useful in someone’s life
- Create behind the scenes story – helps connect your organisation to your audience
- Community stories – Hero People who work in your space, or illustrates how your work is helping people’s lives
- When you are creating content keep top of mind – why you are doing what you do – this should underpin everything you do
- Organic reach – this is governed by a FB algorithm through newsfeed. This algorithm basically searches through 15,000 to 300 pieces of content within a 2 hour period to decide whether or not it is promoted ahead of other news
- Remember FB penalises overly commercial words
- Post your content in your peak audience time (you can do this by using scheduling). Peak times are generally around 7.30am and 8.00am in the morning and then grow slowly around 3.00pm, then again at 5.00pm, with its peak between 7.00pm – 8.30pm.
- Aim for two or three posts a week
Get People to Like Your Page
- Invite the people you already know
- Connect to your email contacts – you can import your email contacts and send them an invite to like it
- Word of Mouth – ask people to share your page and like your posts so that you grow your reach
- Promote your page in other places e.g. website, blog posts, adding social plugins, email, other social media networks
- Reach outside your current network using ads