Facebook FAQs

Do YOU know the answers to these top Facebook FAQs?

ActionSprout works with nonprofits of all sizes and causes across the globe. Here are the questions they most frequently asked about Facebook. Chances are they asked some of the same questions you’re dying to know the answer to, too!

Let’s dive in, shall we?

How can I increase the organic reach and engagement of my Facebook Page?

The key to increasing your organic reach and engagement is content curation. This is the practice of finding and sharing the top stories and news related to your mission on your Facebook Page—not just your own content, but also content from others that is getting lots of likes, shares and clicks. The Facebook algorithm promotes content that people engage with, and so by sharing highly engaging content, you will grow your organic reach and engagement. You can learn more about why and how to curate Facebook content here.

What is the difference between reach and engagement?

“Reach” is the number of people that saw your post in their News Feed. (Not all of your supporters see all of your posts—over 1,500 pieces of content are competing for 200–300 News Feed slots for each person each day!) They may have stopped and read your post, interacted with it by liking, sharing, clicking or commenting, or they might have scrolled right past it.

“Engagement” is when a person interacts with your post by liking, reacting, commenting, sharing, clicking or watching a video. It will always be a subset of the people that the post has “reached,” because not everyone chooses to interact with every post they see.

How can I get more people to view my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?

People do not typically visit Facebook Pages. (When was the last time you visited a Page other than your own?) Instead, people will see and engage with your content when it appears in their News Feed. Trying to get people to view your content on your Page instead of in their News Feed is fighting an uphill battle against how they naturally use Facebook. Our advice: don’t worry about your Page too much—focus instead on creating great posts that people want to engage with!

What defines a “fan,” and how exactly does Facebook calculate this?

Your Page fans are anyone who has clicked the “Like Page” button on your Facebook Page, an ad or post. Your current fan count is the number of people who have clicked this button minus those who subsequently unliked your Page by clicking it again.

Can people who haven’t liked my nonprofit’s Facebook Page (non-fans) still see our posts?

Yes! All the posts that you publish to your Facebook Page are public and viewable by anyone, regardless of whether they have liked your Page or not. The number one way that non-fans see your content is when their friends share your posts. They can also sometimes see your posts when their friends like or comment on the post, or if you used a hashtag.

Is there any way to send messages to people who have liked my Page?

Not at this time. Facebook does not allow Page managers to bulk message the people who like their Page. Alternatives include: messaging key people who like your Page individually, engaging them in conversation in the comments, or running social actions to collect the contact information of your supporters on Facebook so that you can send them emails.

How do you build relationships with people who like and comment on your posts?

Message them back, reply to their comments and like their comments on your posts! One of the best ways to build deeper relationships with your supporters on Facebook is to engage in conversation with them! Don’t leave their questions unanswered, thank them for their support, or share additional resources that they would enjoy. Liking their comments on your post shows them that you care. You can learn more about replying to comments and building relationships here.

Should I verify my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?

Yes! There is no reason not to verify your nonprofit’s Facebook Page. Verification signals trust and security to your supporters, and clears up any questions about whether the Facebook Page belongs to your organization. This verification follows your Page all over Facebook as well, including in search and comments. Here’s how to get started.

Why don’t I have a “donate now” button on my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?

To unlock this feature, your Facebook Page must be classified as a nonprofit. Here’s how to check what your current Page category is and how to change it. Once you have categorized your Page as a nonprofit, follow these instructions to set up your new donation button.

I started my nonprofit as a personal profile on Facebook. Should I switch to a Page?

Yes! Personal profiles are designed to represent real individuals and not organizations. Facebook says:

“Personal profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people. Pages look similar to personal profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations. Pages are managed by people who have personal profiles.”

Using a personal profile for anything else is against Facebook’s terms of use:

“It’s against the Facebook Terms to use your personal account to represent something other than yourself (ex: your business). If you’re using your account to represent something other than yourself, you could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Page.”

Worse, personal profiles are limited to 5,000 friends, which many nonprofits will quickly exceed. Learn how to convert your personal account to a Page.

What makes a “good” post? Should I always include an image? Should my text be a certain length? How about videos? How long should they be? Are text-only posts okay?

There are no fixed rules that define a “good” post. Ultimately, you will need to experiment and pay attention to what works on your own Page with your fans.

Here are a few loose rules of thumb to get you started:

  • Try to post the most engaging image or video that you can. Photos of people and animals tend to be highly engaging, especially if they’re looking right at you.
  • If you’re including a lot of text in your post, make sure that your most important message comes first. Otherwise, people will have to click “read more” to see it and most will miss it.
  • If think you might spend money to boost a post with an image, make sure that the image contains less than 20% text. You can check this with Facebook’s text tool.
  • When creating and uploading videos, make sure that your video grabs people’s attention in the first two seconds. Videos auto-play as they come into view, so you have just a moment to catch someone’s attention enough make them stop scrolling and watch your video. Put the most important part first to grab attention, and then work backward from there once you have it.
  • 80% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off. This means that your video must have text or captions, or be otherwise be understandable without sound.

How does the Facebook algorithm determine which of your fans receives each post?

There are three main ways that Facebook decides which of your fans they will show your post to.

  • Their relationship with your Page. If they commonly engage with your posts, they are likely to see more of them in their Feed. If they usually don’t engage when they have the chance, they will see fewer of your posts over time, and may stop seeing them altogether.
  • Have they historically shown Facebook that they are interested in the subject matter that you just posted about? If they commonly engage with posts about polar bears, and you posted a polar bear post, they are likely to receive it in their Feed.
  • Have they historically shown Facebook that they prefer the content type that you just posted? If they commonly engage with videos over other types of media, and you posted a video, they are likely to receive it in their Feed.

How often should I post to Facebook?

This will depend on when your particular audience is on Facebook. Facebook gives this data to every page manager under the Insights tab, then Posts.

I am concerned about “communications fatigue” with our audience if we post 2–3 times per day.

First of all, not all your Page fans see each of your posts. Instead, each time you post to Facebook, the algorithm decides which of your fans would most likely enjoy and engage with the post. Thus, if you post multiple times a day, you are reaching a new sub-group of your fans each time. In this way, you are increasing your overall Page reach for that day. It is safe to say that if you posted to Facebook five times in one day, no single fan would see all five posts in their Feed. Facebook is very good at protecting its users against spam like this.

How many posts per day is too many?

That will depend on your particular Page fans, your content and your issue. Many successful Pages post 10 or more times per day! Most nonprofits, however, do not have the time or resources to post that often, and that’s okay. Post as much as you can; it’s extremely unlikely that you will ever post enough to cause a problem.

What’s the difference between a mention and a hashtag?

A mention links to a person or Page. Once mentioned in a post, they will receive a notification on Facebook. Mentions are used to get someone’s attention, invite them to engage with your post, or ask for a response. Anyone who clicks on the mention will be taken to that person’s profile or Page. Learn more about mentions here.

Hashtags are used to organize large conversations on Facebook and social media at large. When someone clicks on a hashtag in a post, they see a feed of all the people and Pages talking about that subject. It’s a way to tell everyone, “I’m joining this conversation and I want this post to be a part of it.” Learn more about hashtags here.

seagull-sitting-on-pig-swimming-in-sea-1

3 Tips for Masterful Facebook Videos (Plus a Little More!)

If you’ve noticed lately, video has become a bigger and bigger feature on Facebook. That’s because video grabs your attention better than images and certainly better than text. Your Facebook videos don’t need to be long and expensive productions; in fact, they often do better when they aren’t.

So what makes a video great? Or shareable? It’s pretty simple really… there are three things you need to do:

1. Inspire Viewers

This is a great place to get your viewers excited about the great work that you do or about the need for the organization/campaign. Video is the greatest way to tell a story and create the emotional involvement needed to engage people in a real way. This is also a great opportunity to give some advice or to challenge people to do what they can in their lives and their communities.

Even better is if you can challenge them through the message itself, like Will Smith does in this short clip. (But you don’t need celebrity status to be successful at it.)

2. Educate Your Audience

People love to learn new things, especially when it’s something fun, interesting and there isn’t a quiz at the end. What matters is that the user is learning something in a simple and relatable way. Surely you’ve seen the recipe videos floating around on Facebook; if not, you should—they are awesome! These videos are a great example of educational content that nonprofits should be creating and posting.

Watch this and think about a few things as we drool over this tasty video. Even though there’s sound in the video, there’s no need for it, as most people don’t listen to the sound because they watch the auto-play on Facebook. It’s quick, easy to follow and entertaining, with great subject matter (and nonprofits have truckloads of great subject matter).

3. Be Entertaining

How-to-Capture-Facebook-Videos-1

First, the first two seconds of the video need to capture the viewer’s attention.

Second, you need to upload it to Facebook, not drop in a link from YouTube. Why? Because of auto-play. A video uploaded to Facebook will auto-play so that the viewer doesn’t need to do anything.

Third, and we can’t stress this enough, tell a story. Stories are the most powerful way to connect with people. Just check out this video from BuzzFeed. They just showed up at an event (probably asked permission first) and started shooting. It tells a story; it’s entertaining and inspiring; and it teaches us a simple lesson: “Don’t stand up your grandpa.”

That’s it. Just keep it simple: inspire your audience, educate them and don’t be boring. Most of all, have fun.

Bonus Tips

Create a playlist

Playlists are an easy way to group videos that have a theme. Viewers will often binge on playlists until they get bored or run out of videos. Once you’ve created a few great videos, string them together with a playlist.

Boost it

Boosting a video is an awesome and often cheap way to make a splash on Facebook. Keep your goals in mind though. Boosting a video is great for awareness, reach and engagement, not conversions. Image posts are better if you want people to click through.

Use 360 video

facebook_videos_360_ios_android_0

Two things we can say for sure. Nearly 90% of all videos on Facebook are viewed on mobile, and fans love being a part of the action. 360 video covers both. It gives the viewer an immersive experience and is strictly for mobile devices. For this one, you’ll need to buy a special camera (they’re as low as $400 and coming down). The uploads are often very easy with little to no processing required. Imagine taking your fans on a walk through the community that you serve, through the forest that you protect, or to visit the animals that you’ve saved. Now that’s awesome.

Watch the data

facebook_Videos_Metrics_(1)

Facebook allows you to see when people stop watching the video. There will always be a drop at the beginning because people are just scrolling by. But pay attention to big drops later in the video. If viewers drop off in the first few seconds, then the video wasn’t catchy enough. If they drop later, they may have gotten bored, gotten the point of the video, or seen the ending to the story and didn’t feel the need to continue. One more reason to learn how to tell great stories.

donation pig

Get Started Fundraising on Facebook

Now is a really exciting time for fundraising on Facebook! Historically fundraisers and donation appeals fell flat on the platform. Sure some nonprofits found success, but most did not or if they did it was very limited. But now that is all changing!

Over the last year we have seen a remarkable increase in the amount of people who are now comfortable donating on Facebook. This number is rapidly increasing and it’s important for you to understand how to make Facebook fundraising work for your nonprofit.

It’s important to note two things that are critical to this success:

  • First the donation experience has to be mobile optimized, which means people can complete it quickly with only a few taps and that it looks amazing on a small screen.
  • Second it has to be shareable because people are donating inside the Facebook context, they want to be seen supporting your organization.

Since this is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive in our webinars and through our live chat, we thought we would put together a quick guide on how to get started in just a few minutes. This guide will walk you through how to create the most optimized donation page available today plus how to set up your own “donate now” button on Facebook.

Let’s get started!

A few house keeping points before we start

If your nonprofit has a Facebok page you’re going to want to make sure you have your Donate Now button configured correctly so you can provide you donors with the best experience.

To setup your Donate Now button you will need two things an ActionSprout account and a Stripe payment account. If you’re a 501(c)3 we have a special deal from Stripe just for ActionSprout users, you’ll get $15k in donations fee free and then only 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.

Let’s start with setting up an ActionSprout account.

Step 1: Your ActionSprout account

Log in or Sign up for ActionSprout, then add your nonprofit’s Facebook page.

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If you have any issues, don’t hesitate to chat with us on the ActionSprout website, or send us an email at info@actionspout.com.

Step 2: Connecting Stripe and ActionSprout

Open your ActionSprout account. Click the Settings tab, then Integrations

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Scroll down to Stripe and click Connect Stripe.

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Follow the steps on the resulting window to connect your Stripe account with ActionSprout.

If you don’t have an account with Stripe yet, you can create one now.

You’re going to need:

  • Your nonprofit’s legal name
  • TaxID/EIN
  • Bank account and routing numbers

If you have any questions contact Stripe’s customer support.

Step 3: Create your donation appeal

Inside of ActionSprout click on the large Actions tab at the top and then the green Create Action button:

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This will open a right hand menu. From this menu select Donate:

From here you will be dropped into the donation action creation screen. Use our best practices guide to help you fill in the basics:

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Make sure your donation appeal is something you can leave up for a while as your main donation button on Facebook. Otherwise, if it’s too time-sensitive, you’ll need to replace it with a new one often.

Once done, scroll to the bottom to configure your donation buttons:

donation amounts- wrapped

This is what will be displayed to your potential donors:

donation action on phone

Once you’re happy with your donation action hit save.

Step 4: Configure Donate button on Facebook page

The final stretch! We just have to drop this new donation page into the Donate now button at the top of your nonprofit’s Facebook page.

To do so, click the green Share button on your donation action. Inside this sharing menu scroll to the bottom and find the Make this your page’s primary call-to-action button section. Click the set as button and you’re done:

cta in share drawer

Now you can test your button! Log into Facebook and navigate to your page. Click on your new button and choose the test option:

test cta on facebook- wrapped

If all checks out, you’re done! Any donations that come through this button can be accessed through your Stripe account.

Have any questions about raising donations on Facebook? Feel free to reach out! We’re always happy to help.

Facebook faqs

Top 16 Facebook FAQs from the Nonprofit Sector

ActionSprout works with nonprofits of all sizes and causes across the globe. Here are the questions they most frequently asked about Facebook. Chances are they asked some of the same questions you’re dying to know the answer to, too!

Let’s dive in, shall we?

How can I increase the organic reach and engagement of my Facebook Page?

The key to increasing your organic reach and engagement is content curation. This is the practice of finding and sharing the top stories and news related to your mission on your Facebook Page—not just your own content, but also content from others that is getting lots of likes, shares and clicks. The Facebook algorithm promotes content that people engage with, and so by sharing highly engaging content, you will grow your organic reach and engagement. You can learn more about why and how to curate Facebook content here.

What is the difference between reach and engagement?

“Reach” is the number of people that saw your post in their News Feed. (Not all of your supporters see all of your posts—over 1,500 pieces of content are competing for 200–300 News Feed slots for each person each day!) They may have stopped and read your post, interacted with it by liking, sharing, clicking or commenting, or they might have scrolled right past it.

“Engagement” is when a person interacts with your post by liking, reacting, commenting, sharing, clicking or watching a video. It will always be a subset of the people that the post has “reached,” because not everyone chooses to interact with every post they see.

How can I get more people to view my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?

People do not typically visit Facebook Pages. (When was the last time you visited a Page other than your own?) Instead, people will see and engage with your content when it appears in their News Feed. Trying to get people to view your content on your Page instead of in their News Feed is fighting an uphill battle against how they naturally use Facebook. Our advice: don’t worry about your Page too much—focus instead on creating great posts that people want to engage with!

What defines a “fan,” and how exactly does Facebook calculate this?

Your Page fans are anyone who has clicked the “Like Page” button on your Facebook Page, an ad or post. Your current fan count is the number of people who have clicked this button minus those who subsequently unliked your Page by clicking it again.

Can people who haven’t liked my nonprofit’s Facebook Page (non-fans) still see our posts?

Yes! All the posts that you publish to your Facebook Page are public and viewable by anyone, regardless of whether they have liked your Page or not. The number one way that non-fans see your content is when their friends share your posts. They can also sometimes see your posts when their friends like or comment on the post, or if you used a hashtag.

Is there any way to send messages to people who have liked my Page?

Not at this time. Facebook does not allow Page managers to bulk message the people who like their Page. Alternatives include: messaging key people who like your Page individually, engaging them in conversation in the comments, or running social actions to collect the contact information of your supporters on Facebook so that you can send them emails.

How do you build relationships with people who like and comment on your posts?

Message them back, reply to their comments and like their comments on your posts! One of the best ways to build deeper relationships with your supporters on Facebook is to engage in conversation with them! Don’t leave their questions unanswered, thank them for their support, or share additional resources that they would enjoy. Liking their comments on your post shows them that you care. You can learn more about replying to comments and building relationships here.

Should I verify my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?

Yes! There is no reason not to verify your nonprofit’s Facebook Page. Verification signals trust and security to your supporters, and clears up any questions about whether the Facebook Page belongs to your organization. This verification follows your Page all over Facebook as well, including in search and comments. Here’s how to get started.

Why don’t I have a “donate now” button on my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?

To unlock this feature, your Facebook Page must be classified as a nonprofit. Here’s how to check what your current Page category is and how to change it. Once you have categorized your Page as a nonprofit, follow these instructions to set up your new donation button.

I started my nonprofit as a personal profile on Facebook. Should I switch to a Page?

Yes! Personal profiles are designed to represent real individuals and not organizations. Facebook says:

“Personal profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people. Pages look similar to personal profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations. Pages are managed by people who have personal profiles.”

Using a personal profile for anything else is against Facebook’s terms of use:

“It’s against the Facebook Terms to use your personal account to represent something other than yourself (ex: your business). If you’re using your account to represent something other than yourself, you could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Page.”

Worse, personal profiles are limited to 5,000 friends, which many nonprofits will quickly exceed. Learn how to convert your personal account to a Page.

What makes a “good” post? Should I always include an image? Should my text be a certain length? How about videos? How long should they be? Are text-only posts okay?

There are no fixed rules that define a “good” post. Ultimately, you will need to experiment and pay attention to what works on your own Page with your fans.

Here are a few loose rules of thumb to get you started:

  • Try to post the most engaging image or video that you can. Photos of people and animals tend to be highly engaging, especially if they’re looking right at you.
  • If you’re including a lot of text in your post, make sure that your most important message comes first. Otherwise, people will have to click “read more” to see it and most will miss it.
  • If think you might spend money to boost a post with an image, make sure that the image contains less than 20% text. You can check this with Facebook’s text tool.
  • When creating and uploading videos, make sure that your video grabs people’s attention in the first two seconds. Videos auto-play as they come into view, so you have just a moment to catch someone’s attention enough make them stop scrolling and watch your video. Put the most important part first to grab attention, and then work backward from there once you have it.
  • 80% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off. This means that your video must have text or captions, or be otherwise be understandable without sound.

How does the Facebook algorithm determine which of your fans receives each post?

There are three main ways that Facebook decides which of your fans they will show your post to.

  • Their relationship with your Page. If they commonly engage with your posts, they are likely to see more of them in their Feed. If they usually don’t engage when they have the chance, they will see fewer of your posts over time, and may stop seeing them altogether.
  • Have they historically shown Facebook that they are interested in the subject matter that you just posted about? If they commonly engage with posts about polar bears, and you posted a polar bear post, they are likely to receive it in their Feed.
  • Have they historically shown Facebook that they prefer the content type that you just posted? If they commonly engage with videos over other types of media, and you posted a video, they are likely to receive it in their Feed.

How often should I post to Facebook?

This will depend on when your particular audience is on Facebook. Facebook gives this data to every page manager under the Insights tab, then Posts.

I am concerned about “communications fatigue” with our audience if we post 2–3 times per day.

First of all, not all your Page fans see each of your posts. Instead, each time you post to Facebook, the algorithm decides which of your fans would most likely enjoy and engage with the post. Thus, if you post multiple times a day, you are reaching a new sub-group of your fans each time. In this way, you are increasing your overall Page reach for that day. It is safe to say that if you posted to Facebook five times in one day, no single fan would see all five posts in their Feed. Facebook is very good at protecting its users against spam like this.

How many posts per day is too many?

That will depend on your particular Page fans, your content and your issue. Many successful Pages post 10 or more times per day! Most nonprofits, however, do not have the time or resources to post that often, and that’s okay. Post as much as you can; it’s extremely unlikely that you will ever post enough to cause a problem.

What’s the difference between a mention and a hashtag?

A mention links to a person or Page. Once mentioned in a post, they will receive a notification on Facebook. Mentions are used to get someone’s attention, invite them to engage with your post, or ask for a response. Anyone who clicks on the mention will be taken to that person’s profile or Page. Learn more about mentions here.

Hashtags are used to organize large conversations on Facebook and social media at large. When someone clicks on a hashtag in a post, they see a feed of all the people and Pages talking about that subject. It’s a way to tell everyone, “I’m joining this conversation and I want this post to be a part of it.” Learn more about hashtags here.

Supporter management

Supporter management on Facebook just got better!

What is the foundation of your Facebook page made of? It’s not a trick question. Your page is made up of people!

The problem with your Facebook page can also be people. They’re a bit of a double edged sword! You want to grow your following on Facebook, but once you do so, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.

Who are my supporters on Facebook these days? I’ve completely lost track! It’s hard to keep up with the comments and messages and know who I’m talking to. Who are my donors? Who are my volunteers? Who are my most active supporters?

Don’t feel bad! This happens to all Facebook pages as they grow. That’s why at ActionSprout, we’ve been hard at work on features and tools that make managing and knowing who your supporters are a bit easier.

Supporter Tagging

Tag anyone in your ActionSprout account with unique, custom tags. This tag follows the supporter throughout ActionSprout and your data exports. Now, no matter where you view the supporter, you’ll have an idea about who they are based on their tag(s).

You’ll always know if a person interacting with your page needs a follow up, further engagement, or possibly needs to be blocked (in the case of online trolls).

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 1.19.32 PM

Why would you use People Tags? The reasons are almost unlimited. Here are just a few ideas about who to tag to get you started:

  • Your donors
  • Your volunteers
  • Any known trolls or troublemakers
  • Your employees
  • Known influencers
  • Active Facebook fans
  • MVPs
  • Celebrities for your cause

Engagement Level

We know what you’re probably thinking: “Supporter tags are awesome…but what if I don’t know who they are to tag them in the first place? Then what?”

The answer: Engagement level.

Everyone in your ActionSprout account is given an Engagement Level score based on their interactions with your page on Facebook. Based on these scores, you’ll be able to tease out who your MVPs are, who needs further engagement and who’s almost there.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 1

The higher the score the more passionate and connected to your cause they are.

Engagement Scores are a weighted sum of your supporters likes, comments, actions completed and donations given. The weights are as follows:

  • Likes X 1
  • Comments X 5
  • Actions completed X 20
  • Donation amount given X 5

Thus someone who likes a lot of your posts may still have a lower score than someone who has donated to or taken action for your cause.

While not bulletproof, this score will give you a pretty good idea of who your supporters might be.

Existing supporter profiles

These two new pieces of information are added to the existing supporter profiles already inside your ActionSprout account. As you know, these profiles continue to grow in richness as your supporters continue to engage with you on Facebook.

Like we said at the top, your people are the core and foundation of your mission. At ActionSprout, we’ll always be working to give you the best possible tools to make reaching, engaging and growing your relationship with these people the best experience it can be.

facebook live

Facebook Live and the New Discovery Tab

Facebook is pushing hard to become the leader in online video. If you haven’t noticed, Facebook launched live streaming not long ago and there have been a lot more videos in the News Feed. Now they’re stepping it up once again—and it’s great news for nonprofits.

Live for Groups and Events

Facebook rolled out the ability to go live in Facebook Groups and Facebook Events. You can chat live in your nonprofit group, take your whole team along to a conference or event, or give a presentation.

Live video in Events means that you can go live from your fundraiser or work party to allow those that can’t make it to join in the fun. Giving a presentation? Go live backstage to the people to give the audience a sneak peak. You can even use Events to schedule a live Q&A session or to host a meeting.

Live Reactions, Replay Comments, Live Filters

Live Reactions make it easy for your viewers to express their feelings during the broadcast; think of it like reading to a live audience, because you are. Using the same reactions that Facebook launched in the News Feed, viewers can express Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry, and the reactions are animated right on the video. Live Reactions appear in real time and then disappear so that broadcasters and viewers can weigh in on the topic—it’s like hearing the crowd’s cheer. When one of your friends reacts to your broadcast, or one that you’re both watching together, you’ll see their profile pic and a little starburst before their reaction appears.

Live video on Facebook allows broadcasters to engage with their commenters and respond to suggestions and questions. Facebook has seen that people comment over 10 times more on Facebook live videos than on regular videos.

Facebook-live-creative-tools-ios

Facebook also launched Live Filters to allow broadcasters to personalize their video. And, coming soon is the ability to draw or doodle on your video while live.

Discover live videos: Invite Friends, Live Video Destination and Live Map.

facebook-live-invite-friends-android1

Now this is the bee’s knees for nonprofits. Facebook has also added the option to send invitations to friends to watch with you, right from the live video. Tap on the invite icon, select a friend and they’ll receive a push notification.

facebook-live-video-home-ios1

Finally, Facebook is starting to roll out a dedicated place on Facebook mobile where you can discover live videos that the world is talking about, live videos from the friends and creators that interest you, and—this is the big one—live videos on topics that you’re interested in. From there, you can also search live and on-demand videos, or go live yourself.

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But wait—there’s more!

The Facebook Live Map

The Facebook Live Map (on desktop) lets you find video from 60 countries around the world.

Oh wait, there’s even more!

New live video metrics

Facebook also launched new metrics for Pages sharing live video. Now you can understand how long it takes people to tune in to a broadcast, how many viewers a broadcast has (at its peak), how many viewers stay and watch the whole show, when people drop off, and the total number of unique people who watched the video while it was live. You can also see a visual representation of viewers over time during the live broadcast.

Whew… that’s a lot.

Watch Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, go live to answer questions about what’s new with live video:

facebook for nonprofits

Facebook for nonprofits: your need to know takeaways

Facebook launched a new website that’s focused on the nonprofit community. Facebook for Nonprofits is yet another resource aimed at nonprofits in the last year and is already proving to be a valuable resource for the community. The materials range in breadth and scope, and cover topics from fundraising to optimizing your Facebook Page.

This site is definitely something you’ll want to bookmark and reference in the coming year as you plan for campaigns, events and fundraising. It is broken into four easy-to-navigate sections: Getting Started, Raise Awareness, Activate Supporters and Raise Funds.

For now, let’s look at the top takeaways shared in each of the sections.

Getting Started

Takeaway #1: You can categorize your Page into sub-categories like Non-Profit Organization, NGO, Education or Political Organization.

While Page categories are first chosen when your page is created, it’s also possible to change them later.

Choosing the right Page category might seem insignificant, but it’s actually pretty important for your success on the platform. Having the correct Page category means having access to the right Page features and tools. For example, only Pages under the nonprofit category have access to the donation call-to-action button. (This appears on page and in ads)

It’s also a good idea to have the right Page category when reaching new supporters. You have one first impression with new supporters. If your Page isn’t accurate or well thought-out it can be off putting to supporters. At best, they’ll leave confused; at worst, they may leave thinking poorly of your organization.

Takeaway #2: Pages can celebrate milestones just like personal profiles.

This feature is a bit of a hidden gem that not too many Pages take advantage of. It’s a great way to celebrate a signed bill, a passed law, the opening of a new building or a big fundraising goal met.

Plus, once you have a few milestones created, this feature begins to be its own timeline of your organization’s success. How cool is that?

Takeaway #3: You can import your mailing list and invite them to like your Facebook Page.

Most nonprofits have a supporter list of some sort. Whether it’s your list of donors, volunteers or newsletter subscribers, this feature is especially powerful for newer Facebook Pages that are just starting out. This is one of the best ways to “transfer” that hard-earned list of supporters to this new piece of real estate.

Raise Awareness

Takeaway #1: A conversational, impersonal tone will win out over a formal, calculated one.

Practicing this style and tone will encourage more supporters to engage with your content and thus increase your overall reach:

“Facebook is a place where people connect with friends and communicate in a personal, casual way. Organizations tend to succeed when they also use a conversational, authentic style. Overly formal language can feel out of place. When writing a message, whether it’s funny or serious, think about how you’d write it to a friend.”

Takeaway #2: Many supporters view Facebook on a mobile device.

This means that your posts and content must be engaging and compatible on a small screen. If not, you’ll be missing out on a large section of your audience:

“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.”

Takeaway #3: You can send posts to a subset of your audience.

Before you click the Publish button on a post, did you know that you could choose who in your audience will receive your post? This is a powerful way to further personalize and speak to your audience.

You’ll be able to select a specific target of people who like your Page by age, gender, location, language or interests.

Takeaway #4: If you have the content and resources, post every day.

The number one way to reach and engage more of your supporters on Facebook is to post more often. This means posting two to three times a day if you can.

“If you’re new to creating content for social media, aim for a post 2–3 times per week. Eventually, you’ll want to post daily to maintain a presence in your followers’ News Feeds.”

An easy way to jumpstart your increased posting is to monitor and share content from Inspiration.

Activate Supporters

Takeaway #1: If you want supporters to take an action, don’t bury your ask.

In English class, we were taught to craft elegant prose. We were trained to spin pages of logic and framing before presenting that killer idea. Take all that and flip it on its head. State your purpose and ask up front, then spin your prose and reasoning second.

“Don’t hide the call to action. Provide appropriate context for people to understand why they should act, but make sure the request for action is prominent.”

Takeaway #2: Encourage event attendees to talk about and share the event on Facebook.

It’s time to blur the line between the “digital world” and the “physical world.” Use Facebook to invite supporters to your real-world event and then encourage them to live post about the event while it happens to further engage the digital supporters who couldn’t make it.

Creating a strong link between your digital campaigns and physical campaigns will help boost each. Don’t keep them in separate silos.

Takeaway #3: Provide your online supporters with action kits.

Want volunteers to help you online? They’ll need some resources:

“Invite supporters to coordinate an event or activity on your organization’s behalf. To help manage your brand and reputation, provide action kits that supporters can use to make sure their activities are aligned with your goals. Include things someone would need to host an activity, like t-shirt graphics, printable brochures, promotional posters, gifts and more. Include instructions that explain how to use your action kit to create impact.

If cost of creating and shipping physical items is a concern, consider creating a digital action kit. You can use a file sharing service to upload resources and share the link on your organization’s Page or event.”

Raise Funds

Takeaway #1: When fundraising, show progress and impact.

How far are you from your goals? Is there a progress bar that supporters can reference? What impact do you hope this money will bring? What impact has your organization had in the past?

“You can use your Facebook Page to share both stories and statistics about how previous donations have helped your organization create impact. This helps people envision the value of their potential contributions.”

Answering these questions will also encourage supporters to stay engaged with the campaign and share it with their own networks. (All ActionSprout actions come with the ability to turn on a goal bar.)

Takeaway #2: Suggest a donation amount up front.

Allowing donors to select a default amount to donate can increase the overall number of donations you receive. Most—if not all—donation tools offer this option, so take advantage of it.

“Suggesting a few amounts people can contribute makes their decision to donate easier and removes one of the barriers to completing a donation. Consider your audience and the scope of your campaign when deciding on amounts to suggest.”

Takeaway #3: Your donation ask must feel urgent.

What will make your potential donors stop scrolling and pay attention? Once you have their attention, what will convince them to donate? If they feel like they can come back and donate whenever you’ve lost them, they will not come back. Instead, you must convey why they must make a donation now.

“You only have people’s attention for a few moments, so make the most of your time by being clear and inspiring a sense of urgency.”

While the strategies above are important, you’ll want to take the time to read through the website on your own. Facebook’s done an amazing job of compiling how nonprofits can best take advantage of what Facebook has to offer.

Following the listed strategies in each area of your Facebook Page and strategy will undoubtedly boost the overall performance of your organization’s FB Page.

invite_to_page_via_post

Powerful New Way to Ask for Facebook Likes

3/17/2015 Update: ActionSprout now offers the ability to invite people to like your page who have liked a post. For full written steps click here.

Facebook quietly released a powerful new feature you should be aware of: a new to ask for Facebook likes. You now have the ability to invite people who have liked your Page post(s) to like your actual Facebook Page.

To access this feature, first find a post that has more than two or three likes on it. Click on the number of likes on this post. (This is the x number of others who have liked the post.)

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This will bring up the following screen.

facebook likes

As we can see in the example, Nicole has already liked the Page but Nathan has not. Clicking on the invite button next to Nathan will send him an invite to like your Page.

Now Nathan will receive a notification on Facebook asking him to like the Page:

When he clicks on this notification message, he will be taken to the Page.

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Note: This invite will either come from the page itself or your personal profile. If you are friends with the person you are inviting it will come from your personal profile, as you can see in the example above. If you are not Facebook friends with the person it will come from the page itself, like in the example below.

from-page

So why is this so powerful, you ask?

First, this person has expressed interest in your cause. They saw a friend’s post that shared your content and they engaged with it because they liked it too. This is an engaged supporter that you want in your Facebook community.

Second, it shows this person that you and your organization are human. This is a great way to break the ice with new supporters and personally invite them to your cause.

Third, it’s quick and free to do! We receive emails from folks all the time asking how to set up Facebook ads to earn new Page likes. While this isn’t necessarily a bad idea, it will cost you. By using this new feature, you can reach out to people who have already liked your content and can do so in a very personal way.

So, what exactly is your Page gaining from these new Page likes?

By reaching out to folks who are already engaged with your cause, you are building a solid supporter community on Facebook. This will cause the reach and engagement of your Page to increase over time and allow you to get your message and content in front of more people.

facebookvideo

The secret to Facebook videos

Videos are one of the fastest growing media types on Facebook, with over 100 million hours of video watched each day. Simply put, native videos should be an essential part of any Facebook pages content strategy.

But just posting a video will not guarantee success; far from it. In fact, most of the videos that you have seen or even created in the past will not work well on Facebook.

The reason for this is that there are two distinct differences between how people consume videos on Facebook vs others platforms such as YouTube or even your website.

Sound off

88% of all videos are watched without sound on Facebook! On Facebook, videos begin playing right away without sound as soon as it appears on the user’s newsfeed. Unlike other channels, the user has to actually take action to turn on the sound for you video. This means that if your video is not powerful and effective without sound, it is being missed by nearly 90% of the people who see it.

On top of that many people browsing Facebook are in a situation where it isn’t appropriate to to turn the sound on. They are at work, sitting with a sleeping child or on the train to work.

Therefore, your video must provide a powerful viewing experience with no sound. There are different strategies for doing this, but the easiest is often just to make sure anything that is spoken is also displayed as captions. You can use SRT files but ideally, these captions are added directly to the video file itself.

This video from AJ+ is a great example of using easy to read captions

Auto-play

You have 2 seconds to grab your views attention! Because Facebook videos auto-play it’s essential to focus on quality from the first frame. If you don’t grab them in the first 2 second, you have lost them forever. So never bury the lead! Don’t be the one to create a video that starts too slowly or doesn’t lead with the punchline.

This video from Good is a great example of optimizing for auto play to get people’s attention quickly

It may help to think of Facebook videos as moving pictures, harkening back to the silent picture days. But unlike sitting in a theatre watching Charlie Chaplin, your videos need to hold people’s attention even when they are watching on their mobile devices in a place where they simply can’t turn on the sound without disrupting the peace.