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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

3 Facebook Policies YOU Need to Know About

I think it’s safe to say we have all broken one of Facebook’s policies whether small or large at some point. We have had to jump through Facebook’s hoops to unlock our page or profile and receive the good graces of Facebook once again.

The problem is we didn’t know about the policy in the first place. We’re just attempting to keep up with Facebook’s changes and are doing the best we can. We’re a nonprofit for gosh-sakes! We aren’t trying to hurt anyone.

The problem is Facebook is a huge company. They don’t have the time to tease out who’s who, good intentions and honest mistakes. Facebook will work with you to right wrongs and clear up misunderstandings but it can take a while and in the meantime you’re down for the count.

This piece will flush out the top three Facebook policies you need to know about to prevent unnecessary pain and frustration.

Fake Profiles

The policy:

Facebook does its best to shut down fake profiles according to section four of its terms of use:

“Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:

  • You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission
  • You will not create more than one personal account.”
  • Common mistakes:

    Nonprofits most commonly break this rule when they create a special profile to access their organization’s page or ad account through. This profile and its login information are then shared with the rest of the team to give people access to the page.

    Results:

    If Facebook closes your fake profile, you can lose access to your organization’s Facebook page as well as well as any ad accounts tied to this profile. This is especially true if the fake profile was the only “user” on the page or ad account. This means you can lose access to any ad credits or ads data inside the account.

    Solution:

    Don’t create or use a shared profile to access your organization’s page(s) or ad account(s). Beyond the consequences above there are numerous security concerns with this method.

    Instead, simply add your teammate’s personal profiles to the page(s) and ad account(s). This is how Facebook wants you to give permission to different accounts and how the platform is designed to work.

    Do note: personal profiles that have access to a Facebook page are not publicly linked to the page in any way.

    How to add someone to a Facebook page.

    How to add someone to a Facebook ad account.

    Another option is to use Facebook Business Manager to manage your organization’s page and ad account. Again you will be giving access to individual users not shared profiles.

    Changing your Page Name

    The policy

    Facebook doesn’t freely allow page managers to change their page’s name once established.

    Facebook doesn’t want a page to gain a number of likes under one name and then change the name of the page to something else. This can lead to user confusion, situations of bait and switch and fraud.

    Once a page has over 200 likes all page name changes are by request only. You may only change the name of your page once. After that initial change, you will need to appeal directly to Facebook for any addition page name changes.

    facebook page change

    Common Mistakes

    Most commonly nonprofits run into this issue when making small changes to their organization’s page name for clarity. They’ll make these changes not realizing there are limits and request processes to change a page’s name.

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    Results

    Your page’s name can be locked down and inaccessible to you.

    Solution

    Knowledge is king! Know that changing your page’s name is no small matter and you only have one easy shot at it. Think it through and make it count!

    20% text rule

    The policy:

    Facebook only allows ad images to contain 20% text.

    “Ads that have more than 20% of text in their image won’t be approved to run on Facebook or Instagram. Too much text can look like spam and make people think that your ad is low quality. Make sure to use the headline and body of your ad to tell people more about why you’re advertising and what you want them to do.”

    Common Mistakes:

    Submitting ad images that contain more than 20% text.

    The Results:

    The ad is not approved. (In some cases the ad will be approved for a short time and then pulled)

    The Solution:

    Use a grid tool checker to check all your ad images before your submit them for review. This extra step will save you time, effort and frustration over rejected ads.

    Learn more about the 20% text rule and how to stay within it.

    Links to relevant documents:

    We strongly suggestion that you bookmark the following links or keep them someplace handy. There are many more policies we did not cover in this piece you will need to know. Again knowledge is power. The more you know, the less likely you are to mistakenly violate one of Facebook’s policies.

    Community guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards

    Page guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

    Advertising policies: https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/

    Facebook terms upon sign up: https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms

    Why sharing trending stories is a must for your nonprofit

    On July 28th the story of Cecil the Lion started to trend on social media. It wasn’t long before the hash tag #CecilTheLion had topped the list on Twitter trends.

    In case you missed the story, Cecil was a protected lion killed for sport by a now hated American dentist, Dr. Walter Palmer, who is believed to have paid about $55,000 for the privilege. Cecil the lion was one of the most beloved and famous animals in Zimbabwe’s national parks.

    Quickly Dr. Palmer was wanted by Zimbabwe officials and became the most hated man on the internet. The people were demanding justice.

    Daily Kos saw the story and quickly spun up an ActionSprout call to action demanding the justice supporters so desperately desired.

    The results were amazing. 

    Within five hours of posting the action on Facebook they were nearing 16,000 actions completed.

    When the dust settled two days later Daily Kos had earned over 70,000 signatures.

    daily kos metrics

    Daily Kos’ Engagement rates were through the roof!

    • 41% of viewers completed the action
    • 90% of folks who engaged with the post (liked, commented or shared) went on to complete it
    • 6.2% of all impressions lead to action completions
    • 63.5% of their reach was viral

    At one point, 857 people were on at once signing the petition!

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    What made this action about Cecil the Lion so successful?

    It was based on a trending topic. 

    Trending topics and breaking news always perform well as actions. It’s a good idea to keep your eye open for stories that apply to your cause.

    It was a trending topic people were passionate about. 

    Passionate is an understatement when it comes to Cecil the lion. A group of supporters on Twitter were asking for blood at one point. People were fired up about Cecil.

    Daily Kos used a mobile optimized action.

    Daily Kos used a mobile optimized action. As you can see the majority of action takers were doing so from a mobile device. More and more supporters are accessing Facebook content and petitions from their mobile devices.

    What does this mean at the end of the day?

    You may be thinking “Sure this is interesting, but how can this help my nonprofit?”

    When supporters completed Daily Kos’s action they opted into their mailing list. In five hours time Daily Kos had added almost 20,000 supporter email address to their mailing list. These supporters knowingly opted into their mailing list in support of Cecil and Daily Kos at large.

    So what could a trending action do for your nonprofit? A lot- potentially thousands of new email address.

    Want to take advantage of trending actions for your cause? Learn more about ActionSprout and get started for free. 

    Facebook trending

    Facebook Trending: What It Means for Your Cause

    The Facebook Trending Feature was launched for all users in January 2014. Similar to Twitter’s Trends feature, Trending lists the topics and hashtags that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook. Clicking on a trending topic will show you more content on that subject. Facebook organizes this content into five categories.

    1. Articles shows you how news organizations are covering the story
    2. In the Story shows you posts from people who are part of the story
    3. Friends and Groups shows you what people in your network are saying
    4. Near the Scene shows you posts from people near where the story is unfolding
    5. Live Feed shows you a real-time stream of reactions from people around the world

    Only public posts and posts from your network (like updates from friends or groups that you belong to) will be shown in trending.

    How does Facebook determine what topics are trending?

    According to Facebook:

    “The list [of Trending topics] is personalized to show you relevant stories based on a number of factors, including

    1. Pages you’ve liked
    2. Your location
    3. What’s trending across Facebook.

    For each trend, posts from verified sources or from people or Pages that you’re connected to will appear higher in the trending feed.”

    Facebook Trending on Andriod

    Recently the Trending feature was expanded to Andriod users in the US. Service for iOS and other countries is reportedly on the way.

    The mobile version follows all the same rules as desktop and has full functionality.

    Facebook trending

    How do I use Facebook Trending for my cause?

    There are a few ways you can leverage Trending for your cause. All three strategies listed below have the power to increase the reach and engagement your content enjoys on Facebook.

    1. Generate content ideas

    The Trending feature can give you great insight into what people are talking about and what they’re interest in. With this one go beyond simply what is trending and look at what kinds of content are trending. In other words look for patterns. Are there subjects or themes that seem to keep trending over time? Is it usually news stories or videos? Finding these patterns and using them can work to your advantage. This could give you a better idea of what content resonates best with Facebook users empowering you to reach and engage more people.

    2. Join the Conversation

    Share trending content that matters to your organization and ask your audience for their thoughts. If a subject is already being talked about, why not bring that conversation to your page? This is likely to increase your page’s reach and audience engagement. It could also connect your audience to each other, strengthening your supporter’s network. When doing so pay attention to what hashtags are being used around the topic and be sure to use the right ones. Hashtags connect your post to the larger conversation.

    3. Use Trending Content in your Actions

    Actions on trending topics and current events trend to perform really well, reaching and engaging a greater number of people. If you notice a trending topic that relates to your cause be sure to create an action around it. This strategy is the most time sensitive of the three. To get the most bang for your buck try to create and post the action as soon as possible as trends could come and go within a day or two.

    Facebook Engagement Spikes Around Government Shutdown

    Facebook and social media are abuzz concerning the United States Government shutdown. At times like this, with elected officials in Washington DC failing miserably, it doesn’t matter what your political leanings are we all feel frustrated and powerless.

    The ActionSprout team is excited to see organizations step in and provide supporters on Facebook with simple ways to use their voices and urge Congress to end its reckless behavior.

    We’re following how our community and others use Facebook in response to the government shutdown, and we’re amazed by the level of engagement many of these posts and ActionSprout actions have received.

    • Organizations are seeing posts related to the shutdown performing in the top 10% of all posts.
    • Conversion rates for people that engage with those posts then go on to complete an ActionSprout powered “Tell Congress…” action are upwards of 30%!
    • One organization that posted about the shutdown had 2500 people engage by clicking Like or leaving a comment.
    • Of these 2500, 585 went on to complete an action to “Tell Congress to GetBack To Work for Americans,” thus growing their email list with 585 new Facebook generated email addresses.

    Bottom line if you’re not posting about the government shutdown and asking people to take action on Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

    Here’s a few inspirational examples from pages using ActionSprout as part of their Facebook efforts.

    The League of Conservation Voters

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    The Sierra Club

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    The Trisomy 18 Foundation

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    The Democratic Governors Association

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    The National Parks Conservation Association

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    The great part about ActionSprout is that it takes just seconds to spin up the action you want people to take and add it as a call to action (CTA) on a new post…

    …or you can add it to a re-used piece of content that already says it all.