Facebook posting

Why your nonprofit needs a daily Facebook posting goal

Do you have a daily Facebook posting goal? If not, you should. Keeping a daily posting goal is one of the easiest ways to maintain consistent levels of organic reach and engagement on your Facebook page. It can also keep your supporters engaged with you and receiving your content in their news feeds!

Still, coming up with ideas for what to post can be difficult. Here, we’ll cover the best ways to keep a daily posting goal that can help you to maintain a healthy Facebook page and to accomplish your larger organizational goals.

Posting inconsistently can cause dramatic spikes and drops in your organic reach and engagement.

One of the things we hear the most often from nonprofits is the desire to maintain a consistent level of organic reach and engagement on Facebook. Many are tired of the extreme spikes and drops in their metrics and wish Facebook could be normalized when it comes to the reach and engagement earned each time they post. At the moment, it can feel like the roll of the dice which is the last thing anyone wants before posting a large, important campaign post!

To make matters worse, organic reach has been dropping for many Facebook page managers. Not only do they desire consistent reach and engagement, they want it to increase!

The good news is that keeping a daily posting goal can help normalize and improve the organic reach and engagement you earn on Facebook. Posting the same number of times each day (including on the weekends) gives you the same number of opportunities to earn organic reach and engagement each day. This helps to smooth out the spikes and drops experienced when posting inconsistently or missing days all together.

Consistent posting each day can also increase your organic reach and engagement over time as you’re giving your supporters more opportunities to see and engage with your content. The truth is that if you post on Facebook but your supporters are not online to see it, they likely will miss your post and will never get the chance to engage with it. Facebook moves so quickly that it’s likely to get buried – even more so if the last time you posted to your Facebook page was a number of days ago!

Therefore, posting consistently a few times a day opens up the number of opportunities you’ve given your supporters to engage with your cause. This, in turn, can increase and normalize your organic reach and engagement.

Posting inconsistently can decrease your number of active, engaged supporters.

Not only can we increase and maintain our organic reach and engagement by posting consistently, we can also retain our most active, engaged supporters on Facebook. Building on the first point we covered, you can begin to lose active supporters on Facebook if you don’t give them enough opportunities to see your content and engage with it.

With the way the Facebook algorithm currently works, a supporter who hasn’t engaged with your page’s content in some time will slowly stop receiving your posts all together. Why is this the case? Facebook uses a number of behavioral triggers to decide which of your supporters receives which of your posts in their news feed. One of the behavioral triggers is post engagement. If they haven’t engaged with your page in a long time, Facebook takes this as a sign that they are no longer interested in your page and it’s content.

The problem is, posting inconsistently can falsely cause this to happen. Your supporters aren’t necessarily any less interested in your cause, they just haven’t received any of your content because the few times a week your page posted, they missed it.

Therefore, posting consistently a few times a day increases the likelihood of your supporters receiving at least one of your posts and engaging with it. This keeps them engaged each day and receiving your content on their news feed.

Posting consistently can increase the success of your top campaigns!

Too many organizations make the mistake of only posting when they have a campaign to share on Facebook. The problem is, as we saw above, this leaves too much time for your supporters to become disengaged and stop receiving your posts, especially if a number of days or weeks has gone by without a single new post on your Facebook page!

The way Facebook currently works, it’s really important to keep posting consistently and keeping people engaged in between your larger campaigns. Doing this ensures that there are still engaged supporters left when you share your donation appeal or petition asking for signatures.

There is also a second principle at play here. Supporters who follow you on Facebook expect to receive valuable content in their news feeds. That’s the number one reason they are following you! If you fail to give them this assumed value, they may not be very forth coming when you ask for help with your next campaign. Think about it, if an organization only asked you for help or money while never giving you any value in return, you’d start to feel less positive about that organization.

We call the mix of this content “The Cheese and Broccoli Rule.” While kids don’t want to eat broccoli by itself, if you add cheese, they start to like it a lot more. Similarly, if you’re not posting fun content of value, in other words, the cheese, your supporters are much less likely to take the broccoli, which is your important campaigns.

Wrap up

As you can see, posting consistently each day on Facebook can have a huge impact on the health and success of your Facebook page overall. Simply setting a daily posting goal can ensure that your supporters are engaged and ready when you have an important campaign to share. It can also retain and further grow your relationships with already engaged, passionate supporters in your cause.

While you don’t need any special tools to set a daily posting goal, ActionSprout does include a built in daily goal tracker. This can be an easy way to stay on top of your goal if your organization has an ActionSprout account.

what's the value of an post

What is the value of a Facebook post?

Everyday your nonprofit is busy posting stories to your Facebook page in the hopes of reaching and engaging more of your supporters. The trouble is how do you place real value on this effort? Is your Facebook page becoming more valuable with time, or staying the same?

In short how much is any one of your Facebook posts really worth to your nonprofit?

One fairly easy way to calculate this value is by looking at the “earned media valuation” of your post based on how many people engaged with it. This is an approximation of the monetary value of your Facebook posts. In other words, if you had paid to get the same results, roughly how much would you have spent? You can think about this as money saved in a way.

Now this doesn’t directly tie to outcomes like donations, but it’s a simply way to approximate what the return on your Facebook efforts are at a high level. And use this to report to your board or ED the impact and value of Facebook.

To calculate an “earned media valuation” first determine what a fair value is for each different type of interaction, based on the goals of your organization. Based on a large amount of data on nonprofit Facebook ad spend we have at ActionSprout here are some baselines we see for nonprofits:

  • Reactions = $0.25 each
  • Comments = $1 each
  • Shares = $2 each
  • Link Clicks = $1 each
  • Video views = $0.50 each

Then take the interactions for each post and multiply them by these numbers to give you a total $ value based on how many people were engaged in different ways.

Let’s look an an example from one of our recent posts. It had 215 reactions, 4 comments, 48 shares and 259 link clicks. So we would value this post at $158 in earned media value.

Now did this post generate $158 in revenue for us, not directly. But had we paid for this reach and engagement we likely would have spent $158 or more to interact with this many people.

So how can you do this for your nonprofits Facebook page? We just added this capability to the Timeline section inside the ActionSprout app, simply click on the more area at the top of any post and select the ROI tab to see a calculated earned media value using the default values.

LOG IN or SIGN UP to give it a try and see what your Facebook posts are worth.

facebook-comments

Manage your Facebook comments with ActionSprout

Being part of the conversation just got easier!

If you’re not actively reading, responding to and managing the comments on your Facebook posts, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build a community and relationships with your supporters.

We’re excited to introduce Comments Inbox, a new tool in ActionSprout to help you manage your Facebook comments easily and efficiently!

To use Comments Inbox, simply turn it on:

  1. Click on the People tab at the top of the page.
  2. Select the Comments option from the side menu.
  3. Click on the Enable Comments Inbox button.

comments inbox email announcent image​ Now, all of the comments on your Facebook Page will appear in your ActionSprout account.

Comments Inbox includes the following features:

  • A priority view so that you can deal with the most important comments first.
  • View the profiles and activity history for each commenter so that you have the appropriate context for responding.
  • Tag important people so that you can identify your donors, VIPs, staff or even trolls, and get notified when they make comments in the future.
  • Like comments (as your organization) to show your supporters that you’re listening.
  • Reply to comments publicly or through a direct message to continue the conversation or offer a follow-up.
  • Hide or delete comments that are not appropriate.
  • Assign a comment to one of your teammates so that they are notified and can respond.
  • Get notified immediately when a commenter uses profanity.
  • Get a daily reminder if there are any new priority comments.
  • Automatic recommendations for how to address each comment, based on an analysis of the comment and person making it.
  • Manage comments as your Facebook Page; stop worrying about accidentally exposing your personal Facebook profile.

The whole team here at ActionSprout is really excited to share Comments Inbox with you. Give it a try—we think you’ll be impressed with how much easier it makes things!

And, as always, we welcome your reactions, ideas and questions, this is just the beginning, we’ll continue to evolve it in response to your feedback!

when to post on facebook

Everyone who tells you when to post on Facebook is wrong

There is no shortage of people telling you about the best time(s) to post on Facebook. However, these “best times to post” articles, written by “certified Facebook experts,” are all based on broad averages and studies. They are guesses at best, and do not reflect the reality of your supporters’ Facebook habits:

when to post on facebook updated

The truth is that the real answer of when to post has been available to you the entire time—through your Facebook Page.

Facebook itself will tell you when your supporters are on the site. And who would post based on a general average when you could have the cold, hard facts about your own supporters? The problem is that so few Page managers know that this data is given to them or where to find it. Instead, they trust the averages and the self-proclaimed experts, not knowing that a better solution is right in front of them.

This ends today. This post will show you where to find this data through your Facebook Page and how to use it.

Where to Find the Data

To find out when your supporters are on Facebook, login and navigate to your nonprofit’s Page.

At the top of your Page, you’ll find the Insights tab. Click on it:

when to post on facebook

From here, you will click on Posts from the left-hand menu. This will open up the graph that we want to look at:

when to post on facebook

This graph is a seven-day look at when your Page fans will most likely be on Facebook (it learns from their past behavior). This graph is pretty accurate because:

  1. People typically login to Facebook at the same times every day, i.e. during their lunch break or after work.
  2. Facebook has a ton of past behavioral data to pull from. The larger the sample size, the higher the accuracy.

How to Read the Data

By Day

Just above the graph, you’ll find a series of bars—one for each day of the week. This tells you, on average, how many of your Page fans log in to Facebook each day. In this example, Saturday wins by just a hair. If you have an important post or campaign coming up, this can help you to decide which day(s) is/are the best to make the announcement.

By Hour

The graph then shows you, on average, what hour(s) your Page fans are on Facebook for the week as a whole. Hovering over a day bar just above will display the particular times for that day. In this example, if you hover over the Friday bar, you can see a unique spike at 7am:

when to post on facebook

This would be one of the best times to post on Friday each week. We can also see that 1pm, 3pm and 6pm are also uniquely good times to post on Friday on Facebook.

We can do the same for each day. Here’s Thursday; on Thursdays in particular, we should post at 8am, 9am and 5pm:

when to post on facebook

This can be a bit tedious at first, but once you have the hang of it, and a sense of when your Page fans are on Facebook each day, it will pay huge dividends over trusting the general averages that you can find on Google.

An Automated Option

There is an option, through ActionSprout, to automate this process. If you share any post from the ActionSprout app, we will show you the next best time to post on Facebook based on your Page graph:

when to post on facebook

You also have the option to browse these times for the coming week. Simply click on the Optimal posting times link right below the default next best time:

when to post on facebook

This allows you some flexibility but makes sure that you’re always posting at optimal times.

Wrap-Up

You have some options for choosing how to take advantage of this powerful data based on your preferences. What’s important is that you use your own personalized data instead of generic averages to guide your decisions on Facebook.

Want to learn even more about the data tucked away inside your Page’s Insights tab? Here are the top three metrics to know about. Spoiler: you already know the first one!

supporters

2 Simple Ways to Track Your Supporters’ Activities with You on Facebook

You now have the power to track all interactions that supporters have with you on your Facebook Page.

That means if your supporter John Smith has liked three of your posts, commented on one and signed a petition on your behalf, all of this activity is rolled up into one supporter profile inside your ActionSprout account. You now have a much richer, 360° view of who John is and how engaged he is with your cause on Facebook.

As John continues to engage with you on Facebook, any of his future interactions that you import will be added to his profile. Over time, you’ll be able to watch John’s relationship with your organization grow and change.

How can you start tracking your supporters’ interactions on your own Facebook Page?

Upload your existing supporter list, donor list, mailing list, etc. to ActionSprout. This will tell ActionSprout to start social profiles for your known supporters from different channels. Use the import feature inside of ActionSprout to import supporter activity from your Facebook posts.

Upload an Existing List

Do you have a sense of the overlap, if any, of your different supporter channels? Are your annual donors engaging with your posts on Facebook? Are the supporters who subscribe to your newsletter also reading your posts on Facebook?

Now you may be thinking, “Sure, that information might be interesting… but beyond that, what would I do with it?”

So much!

  • If one of your annual donors leaves you a comment on Facebook, wouldn’t you want to know about it and make sure that someone responds to them?
  • If one of your most active supporters asks you a question on Facebook, don’t you want to know and respond as soon as possible?
  • If you knew your donor and your most active commenter on Facebook were the same person, wouldn’t that change things? Wouldn’t you treat them differently and try to reach out to them one-on-one?

Those are just a few possible situations where knowing this information would be useful.

By uploading these current lists of supporters to ActionSprout, you’ll begin to find out where and how much this overlap happens.

Furthermore, make use of tags to keep track of supporters and what you know about them. These tags follow them throughout your ActionSprout account and exports.

Import on Posts

The second way to start tracking and recording this supporter data is to import the activity data of your Facebook posts. This can be done through the Timeline tab of your ActionSprout account.

Every time you import the engagement data from a post, those supporter activities will either be added to an existing supporter profile, or used to create a new profile to start tracking this new supporter that you haven’t imported yet (either from an existing list or via a post). In this way, your sense of your supporters becomes richer and more informed over time.

Putting Supporter Data to Use

So, you’ve imported your existing supporter lists and started the habit of importing engagement data from your Facebook posts, now what do you do with this data? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Get a nuanced sense of what topics your supporters are interested in. For example, if you run a nature conservation nonprofit and you have a group of supporters that are particularly into panda bear posts, you can send them customized messaging around pandas. Use this personalized angle when asking for donations, support or signatures.
  • Identify your most active supporters and invite them into a private Facebook group for further involvement and engagement. They’re your VIPs, so give them the VIP treatment.
  • Get a sense for how engaged your supporters are as a whole on Facebook. Do you have a pretty good portion of supporters that is very engaged with your Facebook Page? A larger portion that is not? How many of these supporters have shared their name and email address with you? This should be ringing some bells if you’re familiar with the engagement ladder.
  • Use this data to figure out what your next steps on Facebook are. Do you still have a long way to go in engaging your supporters? Are they engaged and waiting for ways to involve themselves more? Use this data to shape your ongoing strategies.
  • Learn what your supporters are into on a deeper level. If point number one about pandas applies to 90% of your supporter base, but you mostly talk about tigers on your Page, then you may want to reconsider your content strategy.
Managing Facebook comments

9 steps to managing Facebook comments like a pro

Facebook is a social network. We all know this, but sometimes we need a reminder. Facebook is not a broadcasting tool or a soapbox—it’s a community with real people. Using a Facebook page means signing up to interact with both your supporters and your critics. When people comment on your page or send your page a message, they often expect a reply. Replying to comments is one of the most important things your nonprofit does on Facebook—if not the most important!

If you’re a nonprofit, it’s likely you want two things:

  1. More supporters in your cause
  2. More supporters doing more for your cause

Comment management plays a big role in both of these. Building an engaged community of supporters requires being part of the conversations that take place around your cause. The majority of these conversation are taking place on your Facebook posts.

In short, every nonprofit on Facebook needs to be an active participant in these conversations in order to grow a community of active, engaged supporters for their cause.

The problem is replying to comments isn’t always easy! It’s both an art and a science. It’s PR, community management, customer service and interpersonal relations all wrapped up together. And as your community grows, the number of comments grows with it. It becomes important to know about and deal with the most important comments first.

Don’t worry! We’re here to help. Once you have a plan, managing and responding to comments really isn’t too bad. The following will help you create that very plan.

(If you would like help on the technical side of managing comments, please see our technical guide to Facebook comments.)

1. Establish your ground rules.

To effectively manage your page comments, you’ll want to start with a firm foundation. Establishing a set of ground rules for your page is your first line of defense when wading into the flow of Facebook comments. These rules should outline what you wish to see on your page and what you don’t. Frame up what you hope for your page and its community. Paint an image of the ideal state.

Now, boil this down into an actionable set of comment policies. Here are some things to make sure you include:

  1. What is the mission of this Facebook page? (Not your overall organization, but your Facebook page. What does success look like?)
  2. What does encouraged behavior and participation look like? (How does this link back to your greater mission and goals for your Facebook page?)
  3. How should supporters treat one another? How is that monitored and enforced?
  4. Clear list of what is not acceptable
  5. Clear procedure to deal with unacceptable content (Deletion? Three strikes? Banning?) What’s the evaluation look like?
  6. Are supporters encourage to help police the page? Should they report comments to your team
  7. Who should supporters contact if they have a problem?

Once finished, plug your comment policy into the About section of your page and as a Note.

Here are some awesome examples and resources to help you. First Mashable’s guide to Facebook comments, example from Travel Oregon that takes advantage of the Notes feature, similar example from ActionSprout and lastly Facebook’s community guidelines.

2. Enforce your rules with no exceptions.

Letting go of something small may not seem like a big deal at the time, but it sets a bad precedent. If something big happens, you don’t want the perpetrators pointing at times when you didn’t enforce the rules. You don’t want to be accused of playing favorites or being unfair. The rules apply fairly to everyone on the page or no one at all.

3. Do not delete all negative comments.

It can be so tempting to delete those negative comments about your organization or cause. You must fight the urge, however, if the comments are not:

  • Breaking the rules you’ve established for your page
  • Offensive or profane
  • Illegal in any way
  • Posted by a troll

The remaining comments, while negative, should be productive in some way. Use this to your advantage as a teaching moment. Try to be polite and come at the conversation from an educational viewpoint. How can I listen to them and really hear what they have to say? How can I respond to this in a constructive, meaningful way? Where are the “openings” in their thought process?

You are not here to fight them, start an argument or convert them against their will. Simply hear them and respond in a way that gives value. Can you address their concerns or questions? Can you post an educational link? Can you bring up a new way of looking at the situation they may not have thought of?

Maybe you’re the one asking them questions to better understand them and their stance.

Most importantly, know when to stop. Know when the conversation has ran its course and there is nothing left to say. This usually happens when the conversation starts to repeat itself or lacks the ability to go anywhere new.

4. Do not engage trolls, ever.

According to Wikipedia, an internet Troll is:

“a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement. This sense of the word ‘troll’ and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment.”

The general advice to not engage with trolls is a widespread, accepted best practice across the Internet as a whole. It is often stated as “Don’t feed the trolls.” Just don’t do it.

5. Involve the larger team.

Your core team of folks assigned to manage and monitor the comments on your Facebook page should be able to handle the day-to-day demands of the job. But there will always be times when comments have the potential to get out of hand and become unmanageable for this core group.

In these situations, you should have extra folks on your staff that are trained and able to jump in as backup when needed.

Usually, these situations should not come as too much of a surprise. That breaking news story broke, the campaign won or failed, a big decision was made, etc. You should be able to see the comments come flooding in from the horizon line. At these times, an extra set of helping hands should be prepared and ready to go.

The worst-case scenario is that the spike in comments was unexpected, and your team will need to be as ready as possible and jump into action. This brings us to the next point.

6. Train your team.

Make sure your team is trained and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Give them the tools, knowledge and ability well ahead of time so they’re ready to jump in.

This means making sure they have a copy of your comment policy and in house guidelines for responding and making sure they understand it. Keep in mind responding to comments isn’t for everyone. Choose your team with care.

7. Consider whether the commenter expects or needs a reply.

Let yourself off the hook; you don’t have to answer every single comment on Facebook. Some comments just don’t require a response. When trying to evaluate whether to respond, try putting yourself in the shoes of the commenter. Are they expecting a reply? Is liking their comment enough acknowledgement?

Users on Facebook commonly comment on a post to show others in their network that they care about this issue or wish to talk to the fellow commenters on the thread. In these cases, they are not expecting a reply from you or the page that posted the piece of content.

Establish some rules of thumb when it comes to responding so that the team is on the same page. When in doubt, go with your gut.

8. Consider whether a question should be moved to a private message.

There are times when commenters start conversations that just don’t belong with the Facebook comments. They might talk about sensitive subject matters or require care that doesn’t make sense for the comments section. Decide where to draw the line ahead of time, and do your best to practice it.

When responding to a comment on Facebook, there is the option to respond as a comment or direct message the user. This is the easiest way to move the conversation to a direct, private message. Once moved to a direct message, Facebook indicates to other users on the thread that the comment was dealt with in a direct message. This way, other supporters don’t mistake this action as the page ignoring a comment.

9. Get the help and tools you need for the job.

Managing Facebook comments is no small job. Get comfortable with your internal capacity and receive outside help when you need it. This could come in the form of extra tools and software or hiring outside help.

A small, well-organized team armed with the right tools can absolutely get the job done! It will just take some time to set up and get the system running smoothly.

Comment management is essential to having a successful Facebook page that meets your larger organizational goals and missions.

Check out our brand new comments inbox, and really take comment management to the next level

drafting posts

4 reasons why drafting posts creates stronger team workflows

You now have the power to save posts as drafts (inside the drafts folder of Facebook) through the ActionSprout app. While this feature may seem small, the implications are huge.

Here are four big reasons why you should get excited about drafts!

drafting posts

Reviewal process

Many organizations require that posts first get approved before they are published to Facebook. The Facebook drafts folder is the best overall setting for the reviewal process to take place.

In this folder, see exactly how the post will appear once published. Review all messaging, imagery and layout in it’s final form. This is the most accurate preview of a post you can get!

Now when you’re creating a post or action from within ActionSprout take advantage of this powerful reviewal feature.

Delegation

The drafts feature offers easy delegation and sharing of work. Lighten your workload and let an intern or fellow staff member draft up some posts. When it’s time to post, you can review their work and publish / schedule the content from within the drafts folder. If the content still isn’t quite right, edit the post right there. If the post is totally off the mark, you can simply delete it.

Now you can share the work without giving up control or quality.

Collaboration

Similar to the above, the drafts feature makes team collaboration easier. Select the content you’d like to post from Inspiration or Timeline, layout your message and save your finished idea as a draft. Now your team can jump into the drafts folder and give your content a look. As stated above, this is the most accurate representation of the post once it is published. This makes getting a second pair of eyes or a sanity check easy.

More control over how you work and post

This feature simply gives you even greater control over how you work inside of ActionSprout. Whatever your personal workflow looks like, you now have the full power of posting through the ActionSprout app. From planning, drafting, scheduling and publishing, we hope you and your team feel empowered and productive through ActionSprout.

Now go try the feature for yourself and see what you think!

Facebook posts

Better management of your team’s Facebook posts

If your content strategy includes content curation (which it should!) it can be hard keep track of which pieces of content you’ve already shared. Add in a team of page managers and things really start to get crazy! So what’s a page manager to do?

Here at ActionSprout, we were running into this problem with our own pages. To make matters worse, even if we managed to remember that we’d posted the content, we couldn’t remember when we had done it. If we wanted to reshare a piece of awesome content for the second or third time, we had to jump into Timeline or Facebook to find out if it was too soon or not.

All of the clicking back and forth was driving us crazy, so we decided to do something about it. Now each piece of content in your Inspiration and Timeline feed comes with a “last shared date!”

This not only tells you if you have already shared a piece of content, but it will also warn you if it’s too soon to reshare it! (And you should definitely reshare high-performing content!)

Clicking on the shared date will also take you to the original post:

Facebook posts

If the piece of content is rockin and has been shared a few times, this share history will be displayed. Again, each time stamp links back to the corresponding post on Facebook:

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 2.05.42 PM

We hope this new feature makes it even easier to tap into the power of content curation, and collaborating with your team members! Never again should you wonder if and when a post was shared.

Happy sharing!

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.

Integrating with Google analytics

Integrating with Google Analytics: more supporters for your cause

If you use both ActionSprout actions and Google Analytics, you’ll want to set up the Google integration between the two.

The integration will begin to pull in page view data for each unique page of your action. Thus, just like your website, you’ll begin to see which pages are working and which ones are not. You’ll be able to identify weak spots in your actions and improve upon them (more on that later on).

Google Analytics is an amazingly powerful tool to shed light on otherwise mysterious situations. Tapping into this function will empower you to better convert supporters to contacts and gain new donors through Facebook.

If you’ve spent any time with us here at ActionSprout, you know we say everything depends on Facebook and it’s all trial and error. While that’s all true, Google Analytics integration minimizes that to a certain degree. Paying attention to the data will allow you to cut some of the guesswork and optimize the trial and error stage.

Action URLs

Each step of your action has a unique URL. Therefore pageviews on these URLs can tell you where your supporter got to in the process. If the “thank you” page has a lot of pageviews, that means a good portion of your supporters are fully completing the action. If, for instance, only the first page of your action or donation page have page views then you know they are getting stuck in that portion of your action and so on.

You get the idea!

Reading your action URLs

Unique Identifiers

Each action has a unique identifier baked into the URL. This appears as the 6 digits appearing immediately after .io/ :

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This is how you’ll find your different actions in Google Analytics:

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Loading the action landing page

Action URLs that end in /initial indicate that the full action was successfully loaded on the supporter’s device:

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This supporter was one of two groups:

  1. They continued on and completed the action
  2. They stopped here

The best way to tease out which group is larger (and thus if the first page is a weak spot) is to compare your page views here against your page views on the thank you page (described in full below).

If you have more page views on /intial than you do on the thank you page, this is a sign that too many people are getting stuck on the first page and not completing the action.

The thank you page

Action URLs that end in /thanks indicate that the supporter completed the action and any additional information you asked for. This includes completing a donation:

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Additional data page

Action URLs that end in /metadata indicate that your supporter made it to the additional page of your action:

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This means they completed your action by successfully sharing their name and email address with you. When presented with the next page, asking for additional data they left.

Special Situations

  1. Sproutlets follow the same URL rules as “normal” actions.
  2. If you’ve included a donation form at the end of a non-donation action, the URL to indicate they reached this form end in /thanks
  3. There is no URL indicator to tell you a supporter clicked on a donation button. This action launches a separate Stripe payment window.

Learning and improving from the data

Now comes the fun part! (or less fun part if you’re not a data nerd!)

Ideally you’d want your numbers to be heavy on the /thanks URL indicating most people completed the action. If that’s the case with you, congratulations! You have a great action. But for the rest of us, we don’t knock them out of the ballpark every time. (I’m including myself in this group!)

There’s usually always a spot or two to improve on, no matter who you are. Looking at the data should quickly tell you if you have weak spots in your action that are preventing supporters from finishing it. Too many page views on /initial or /metadata and too few on /thanks is a common pattern.

So how do we make this right?

Improving your action landing page

First of all, the fact that your supporters even saw this page is huge. Your post on Facebook was attention grabbing enough that they stopped scrolling and took notice. Kudos to you!

Let’s look at what we can do to improve this page to convert more interested people into full on, contactable supporters.

Review your call to action and button

Your call to action should be urgent, crystal clear and actionable. Your supporters should have no question what you’re asking them to do, and/or why or what difference it will make. The button on your action should match that sentiment. It should be short, simple and clear.

Review your description

The body of your action should walk your supporters through the problem, solution and action of your campaign. This should be concise, to the point and persuasive.

Review your agreement text and privacy statement

Depending on your audience’s privacy fears you may need to rework the agreement text and privacy statement that appears on your action:

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This example displays the default messages for each. If you feel this may be a concern for your audience, try reworking these. It can make all the difference.

Improving follow through

If your weak spot seems to be the addition data page there are a few things you can try to improve this.

Review the additional data you’re asking for

Best practice states that you should only ask for the data you absolutely need, which means cutting everything else. This is true for many reasons, but in the application of Facebook actions the key is time and effort.

Your action should be the simplest it can possibly be because the majority of your supporters are completing your action from a mobile device. They could be sitting on the bus, walking to work or killing time before a meeting. They don’t have the patience or desire to complete a long form of additional questions.

Asking for data because it’s interesting or would be nice to have comes with the cost of lower form completions, so keep that in mind.

Review if your additional data would be offensive in anyway

Depending on your audience and areas of cause, certain questions may come off as offensive. Common areas of concern are gender and age.

Put yourself in the shoes of your supporter base and see if this might be the case.

Improving donation forms

Your donation form can appear in two places, up front in a donation action or on the thank you screen in a non-donation action. Depending on your situation improvement may look a little different.

Donation actions

This one is similar to the action landing page outlined above. Your Facebook post convinced them to stop and view your action but they didn’t complete the donation. To improve this page, you’ll want to review the same points as above with just a few tweaks.

Review your call to action and donation buttons

Your call to donate should be urgent, crystal clear and actionable. Your supporters should have no question what you’re asking them to do, why or what difference it will make. Language like “pitching in” or “chipping in” tends to persuade more donors to give.

In addition, review the donation amounts you provided. It’s entirely possible you started to low or too high. Finding your sweet spot will take trial and error:

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Review your description

The body of your action should walk your supporters through the problem, solution and action of your campaign. This should be concise, to the point and persuasive.

Review your agreement text and privacy statement

Depending on your audience’s privacy fears, you may need to rework the agreement text and privacy statement that appears on your action:

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Non-donation actions

If your donation form appears on the thank you page of an otherwise non-donation action, (petition, poll or demand) you’ll want to review the points above in addition to the overall action and cause you’re tying this donation form to.

Is this the appropriate action to include a donation form on? Are the people who are likely to complete this action the folks who are also likely to donate? How you set the stage in the first half of this action will influence the success of this donation form.

Conclusion

We hope you’re now ready to take full advantage of the power of Google Analytics for your ActionSprout actions. If you have any questions feel free to chat us. We’re always here to help.