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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.
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The Top Posts for Education Associations to Share: May 16, 2016

The secret to increasing the reach, engagement and growth of your page is Content Curation.

Sharing trending, high-performing, posts from others in your sector is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook to be successful. The top pages on Facebook practice this strategy, with most following the 80/20 rule – 80% of their page’s content is shared from others and 20% is original content.

Curating content is not only normal, it’s expected throughout social media. The following posts were pulled using ActionSprout’s Inspiration feed which makes this strategy fast and easy to practice.

Here are the top-performing posts that educational associations should be sharing.










We can’t express the importance of sharing great content enough! Facebook is built for sharing and telling stories. ActionSprout makes it fast and easy to find the best content to share in your space.

Try the inspiration tool for yourself. It has never been easier to leverage the Facebook Algorithm for your mission.

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The Top Posts for YMCA Pages to Share: May 9, 2016

The secret to increasing the reach, engagement and growth of your page is Content Curation.

Sharing trending, high-performing, posts from others in your sector is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook to be successful. The top pages on Facebook practice this strategy, with most following the 80/20 rule – 80% of their page’s content is shared from others and 20% is original content.

Curating content is not only normal, it’s expected throughout social media. The following posts were pulled using ActionSprout’s Inspiration feed which makes this strategy fast and easy to practice.

Here are the top-performing posts that animal shelters should be sharing.










We can’t express the importance of sharing great content enough! Facebook is built for sharing and telling stories. ActionSprout makes it fast and easy to find the best content to share in your space.

Try the inspiration tool for yourself. It has never been easier to leverage the Facebook Algorithm for your mission.

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

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Cutest Posts for Animal Shelter Pages to Share: May 5, 2016

The secret to increasing the reach, engagement and growth of your page is Content Curation.

Sharing trending, high-performing, posts from others in your sector is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook to be successful. The top pages on Facebook practice this strategy, with most following the 80/20 rule – 80% of their page’s content is shared from others and 20% is original content.

Curating content is not only normal, it’s expected throughout social media. The following posts were pulled using ActionSprout’s Inspiration feed which makes this strategy fast and easy to practice.

Here are the top-performing posts that animal shelters should be sharing.










We can’t express the importance of sharing great content enough! Facebook is built for sharing and telling stories. ActionSprout makes it fast and easy to find the best content to share in your space.

Try the inspiration tool for yourself. It has never been easier to leverage the Facebook Algorithm for your mission.

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Top Posts for environmental pages to Share: May 2, 2016

The secret to increasing the reach, engagement and growth of your page is Content Curation.

Sharing trending, high-performing, posts from others in your sector is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook to be successful. The top pages on Facebook practice this strategy, with most following the 80/20 rule – 80% of their page’s content is shared from others and 20% is original content.

Curating content is not only normal, it’s expected throughout social media. The following posts were pulled using ActionSprout’s Inspiration feed which makes this strategy fast and easy to practice.

Here are the top-performing posts that art museums should be sharing.










We can’t express the importance of sharing great content enough! Facebook is built for sharing and telling stories. ActionSprout makes it fast and easy to find the best content to share in your space.

Try the inspiration tool for yourself. It has never been easier to leverage the Facebook Algorithm for your mission.

"Noah: The Eve of the Deluge" by John Linnell, painted in 1848, is in one of the newly reinstalled galleries at the Cleveland Art Museum which is reopening on June 29, 2008. Litt will have details on the names of the pieces of art. (Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)

Top Posts for Art Museums to Share: April 26, 2016

The secret to increasing the reach, engagement and growth of your page is Content Curation.

Sharing trending, high-performing, posts from others in your sector is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook to be successful. The top pages on Facebook practice this strategy, with most following the 80/20 rule – 80% of their page’s content is shared from others and 20% is original content.

Curating content is not only normal, it’s expected throughout social media. The following posts were pulled using ActionSprout’s Inspiration feed which makes this strategy fast and easy to practice.

Here are the top-performing posts that art museums should be sharing.










We can’t express the importance of sharing great content enough! Facebook is built for sharing and telling stories. ActionSprout makes it fast and easy to find the best content to share in your space.

Try the inspiration tool for yourself. It has never been easier to leverage the Facebook Algorithm for your mission.

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Top Posts for Education Associations to Share: April 15, 2016

The secret to increasing the reach, engagement and growth of your page is Content Curation.

Sharing trending, high-performing, posts from others in your sector is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook to be successful. The top pages on Facebook practice this strategy, with most following the 80/20 rule – 80% of their page’s content is shared from others and 20% is original content.

Curating content is not only normal, it’s expected throughout social media. The following posts were pulled using ActionSprout’s Inspiration feed which makes this strategy fast and easy to practice.

Here are the top-performing posts that education associations should be sharing.










We can’t express the importance of sharing great content enough! Facebook is built for sharing and telling stories. ActionSprout makes it fast and easy to find the best content to share in your space.

Try the inspiration tool for yourself. It has never been easier to leverage the Facebook Algorithm for your mission.

Purchase this image at http://www.stocksy.com/85532

Top Posts for Education Associations to Share: April 15, 2016

The secret to increasing the reach, engagement and growth of your page is Content Curation.

Sharing trending, high-performing, posts from others in your sector is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook to be successful. The top pages on Facebook practice this strategy, with most following the 80/20 rule – 80% of their page’s content is shared from others and 20% is original content.

Curating content is not only normal, it’s expected throughout social media. The following posts were pulled using ActionSprout’s Inspiration feed which makes this strategy fast and easy to practice.

Here are the top-performing posts that education associations should be sharing.










We can’t express the importance of sharing great content enough! Facebook is built for sharing and telling stories. ActionSprout makes it fast and easy to find the best content to share in your space.

Try the inspiration tool for yourself. It has never been easier to leverage the Facebook Algorithm for your mission.