ActionSprout works with nonprofits of all sizes and causes across the globe. Here are the questions they most frequently asked about Facebook. Chances are they asked some of the same questions you’re dying to know the answer to, too!
Let’s dive in, shall we?
How can I increase the organic reach and engagement of my Facebook Page?
The key to increasing your organic reach and engagement is content curation. This is the practice of finding and sharing the top stories and news related to your mission on your Facebook Page—not just your own content, but also content from others that is getting lots of likes, shares and clicks. The Facebook algorithm promotes content that people engage with, and so by sharing highly engaging content, you will grow your organic reach and engagement. You can learn more about why and how to curate Facebook content here.
What is the difference between reach and engagement?
“Reach” is the number of people that saw your post in their News Feed. (Not all of your supporters see all of your posts—over 1,500 pieces of content are competing for 200–300 News Feed slots for each person each day!) They may have stopped and read your post, interacted with it by liking, sharing, clicking or commenting, or they might have scrolled right past it.
“Engagement” is when a person interacts with your post by liking, reacting, commenting, sharing, clicking or watching a video. It will always be a subset of the people that the post has “reached,” because not everyone chooses to interact with every post they see.
How can I get more people to view my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?
People do not typically visit Facebook Pages. (When was the last time you visited a Page other than your own?) Instead, people will see and engage with your content when it appears in their News Feed. Trying to get people to view your content on your Page instead of in their News Feed is fighting an uphill battle against how they naturally use Facebook. Our advice: don’t worry about your Page too much—focus instead on creating great posts that people want to engage with!
What defines a “fan,” and how exactly does Facebook calculate this?
Your Page fans are anyone who has clicked the “Like Page” button on your Facebook Page, an ad or post. Your current fan count is the number of people who have clicked this button minus those who subsequently unliked your Page by clicking it again.
Can people who haven’t liked my nonprofit’s Facebook Page (non-fans) still see our posts?
Yes! All the posts that you publish to your Facebook Page are public and viewable by anyone, regardless of whether they have liked your Page or not. The number one way that non-fans see your content is when their friends share your posts. They can also sometimes see your posts when their friends like or comment on the post, or if you used a hashtag.
Is there any way to send messages to people who have liked my Page?
Not at this time. Facebook does not allow Page managers to bulk message the people who like their Page. Alternatives include: messaging key people who like your Page individually, engaging them in conversation in the comments, or running social actions to collect the contact information of your supporters on Facebook so that you can send them emails.
How do you build relationships with people who like and comment on your posts?
Message them back, reply to their comments and like their comments on your posts! One of the best ways to build deeper relationships with your supporters on Facebook is to engage in conversation with them! Don’t leave their questions unanswered, thank them for their support, or share additional resources that they would enjoy. Liking their comments on your post shows them that you care. You can learn more about replying to comments and building relationships here.
Should I verify my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?
Yes! There is no reason not to verify your nonprofit’s Facebook Page. Verification signals trust and security to your supporters, and clears up any questions about whether the Facebook Page belongs to your organization. This verification follows your Page all over Facebook as well, including in search and comments. Here’s how to get started.
Why don’t I have a “donate now” button on my nonprofit’s Facebook Page?
To unlock this feature, your Facebook Page must be classified as a nonprofit. Here’s how to check what your current Page category is and how to change it. Once you have categorized your Page as a nonprofit, follow these instructions to set up your new donation button.
I started my nonprofit as a personal profile on Facebook. Should I switch to a Page?
Yes! Personal profiles are designed to represent real individuals and not organizations. Facebook says:
“Personal profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people. Pages look similar to personal profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations. Pages are managed by people who have personal profiles.”
“It’s against the Facebook Terms to use your personal account to represent something other than yourself (ex: your business). If you’re using your account to represent something other than yourself, you could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Page.”
Worse, personal profiles are limited to 5,000 friends, which many nonprofits will quickly exceed. Learn how to convert your personal account to a Page.
What makes a “good” post? Should I always include an image? Should my text be a certain length? How about videos? How long should they be? Are text-only posts okay?
There are no fixed rules that define a “good” post. Ultimately, you will need to experiment and pay attention to what works on your own Page with your fans.
Here are a few loose rules of thumb to get you started:
- Try to post the most engaging image or video that you can. Photos of people and animals tend to be highly engaging, especially if they’re looking right at you.
- If you’re including a lot of text in your post, make sure that your most important message comes first. Otherwise, people will have to click “read more” to see it and most will miss it.
- If think you might spend money to boost a post with an image, make sure that the image contains less than 20% text. You can check this with Facebook’s text tool.
- When creating and uploading videos, make sure that your video grabs people’s attention in the first two seconds. Videos auto-play as they come into view, so you have just a moment to catch someone’s attention enough make them stop scrolling and watch your video. Put the most important part first to grab attention, and then work backward from there once you have it.
- 80% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off. This means that your video must have text or captions, or be otherwise be understandable without sound.
How does the Facebook algorithm determine which of your fans receives each post?
There are three main ways that Facebook decides which of your fans they will show your post to.
- Their relationship with your Page. If they commonly engage with your posts, they are likely to see more of them in their Feed. If they usually don’t engage when they have the chance, they will see fewer of your posts over time, and may stop seeing them altogether.
- Have they historically shown Facebook that they are interested in the subject matter that you just posted about? If they commonly engage with posts about polar bears, and you posted a polar bear post, they are likely to receive it in their Feed.
- Have they historically shown Facebook that they prefer the content type that you just posted? If they commonly engage with videos over other types of media, and you posted a video, they are likely to receive it in their Feed.
How often should I post to Facebook?
This will depend on when your particular audience is on Facebook. Facebook gives this data to every page manager under the Insights tab, then Posts.
I am concerned about “communications fatigue” with our audience if we post 2–3 times per day.
First of all, not all your Page fans see each of your posts. Instead, each time you post to Facebook, the algorithm decides which of your fans would most likely enjoy and engage with the post. Thus, if you post multiple times a day, you are reaching a new sub-group of your fans each time. In this way, you are increasing your overall Page reach for that day. It is safe to say that if you posted to Facebook five times in one day, no single fan would see all five posts in their Feed. Facebook is very good at protecting its users against spam like this.
How many posts per day is too many?
That will depend on your particular Page fans, your content and your issue. Many successful Pages post 10 or more times per day! Most nonprofits, however, do not have the time or resources to post that often, and that’s okay. Post as much as you can; it’s extremely unlikely that you will ever post enough to cause a problem.
What’s the difference between a mention and a hashtag?
A mention links to a person or Page. Once mentioned in a post, they will receive a notification on Facebook. Mentions are used to get someone’s attention, invite them to engage with your post, or ask for a response. Anyone who clicks on the mention will be taken to that person’s profile or Page. Learn more about mentions here.
Hashtags are used to organize large conversations on Facebook and social media at large. When someone clicks on a hashtag in a post, they see a feed of all the people and Pages talking about that subject. It’s a way to tell everyone, “I’m joining this conversation and I want this post to be a part of it.” Learn more about hashtags here.