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Setting up your page correctly is the first step toward success

Whether you’ve set up a Facebook page from scratch before or you’re a social media newbie, it’s a good idea to brush up on Facebook page basics before your page goes live. Why? The best way to meet your Facebook goals is to make sure your page is set up for success from the start. After all, you wouldn’t launch a broken product or send out a partial email because you know you’ll only have to fix it later — and that’s double the work with no additional return! Your Facebook page is no different.

Use the steps below to get your page launched on the right foot the first time.

“About” Section

When you start setting up your page, be sure to fill out your “About” section completely and thoroughly. Facebook’s algorithm uses this information for your page to show up in searches, and it is frequently visited by followers and non-followers. The top things you need to be sure to include are: 

  • Link to website 
  • Mission 
  • Our story 
  • Email and other contact information
  • City/country

Category

Be sure to select the correct category for your page so you can access the tools and features that are right for you. For instance, did you know that Facebook only gives community organizers and nonprofits fundraising and donation tools?

Choosing the correct category when you set up your Facebook page not only ensures that you get important product and policy updates, it’s also used to determine eligibility for ActionSprout grants. 

“Call to Action” Button

This button is prime real estate — right under your cover photo. A call to action (CTA) is a great tool for reaching goals, but don’t just set it and forget it. You can — and should — customize it to fit your needs throughout the year! For example, during fundraising season, the button’s CTA may be to “Donate” while later in the year, when you want to increase your mailing list, you can change the button’s text to “Sign Up.” Below are more options for customizing your Facebook call to action button:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Send Message
  • Sign Up
  • Send Email 
  • Call Now
  • Watch Video 
  • Learn More
  • See Offers
  • Shop Now

Bonus: Want more petition signatures, RSVPs, donations, volunteer sign-ups or surveys completed? Learn how ActionSprout Social Actions deliver customized, inspiring and engaging calls to action that get supporters moving.

Cover Photo and Profile Picture

Be sure to have images of high quality that are correctly sized for your profile picture and cover photo. 

      1. Sizing for profile photo: 800 pixels by 800 pixels
      2. Sizing for cover photo: 1640 pixels by 720 pixels

Invite Family and Friends to Like Your Page

This step is an incredibly easy way to build a following for your page, but it’s also one of the most forgotten steps, too. On the right side of your page, there is an option to invite your contacts to follow the page. Take advantage of this feature, and don’t be shy about inviting people to your page and supporting your cause!

Create a Business Manager Account

A Business Manager account helps organize and manage your page while also protecting the privacy of your personal Facebook page from other admins on your team. Also, all pages must have a Business Manager account to promote posts or run Facebook ads. So whether yours is a business, organization, or even a political campaign page, setting up Business Manager is a must.

Note: This step is listed last because you must already have a Facebook profile to start a Business Manager account. Once you have a Facebook profile, use the steps below to create a Business Manager account.

  1. Go to business.facebook.com and click “Create Account.”
  2. Enter the name of your business/organization/campaign/candidate page, plus your name and email address.
  3. Follow the prompts, entering additional information.

But wait, there’s more! Once your Business Manager account is approved, you’ll need to add an Ad account:

  1. Go to “Business Settings” and click “Accounts.”
  2. Select “Ad Accounts” and click (you guessed it) “+Add.”
  3. Choose the option that’s right for your page: Add Ad Account, Request Access to Ad Account or Create a New Ad Account. Since you’re reading this, the last option is probably the right selection for you.
  4. Follow the prompts, add users and assign access levels.

Read more

Want to share trending content but not sure where to find it? This video shows you how to search for trending stories online and fill your feed with engaging viral content.

Yes, there are new Facebook ad requirements. And yes, this policy change even affects your nonprofit page! Effective November 2019, any U.S. Facebook page that wants to create or edit ads about social issues, legislation, elections, or politics has to go through the platform’s page authorization process. And since promoted posts or ads are the fastest way to grow your email list, find new donors, and increase your reach, we recommend that every organization or group page complete the new Facebook ad authorization process. Yes, even you! 

Whether or not you have promoted Facebook posts in the past or not, completing the new ads authorization process will ensure that your page can participate in collaborative advocacy campaigns with other organizations and build a stronger community of supporters on Facebook.

But wait, why are nonprofits affected by this change if they don’t run political ads?

Great question! Nonprofit organizations may not post about specific political candidates, but Facebook standards do consider most nonprofit content to be issue-based. So whether you’re promoting a fundraising drive post or an article about a public policy that affects your work or those you serve, that post is likely to be flagged as issue-based content and can’t be promoted until you get your ads disclaimer set up.

Why worry about it now?

Setting up your disclaimer and authorizing your Facebook page does take time, so the best time to get authorized is before you want to run ads. That’s why, even if you haven’t used ads before, there’s no benefit to delaying your nonprofit page authorization. The best time to set up your disclaimer and get authorized is now.

Ready to get started? Let us walk you through the steps to help get you set up to run political or issue ads on Facebook.

Step 1: Set up a new Facebook Business Manager account.

Go to https://business.facebook.com/overview/ and click “Create Account.”

Create Facebook Business Manager Account screenshot

Step 2: Add Facebook page(s) to Business Manager.

Remember: Only the page administrator can complete the entire ad authorization process, so make sure you have that access.

Step 3: Create (or add an existing) Facebook ad account.

Facebook ad account overview

 

Step 4: Add a payment method to the ad account.

Your payment method will never be charged unless you create an ad or take steps to promote a post.

Step 5: Add people to Business Manager and assign to page and ad account.

Adding trusted members of your team means you won’t be the only one with access to Business Manager, making it easier for others to support ads and campaigns when you’re not available.

Step 6: Apply for authorization to set up “paid for by” ad disclaimers.

For Facebook to confirm your identity, you must have two-factor authentication enabled on your account. You’ll also need the following materials available:

  • A U.S. state driver’s license, U.S. state ID card, or U.S. passport — make sure to take a clear and focused close-up picture showing all four corners on a flat, dark background
  • A U.S.-based residential mailing address
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number

Once requested, a letter containing a code to confirm your identity should arrive at your address within three to seven days. If your letter doesn’t arrive within seven days, you can request a new one here: https://www.facebook.com/id.

Step 7: Setup “paid for by” disclaimer for a Facebook page.

Advertisers have five ways to get disclaimers approved:

Advertisers will receive a “Confirmed Organization” icon on their ads if they provide a U.S. street address, phone number, business email, a matching business website, and complete one of these three options:

  • Tax-registered organization
  • Government organization
  • Federal Election Commission (FEC) registered

Smaller businesses or local politicians who may not have these credentials can choose from two more options. Advertisers who go through these options will receive an “About This Ad” icon.

  • Submit an organization name (still requires a U.S. street address, business phone number, email, and matching website).
  • Give the page admin’s legal name (same as on their ID documents).

Each ad account used to fund your page’s ads about social issues, elections, or politics must be linked to your page and have a disclaimer for each.

To link your ad accounts and set up disclaimers:

  1. Go to your Facebook page and click “Settings” in the top right corner.
  2. In the list on the left, click “Authorizations.”
  3. Below Step 2: Link Your Ad Accounts, click “Begin.”
  4. Accept Facebook’s terms and conditions.
  5. Enable the ad accounts that will be used to pay for your page’s ads about social issues, elections, or politics.
  6. Click next and choose an approved disclaimer for each ad account specified.

If you want to run ads about social issues, elections, or politics on Instagram as well as Facebook, you’ll need to authorize your Instagram account.

  1. Go to your Facebook page and click “Settings” in the top right corner.
  2. In the list on the left, click “Authorizations.”
  3. Below Step 3: Authorize Your Instagram Account (Optional), click “Begin.”
  4. Check the “Review this Instagram” box.
  5. If your Instagram and page names aren’t the same, explain why in the text box.
  6. Click “Submit.”

Step 8: Confirm Facebook page settings are correct (country, city, category, about).

 

See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? With just eight simple steps you can increase user trust in your page and make it possible to engage in collaborative advocacy campaigns with your industry partners or coalitions. There’s a lot to lose for Facebook page managers who neglect to have their page authorized — and even more to gain for those who complete the process. 

 

Want to learn more? Check out this video playlist with step-by-step guides to help you complete the new Facebook ad authorization process. 

 

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. That means these 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, log in 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” in the left-side menu. This will open up the graph we want to look at:

when to post on facebook

 

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

  1. People typically log in 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 above the graph 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 7 a.m.:

when to post on facebook

 

This would be one of the best times to post on Friday each week. We can also see that 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. 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 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 5 p.m.:

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.

Ready to start measuring what really matters? Here are the Facebook metrics you need to be obsessing over.

If you’re not already practicing content curation on your nonprofit’s Facebook Page, you absolutely should be! Content curation is the practice of finding and sharing high-performing content from other Pages. This practice allows you to post more often and increases organic reach and engagement on your page. This case study shows the effects curation had on Northshore Veterinary Hospital’s Facebook Page after just a week of practice. (If you’d like to dig into the strategy of content curation further, this article is for you.)

Northshore Veterinary Hospital’s Facebook Page

Brita Kiffney is one of the lovely veterinarians at Northshore, and is responsible for managing their Facebook Page. We had the pleasure of sitting down with her one day and diving into their Facebook Page and strategy.

When we first spoke to her, she was posting as little as one post or fewer per day. When she had the time to upload an original picture of one of her patients, she would do so. If she didn’t have time that day, she wouldn’t. But even with how little she posted to their Page, they still enjoyed solid engagement from their fans. This told us that Northshore’s Page had a ton of untapped potential and organic reach waiting to be unlocked.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 3.17.46 PM

Learning to Curate

After meeting with us, Brita decided to give ActionSprout, and a content curation strategy, a try. Here we’ll walk you through the steps that she took to get her ActionSprout account and new strategy off the ground.

Following Pages

First, Brita had to follow the right pages through ActionSprout. Fine-tuning who she followed was the key to the rest of the strategy working. After all, these are the sources whose posts she should be sharing on Northshore’s own Facebook Page! Ensuring that they posted content that was on topic and tone, compared to their own Page, was really important.

Brita landed on the following mix of Pages:

  • Fellow veterinarians that she respected
  • Local and national humane societies
  • Pet publications
  • Fun Pages that posted cute pet videos and images

This mix of followed Pages gave her an awesome sampling of fun and serious material to post to Northshore’s Page. (We call this the broccoli and cheese strategy.)

Using the Inspiration tool inside her ActionSprout account, following these Pages was as simple as typing in names and keywords:

organic reach

Once followed, Brita was even able to add custom tags to the Pages. She tagged the fun Pages as such, the fellow vets, and so on. Now if she was short on serious material one day, she could sort by those tags and only surface the content options that applied.

Scheduling the Content

Once she had her followed Pages, she figured that it was time to start scheduling! Finding the right content to post to her Facebook Page was as easy as browsing through her new Inspiration feed, and sorting and filtering as needed:

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 12.26.20 PM

When she found something that she liked, she simply clicked the share button on that piece of content. This opened up the sharing menu, where she could schedule the post for the next time when most of her fans and supporters were on Facebook:

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 12.33.31 PM

How did the tool know when her fans and supporters were on Facebook? Facebook gives this data to all Facebook Page managers. When connecting your Facebook Page to ActionSprout, ActionSprout is able to look at this data and pull out the best times for you.

The Day to Day

With everything in place, Brita was able to pop in and out of the app as needed. On busy weeks, she could come in on Monday and schedule three to four posts for each day of the week. When she had the extra time, she would pop in once every day or so and schedule things as they came up.

And, as always, when she had cute pictures of her patients, she published them.

The Results

We were blown away by the results after just a few days! Through the use of ActionSprout and her new content curation efforts, Brita was able to increase her posting frequency to a consistent four to five posts a day! The ActionSprout app allowed Brita to schedule posts for the entire week so that, as she got busy, her posting stayed consistent. Consistent posting is key to consistent reach and engagement on Facebook.

The results are astounding! The highlighted day on the graph, April 28th, was when Brita added an additional four posts a day of curated content to their Facebook Page. As we can see, her organic reach sharply goes up from there. All in all, she enjoyed a 400% increase in organic reach on their Page:

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 3.21.35 PM

She also noticed a change in engagement on their Page. The number of likes, comments, and shares on their posts noticeably increased.

Conclusion

Content curation can feel uncomfortable for many nonprofits when starting out. It feels counterintuitive at best, and like stealing at worst. What we have to keep in mind is that Facebook is not a traditional communications channel.

Facebook and social media, in general, are social spaces where ideas, content, and stories are freely shared among users. Sharing is hardwired into Facebook; proper attribution is automatically included and the sharing of worthy content is expected.

Most of all, the results speak for themselves! So, what are you waiting for? Start your own content curation strategy today and start seeing the same organic reach growth and success as Brita at Northshore Veterinary Hospital. Ready to learn more about measuring Facebook success?

Western Washington University (WWU) uses Facebook to reach and connect with alumni living across the globe. Their team works hard to identify and tag those who engage with their Facebook posts so that they can track their engagement and build relationships. From there they can target alumni about fundraising and events that support WWU.

Introducing:

WWU Alumni Association’s mission is to strengthen WWU by building strong and caring relationships among their students, alumni, friends and the greater University community. Through these relationships, WWU is able to raise money, host events that connect students with alumni and foster a community that changes student’s lives and help them reach their full potential.

Goals:

The goals of WWU Alumni Association are:

  • Identify and connect WWU alumni on Facebook in order to grow their alumni network
  • Engage alumni with compelling content to remind them how much they love WWU
  • Bring them into the alumni fold and build productive relationships that benefit the university
  • Tap the alumni network to meet ongoing fundraising goals

Impact:

  • Reached nearly 10,000 people with a single shared trending post in 24 hours. (For context their Facebook page has just over 6,000 page likes!)
  • Identified over 60 new alums they didn’t have in their records yet from a single post!
  • Boosted posts for as little as $20 each, and reach nearly 28,000 people in 22 countries

Approach

ActionSprout’s Inspiration feature empowers Facebook page managers to take back control of their reach. Instead of spending time guessing what audiences might enjoy, the tool tells you! You’re provided with daily trending content that is proven to reach and engage people on Facebook today.

The WWU Alumni Association follows over 200 Facebook pages through the tool. These pages are related to their work and local university community and share a similar audience. Inspiration then shows them only the top trending Facebook posts from these pages. Their staff can then browse through the content and choose which posts to share on their own Facebook page.

alumni on Facebook

Because this content is already proven to engage similar people on Facebook, there is a good chance it will perform well on WWU’s page too. You can think of it as low “risk” content. This is how WWU reaches and engages tens of thousands of alumnis on Facebook without spending an arm and a leg on Facebook ads!

ActionSprout’s Timeline feature on the other hand, can help you know when to spend money on ads if you have the budget. The best way to find success with Facebook ads is to only boost your top, most engaging posts. Facebook’s news feed and ads feed algorithms are very similar. Therefore if a post is doing well in the news feed, it’s likely to do well as an ad. This means lower cost per result, $1 and under, and reaching more of your target audience!

Using these two content features together, WWU Alumni Association shares content that reaches more alumni without the need for ad spend. And when they do spend their ad dollars, they know they are doing so in the most efficient way possible.

“We use it everyday and I have boosted posts on the stats ActionSprout provides to get immediate results!”

We mentioned at the beginning that WWU Alumni Association was applying alumni tags to the folks who engaged with their posts. By applying these tags, WWU easily tracks who’s who on their Facebook page.

alumni on Facebook

This is especially helpful when replying to comments using Comments Inbox! At a glance, the WWU staff knows if the comment came from an alumni or not and can reply accordingly.

alumni on Facebook

They can also choose to filter their Facebook audience by tag and only take a look at alumnis:

Campaign Creative:

This post alone helped them reach and identify over 60 WWU alumnus! Notice how they frame the article and pose a question to alumni to engage them in the comments.

alumni on Facebook

alumni on Facebook

Campaign lessons and takeaways

1) Lean into sharing other’s trending content.

We know this can be a difficult best practice to wrap your head around, let alone, get your boss on board with, but it really does work! The key is to make sure you’re following related pages that share content that could be shared on your page as well. It’s important to keep in mind that sharing content is one of the biggest functions of social media. Therefore sharing other’s content won’t make your organization look like they’re stealing or being lazy!

2) Include commentary, pose a question and start a conversation.

When sharing other’s trending content, be sure to include your own thoughts and commentary with the post. Why should your audience care? Is this good or bad news for the community? This helps frame the content for your audience and invites them into the conversation. This is how WWU is able to keep identifying “new” alumni not yet recorded in the comments section.

3) Only promote content that is already engaging.

Very few have a budget that allows casual, carefree spending on Facebook ads. Instead, most organizations need to squeeze every ounce of value out of their ad dollars. The best way to do so is by only spending money to promote posts that engaged more people than average. The Timeline feature inside of ActionSprout clearly shows you which of your page’s posts have engaged more people than average so you know if and when to boost.

Getting Started with ActionSprout

Want to use ActionSprout’s tools to reach and engage your own community on Facebook? Sign up for a free account and get started today!

This guide will walk you through the steps to set up Inspiration and start sharing trending content. Or learn more about Timeline, and how it can help you analyze your page’s content, here. Using these two hand in hand, like WWU, can have a big impact on the reach and success of your Facebook page. Still not sure? Learn how other groups and organizations are using ActionSprout to reach, engage and inspire on Facebook.