Cracking the Facebook Code

A non-profit’s guide to Facebook

Often, we struggle to utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to engage our volunteer and audiences. The sheer number of available platforms can be daunting for even the savviest social media users. That being said, social media is a great tool that non-profits should use to our benefit.

Volunteer MBC would like to introduce a series of articles that outline how to create effective social media presences.

Today, we will tell you how to utilize Facebook for better social media engagement. A couple of thoughts to keep in mind as you read this guide:

●      The target audience is POST-SECONDARY to ADULT

●      The options covered are FREE OF COST

●      The options covered are the BASIC FUNCTIONALITIES

Facebook has two methods for nonprofit engagement: Pages and Groups.

Pages are run primarily by the nonprofit, require moderate maintenance and have lower engagement.

Groups are self-driven by its members, require high maintenance and have higher engagement.

GENERAL TIP #1: A nonprofit may choose to have BOTH but it is wise to start with one.

Guide to Setting Up a Page

Groups require the admins to be regular Facebook users. The admins are not visible to users and admin privileges can be transferred from one Facebook account to another if needed. Follow the following steps to set up a page:

1.     Log into a Facebook account and click ‘Create Page’ on the left sidebar.

2.     Choose ‘Non-Profit Organization’.

3.     Choose a short and informative name.

4.     Fill out the required information and click ‘Save’.

GENERAL TIP #2: On the page itself, update the cover photo to any information the nonprofit wants to draw attention to i.e. an upcoming event.

Guide to Setting Up a Group

Groups require the admin to be regular Facebook users. The admins ARE visible to users and admin privileges can be transferred from one Facebook account to another if needed. Follow the following steps to set up a page:

GENERAL TIP #3: Since the admins ARE visible, if an individual is uncomfortable supporting the group with their personal account, create a new one for the nonprofit or as a professional account for the individual.

1.     Log into a Facebook account and click ‘Create Group’ on the left sidebar.

2.     Choose ‘Connect and Share’.

3.     Choose a short and informative name.

4.     Fill out the required information and click ‘Create’.

GENERAL TIP #4: Make sure your group is set to ‘Public’ or ‘Closed’ and NOT ‘Secret’. ‘Public’ groups allow anyone to join and ‘Closed’ groups require admin approval. But BOTH can be found through Facebook Search whereas ‘Secret’ is invite-only.

 

GENERAL TIP #5: In the group itself, update the cover photo to an image that represents the nonprofit.

 

GENERAL TIP #6: In the group itself, fill out the ‘Description’ and the ‘Tags’ on the right sidebar. ‘Description’ should outline group goals and rules. ‘Tags’ should be keywords that help interested users find the group.

Guide to Engagement

Unless otherwise stated, the following tips will apply to both pages and posts.

Page specific tips will be labelled as ‘PAGE TIP’ and group specific tips will be labelled as ‘GROUP TIP’.

POSTS

There are three kinds of posts on a page: text-based posts, image-based posts and external link-based. All can be effective but the following chart outlines the pros and cons of each.

Type

Pros

Cons

Text-based

●      Quick to generate

●      Lowest engagement

●      Easy to miss on timelines

Image-based

●      Highest engagement

●      Users are more likely to share          

●      Takes time to create

External link-based

●      Quick to generate

●      Drives traffic to original source

●      Interrupts user experience (they have to leave their current page)

 

GENERAL TIP #7: These three post types do not have to be isolated! Often, posters will combine all three.

 

GENERAL TIP #8: An image with a lot of text has the same effect as a text-based post i.e. a poster with a lot of text.

 

GENERAL TIP #9: Facebook uses hashtags but they are not the driving force.

 

A general rule of thumb would be 1-2 hashtags a post.

 

PAGE TIP #1: Pages require more frequent posts. There are no set amount of posts per day. Depending on how users react, the nonprofit can choose to increase or decrease the number of posts.

 

A general rule of thumb would be 1-3 times a day.

 

GROUP TIP #1: When the group first starts up, the nonprofit should post at least once a day to engage members. But once the group has taken off, members will begin to share their own content and the nonprofit can decrease their own posts.

 

A general rule of thumb would be 1-3 times a week.

 

The bulk of time required from the nonprofit in a group is monitoring the posts to ensure they meet group standards.

EVENTS

Events give users the opportunity to declare to their friends they are attending an event; invite their friends to the event; and, have a platform of communication for the event (to ask questions, share pictures, etc).

1.     On the left sidebar, click ‘Create’ under ‘Events’.

2.     Fill out the required information and click ‘Create’.

GENERAL TIP #10: Make sure your event is set to ‘Public’ so guests can invite whoever they want!

 
Follow these simple steps to build a non-profit’s social media presence on Facebook.
 
Written by Florence Cao, Volunteer Content Writer