3 Facebook Engagement Wins – Part 1: Straight from the horses mouth

Thanks to guest blogger Rachel Carnegliaa, a nonprofit marketer and graphic designer promoting parks, trails, and green spaces at the Austin Parks Foundation

Hey, I have the inside scoop on Facebook, from Facebook (take it with a grain of salt, I guess), and I want to share it with you. You see, I was lucky enough to get some first-hand answers on effective engagement strategies for nonprofits, directly from Facebook employees, at a recent panel here in Austin. During the Q&A portion of the afternoon, the question on everyone’s mind finally came bubbling up to the surface—the new algorithm, a.k.a. the elephant in the room.

It was pretty clear from the disgruntled mumbles of agreement rippling around the room that everyone was feeling a little anguished about the subject. Most of us rely on Facebook for low-cost, if not free, interaction with our donors, volunteers, and supporters. What to do? If you’re like me, you’re concerned about what these changes (plus the recent privacy breaches) mean for your organization’s reach, engagement and, ultimately, your impact to some extent.

Dive into these strategies, advice, and options straight from the horses mouth:

1) Keep advertising on Facebook: The new algorithm won’t affect your ad reach
Phew! The new people-first approach won’t penalize those of us who are fortunate enough to have a budget for social advertising (meager as it may be), and that’s a load off. On the other hand, use this fact as your rally cry if your organization isn’t yet able to set aside funds for Facebook advertising.

Even a tiny budget goes a long way to make your work visible beyond your most dedicated followers. By design, Facebook’s advertising platform gives you tremendous power to target your audiences (more than we thought, as we now know), and the ROI is unparalleled by other platforms. If you aren’t yet advertising on Facebook (and sister platform Instagram), now is the time to reconsider that decision.

2) Community management is more critical than ever
Many social media and communications professionals in the corporate world are called Community Managers, and there’s a reason for that.

Creating online communities with robust strategies for driving likes, comments, and conversations—both on and off a page—is part and parcel of the job. If these methods weren’t already a priority for your social strategy, they should be now.

Facebook’s shift of focus to individuals and their interactions with each other means they’ll prioritize posts with more engagement. Facebook has prioritized such posts to some extent, but it’s now asking admins of pages and brands to try a little harder.

Best tactic: Reply to people’s comments, and start conversations to increase organic reach. It’s the best way to turn up the volume without paying for ads and boosted posts.

3) Marry content strategy with native posting
Facebook has always given preference to natively posted content (posts created within Facebook rather than shared from other platforms like Twitter or scheduling apps like Hootsuite). However, engaging content (see #2) is the first step within the new algorithm.

Keep Facebook’s self-interest in mind as you create new posts:

  • Instead of linking out to a blog post explaining an in-depth topic, make a quick video on your phone and post it directly to Facebook.
  • Announce news on Facebook Live (oh, how they want us to use Facebook Live).
  • Run donation campaigns through Facebook Fundraisers.

Keep in mind that Facebook’s goal is to keep people in the app. Help Facebook meet that goal, and it’s likely to reward you with more organic reach.

Keep posted for Part 2, coming early next week!

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Nancy Schwartz in Facebook | 0 comments

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