Social media is an important channel for reaching, reconnecting and engaging with supporters.
It is a cost effective way for community groups to meet their target audiences. Below are tips and resources for getting started.
Facebook Tip Sheet
Facebook is still the best-placed platform to deliver to a wide and diverse audience, with a broad age range of users. Like national newspapers people are going back daily to look at a vast array of content. As social media becomes more and more embedded into our lives, Facebook often becomes the first point of call for people looking to engage with your organisation.
- Build relationships
- Seek advice and give advice
- To build their identity – who is my audience? What are their interests?
- Make my “friends” “follower” “fans” feel something – strong emotion
Your page gives your non-profit a voice and presence on Facebook. Positing to your page creates an opportunity for new people to discover your organisation and can serve as a hub for connecting your community. People who like your page may see your posts in their News Feed when they visit Facebook. People can also like your posts, add comments and share them with their friends.
- Educate your community about your cause and update them on your organisation
- Find and connect with new supporters who share your passion
- Engage your community by creating opportunities for people to interact with you and each other
- Inspire people to take action by spreading the word, attended events, volunteering or donating funds
To create a Facebook page for your non-profit, you’ll need a Facebook profile and a few minutes of your time. If you don’t have an existing profile, go to Facebook to sign up. If you do already have one follow these steps to set up your page.
Create a Page
- Log into your personal Facebook account. Click ‘Create’ in the top navigation bar and select ‘Page’.
- When you use your personal profile to set up your organisation’s page, you’ll be the page admin by default
- Pages admins can be changed or added at any time under Page Settings > Page roles
- Your admin role won’t affect the privacy of your personal profile and won’t appear in your Page posts or other activity
Choose a Page Category
- ‘Business or Brand’ and click ‘Get Started’ Fill in your page name and choose 'Non-profit organisation' from the Category dropdown.
- Exclusive fundraising tools are only available those categorised as a "Non-profit organisation" or "Charitable organisation".
- Please note, you will need three things to complete an application (at a later stage) to receive donations on Facebook:
- A PDF copy of a bank statement from the last three months
- The name and date of birth of your organisation's CEO or executive director.
Add Details about your page
- Once you hit ‘Continue’, you will be asked to upload a Profile Picture. Your Profile Picture is a way to help people recognise your brand when they see your posts on their News Feed. Use a square version of your organisation’s logo. If you don’t have a square version, you could use Photoshop or a version of this cropping tool to make it square or enlist the designer who did your logo to make appropriate adjustments. Keep in mind it will often appear small.
- Next, you will be asked to upload a Cover Photo. your cover photo should be an image which represents the work your organisation does and the communities it serves. Use a high quality image which is visually appealing. Your cover photo can be changed at any time and is a good place to feature a special event or initiative. Image format recommendations:
- Choose a high resolution photo
- Choose an image that is 820 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall. Cover photos display at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones, so the edges will be cropped on Mobile view.
- It will load fastest as a JPG file that is less than 100 kilobytes
- Avoid small text in images
- Once the page has been created, you can add all the information about your organisation by clicking on the 'More options' button below the cover photo and selecting ‘Edit Page Info’. This is where you can add a brief description (255 characters) as well as location and contact details.
- Under the ‘About’ page, you can add more business information like your Mission, Company Overview, Start date, Awards, etc. You can also share more about your organisation’s background under ‘Story’ in the right column. This is your chance to give people a good idea of what your organisation does. Briefly state the mission of your organisation and the impact your programme creates. You can also add photos and images which help tell your story.
Video and Images
- Adding photos and albums to your page will offer more depth and understanding of the work your organisation does and the impact you create. When you upload a photo or album, your supporters will see it as a post in News Feed. If you have videos which showcase your organisation’s work and mission, add those here too. Some additional tips:
- Add descriptions to your photos
- Tag volunteers and supporters in the photo where possible, or ask them in your post to tag themselves or others
Milestones are a great way to show people the history and progress of your organisation. Your page is a place to celebrate your organisation, staff, supporters and key events, like a programme launch or anniversary.
Consider including things like:
- When your organisation was founded
- Impact from your successful programmes and events
- Your organisation’s contributions to the progress made on major issues
Your page is a great way to let people know about the events your organisation is hosting. All you need to do it click Event and then choose 'Create Event'.
Events created from Pages are visible to the public. When people accept your invitation, it’ll be added to their list of Facebook events. They’ll receive notifications when you make a change to the event and will receive the reminders of the event’s date and time. You can also see who’s accepted your invitation, so you can plan for how many people to expect.
A note is a version of a post you can use for longer messages or statement.
After creating your page, you can access it:
- By clicking the arrow in the top right of any page on Facebook and selecting your page under ‘Your Pages’. If you’re an admin for more than three pages, you will have to hit ‘see more’ to see all your pages.
- In the left column of your homepage under ‘Shortcuts’ If it’s not here, you can click ‘edit’ and add your page to the Shortcuts list.
By measuring how your Page performs over time, you can see if you are accomplishing your organisation goals on Facebook. You can track your Page and post metrics monthly, weekly or daily to evaluate how your Page is growing over time and adjust your content to fit your growing community.
Start by deciding which metric is most important to your organisation. For example, you might consider:
- Post reach
- Engagement such as likes, comments, shares or video views
- Actions taken such as shares, website visits, sign ups, event RSVPs, donations and so on
- Audience demographics such as gender, age, locations or languages
- Total page likes
Keep in mind that it’s important to consider which metrics are most relevant to your organisation’s goals, and be careful of metrics which may not contribute to those goals. For example, Page likes are a useful metric for organisations which need a large audience, but may not be useful for organisations looking for a highly engaged audience. Similarly, engagement is a valuable metric for measuring online interaction with campaigns, but doesn’t always contribute to conversion metrics like donations.
The insights section on your Page helps you to measure how people are interacting with your Page and posts. You can quickly see the volume and type of people who are viewing your page activity, as well as which posts are performing best to help you plan future posts
After you’ve set up your page and have at least 30 likes, the Insights section will automatically show info about the people engaging with your posts and Page. Page Insights let you track who’s engaging with your posts on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. After 28 days the summary stats are replaced, but you can still export data from previous months by clicking ‘Export Data’ and selecting your date range.
- Measure how many people each of your posts reached
- Identify the posts which people are liking/reacting to, commenting on and sharing to find the types of posts which resonate best with your supporters
- Learn more about your supporters, such as their gender and where they’re located, to inform your campaign strategy, content creation and targeting
- Look at metrics for other similar organisations working in your space to see what they post and what works for them
- Overview – a snapshot of recent page activity. There’s also a Pages to Watch section, so you can see how other organisation’s like your are using their Pages and what their best performing posts for the week are
- Followers - This is normally a different number to your ‘Page Likes’ as someone can unfollow your page and continue to ‘like’ your page. This section will provide you with a breakdown of follows, unfollows as well as organic and paid follows (which are follows which result from seeing an ad).
- Likes – a breakdown of total page likes and where they came from
- Reach – how many people saw your posts and how they interacted with them
- Page views – how many people visited your page and what sections they’re looking at Actions on page – you can see what people do when they see your page information – like clicking on your website link or clicking to “get directions”
- Posts – here you will find insights on your individual posts. You’ll also see when people are online most to help you plan what time of day to schedule your posts. It’s important to note that insights for the time of day are shown in the Pacific time zone.
- Videos – how often people have watched your videos
- People – the demographics of people who like your page
The primary communication on Facebook happens through posts, as it’s the easiest way to talk to some or all of your followers. Posts can be about anything, and can include text, images, video, links and more.
The Facebook News Feed is designed to show people content they’re interested in. Facebook uses engagement as a way to determine whether a post is relevant to people. For example, posts that people like, comment on and share are considered more relevant, so creating posts that people relate to is key to building reach and awareness.
Knowing your audience is essential for creating posts people will engage with.
Here are ideas for creating content that is relevant to your audience:
- Make your posts timely, based on seasonal and current events
- Ask yourself whether your friends, fans and followers would share the content you’re about to post
- Think about the kind of content your supporters probably want to see in their News Feed before you post
- Research your target audience’s interests and talk about them in your posts
- Connect your cause to other posts that people are already engaging with on Facebook
- Tag partner organisations and other relevant pages where possible
Tip: Many people view Facebook on a mobile phone, so always consider what your post will look like on a small screen. Aim to grab attention with simple, short posts. Before linking to a website, check how it looks on a phone first.
Facebook is a place where people connect with friends and communicate in a personal, casual way. Organisations tend to succeed when they also use a conversational, authentic tone. Overly formal language can feel out of place. Posts which evoke emotion often stand out in the News Feed. Inspiring, solutions-orientated messages are often the most engaging.
Tip: Aim for clear, compelling brief headlines when posting a link. People prefer headline which help them decide whether to read the full article, rather than click bait or long summaries.
Facebook is a great place to humanise your organisation to supporters. People want to know what motivates your work and who the people are behind your efforts.
- Share relevant personal stories from members of your organisation which showcase their experiences
- Be honest about the ups and downs of your organisation by celebrating setbacks and reflecting on setbacks
- Post-on-the-ground stories from the field or photos of events. You can also utilise Facebook Stories to provide live updates which last 24 hours.
- Post-behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your team at work
- Have a dialogue with supporters by asking for feedback about what they love about what you do and what they’d like to see improved.
There are lots of ways to make a post eye-catching. Choose the type of post you create based on what the goal of the post is:
- Video – videos are 7 times more engaging than on other types of posts. Keep in mind a video will start automatically without sound when it appears in someone’s News Feed so try to make the first 3 – 5 seconds especially compelling.
- Images – photos and graphics can bring a post to life. Visuals can personalise your organisation and the people you serve. You can add images to a post, include them in an album or share directly to Facebook from Instagram.
- Infographics – infographics can help to communicate data and complex ideas. They make info easy to digest, which also makes them appealing to share.
- Links – if you add a link to a post, it’ll automatically create an image and large clickable area which sends people to the linked website. This instantly makes posts more visual.
Tip: You don’t have to start from scratch. Use content and visuals you already have. If it looks good in print, it’ll probably look good in News Feed. Do you photos, blog posts, videos, printed brochures, and other pieces you could re-purpose in Facebook posts? To use Facebook efficiently as part of your outreach strategy, re-purpose the great content you have already.
You want to create valuable, relevant content to attract, acquire and engage your audience
Basically you want to tell your story in a way that adds value to someone’s day – good examples of this is World Wildlife Fun, Save the Children
Ask yourself how I can be useful in someone’s life
- Create behind the scenes story – helps connect your organisation to your audience
- Community stories – Hero people who work in your space, or illustrates how your work is helping people’s lives
- When you are creating content keep top of mind – why you are doing what you do – this should underpin everything you do
- Organic reach – this is governed by a Facebook algorithm. This algorithm basically searches through 15,000 to 300 pieces of content within a 2 hour period to decide whether or not it is promoted ahead of other news
- Remember FB penalises overly commercial words
- Post your content in your peak audience time (you can do this by using scheduling). Peak times are generally around 7.30am and 8.00am in the morning and then grow slowly around 3.00pm, then again at 5.00pm, with its peak between 7.00pm – 8.30pm. Use your Page Insights as a more specific guide for your audience.
- Aim for two or three posts a week
- Invite the people you already know
- Connect to your email contacts – you can import your email contacts and send them an invite to like it
- Word of Mouth – ask people to share your page and like your posts so that you grow your reach
- Promote your page in other places e.g. website, blog posts, adding social plugins, email, other social media networks
- Reach outside your current network using ads
Once you have your page up and running and built up a decent following, you can take advantage of Facebook’s Fundraising Tool. This will allow you to collect donations on your Page. You can sign up here. Your application will need to be approved before you can create a Donations Account.