Are Your Facebook Fans Really Loyal?
I was on vacation last week — so I spent a lot of time on Facebook. Most of the time my Facebook usage is focused on 30 minutes here and there throughout the day, but on vacation I had two different Facebook exposures: 1) more time than usual and 2) on my laptop versus just my smartphone. Wow, what a difference.
I learned a lot. First, I got more insight into the brands my Facebook friends are connected with. Second, I got to spend a lot more time looking at how nonprofits and (commercial brands) talk to their fans and "advertise." I found it interesting that there is not really a clear trend or best practice. Granted, I say this from the perspective of the brands I like and the brands of my Facebook friends, but what I realized is that there are multiple strategies deployed relative to content, fundraising, etc. It was just perfect timing for me to see this post from Fast Co. — of course, on Facebook.
This post came toward the end of the week and was a great way to think back over all the various business/nonprofit posts I had seen. There's some great information here, but before you click on the link just know that I am not recommending you follow the Burger King strategy. That's interesting, but unless you have found yourself with a tremendous Facebook following and a lot of your followers are inactive, then I would suggest you just chock that one up to "really unique strategies" and then keep reading to the do's and don'ts.
Here's a summary of what I believe are the most important points and, in some ways, the suggestions I believe nonprofits need to pay the most attention to:
- Respond to comments — both positive and negative. This goes back to the basic concept of listening. Many organizations have a tendency to only handle negative issues. It is important to remember this is about "social networking" and your constituents/fans are also very interested in hearing your thoughts outside of just your posting. I know the article recommends a maximum response time of 24 hours to respond to people's comments and that might be hard for many nonprofits that have lean staffing models, but the key is to make sure you are having a dialogue that is outside of just your posts to everyone.
- Length really matters, and interestingly enough there is a "magic" number according to this article and infographic — 40-character posts have the greatest response and 81 is too much. Apparently 40-character posts received 86 percent higher engagement than others. This is very important. As nonprofits focus on storytelling, it is important to realize that most people want to be able to experience multiple posts during their Facebook visits. The worst thing you can do is take up a lot of their viewing space with long posts and put them in a position to hide you from their news feeds. The length is not the only thing that matters though. There is also a frequency standard. You should not post more than one to four times per week and no more than one to two times per day. Again, your goal is to communicate the right amount — if not, you will lose your impact.
Finally, as many of you know, I have written before about the need to involve your constituents in the conversation. In other words, have a dialogue. But the danger of this on Facebook is that if you aren't in a position to respond to comments from your Facebook constituents then it could backfire on you. However, if you are in a good place to monitor comments and "talk back," asking questions often gets the most engagement. The infographic states that posts with questions generate 92 percent higher comment rates than non-question posts … and we already know that comments (versus likes) are a sign of increased interest and commitment to the cause.
Take a glance at this article, and then take a look at your Facebook posts.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.