Doing Facebook Right
Last week I had the distinct pleasure to present to about 60 members of the nonprofit industry at the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association monthly meeting. My presentation was about demystifying social media for nonprofits, and the discussion across the hour was a combination of questions, challenges and sharing of best practices.
In this week's blog and next week, I'm going to share my presentation, but today I'm starting with Facebook. From my perspective it might be misunderstood in some areas but extremely valuable in other areas.
Let's start with some data about Facebook and the other primary social channels used by nonprofits:
- 93 percent of marketers use social media for business.
- Facebook has 1.15 billion active users with 4.75 billion items posted daily.
- Twitter has 232 million active users with 500 million tweets a day.
- Instagram has 200 million active posters a month — estimated 75 million per day.
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month.
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube — 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (but 80 percent of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S.).
Now, let's talk about some tough news. Recent data suggests that 53 percent of nonprofits are not measuring their social-media efforts, and 67 percent have no social-media strategy, policies or goals documented.
Yet, with so many nonprofits represented in Facebook, it is easy to see the big mistake: Many organizations rush to set up Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more and start using the tools — yet there is not strategy or even a set of goals for what they want from these channels. The tools/channels should flow from the strategy/social-media plan, not the other way around. In next week's post I'm going to go through the development of a plan and the key elements for measurement.
But since Facebook is so heavily used — yet there are very few strategies and goals established — I'm going to run down the quick list of things you should and should not be doing:
- No. 1 mistake: Your posts are too much about you. The 80/20 rule is the best approach: 80 percent should be social, and 20 percent should be about your brand/company/product.
- Accept that feedback is going to come on your Facebook page — both negative and positive. In fact, you actually really want feedback because it is the start of a dialogue with your community. So, do not shy away from it, but how you handle it can be right and wrong. The rule of thumb is to acknowledge any negative comments or criticisms within your community and on your Facebook page, but never, ever try to resolve negative issues in the public space. We had plenty of discussion about this last week, and trust me, the "haters" who are just there to stir the pot or create a problem for you will often be called out by others in the community who are there because they love what you do and support your cause. Trust your social community — but also make sure you play a part in solving the problems of truly upset constituents.
- As mentioned above, creating a dialogue is what you want — you do not just want a one-way conversation. One way to do this is by asking questions within your posts. Get the conversation started, and then watch what you learn from your social family. Asking questions is a very powerful engagement approach and should be done in a way to create a dialogue about your mission and/or how people feel about/connect to your mission. But, here's a quick tip: Put your questions at the end of the post — not the middle — and you'll get a better response.
- There is a limit to how much people want to read. I know that you feel like you can read forever about your organization, the work that is being done, the people being helped — but you are not them. Don't write more than 80 characters, according to studies, and 40 is the magic number and will drive an 86 percent lift in response.
- Just as writing too much content can be a problem, writing too often is a problem too. The No. 1 reason people unfollow a brand is because they feel the brand posts too often. The rule of thumb is to post no more than two times per day and no more than four times per week.
- Finally, and I know you've heard it before, it's about quality not quantity. There are nonprofits out there with millions of followers, and there are some with only thousands of followers. Whatever you do, don't chase a big number unless you know all of those connections are quality followers. Your goal is to attract people who will share your information, take action on your behalf and be your advocates.
So, take 30 minutes and run through these six points and see how your Facebook posts are measuring up.
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.