Your nonprofit has a Facebook page for one ultimate goal: to engage supporters in your cause. But in order to get people engaged, you're going to need engaging content. You need to rally current supporters, attract new supporters, and inspire action for your cause.
So how do you “post well” on Facebook and reach those goals?
First, know when your supporters are most likely to be on Facebook.
Then post at those times at least 3-5 times per day.
Why 3-5 Posts Each Day?
Well, let's back up and give you some context about how Facebook works.
According to Facebook there are:
“More than 1.8-billion people [who] use Facebook to connect to the things they care about… On average, there are more than a billion stories posted to Facebook every day.”
That's a lot of people and posts!
What the folks at Facebook quickly learned was that showing every user every possible post (from their friends, family, and pages they liked) was just way too much content for anyone's news feed. The average person would have to scroll through roughly 1,700 posts per day to find the info they really cared about.
So Facebook developed a powerful algorithm to narrow down those 1,700 to a much more manageable number, bubbling the most important ones to the top.
Why does that matter to your organization? Are you ready for this... Roughly only 5% of your supporters will ever see your post in their news feed! With the help of past behavior info and browsing patterns, Facebook serves up your content to the 5% of folks most likely to want to see it and engage.
In short, Facebook does its best to match its users to the posts they most likely care about.
How does that relate to the 3-5 posts per day recommendation?
Since only a small percentage of people actually see each of your posts, it’s extremely unlikely that one single person will see all of your published content for a given day.
So if you post multiple times in a day, you have the chance to reach and potentially engaging an additional 5% of your supporter base with each post.
In other words, you dramatically increase your reach and engagement without paying extra for Facebook ads.
Who doesn’t want that?!
Don't Worry About Spamming
Think about it. Facebook is more afraid of spamming their users than you are. Without its users, Facebook doesn't have anything. Therefore, your goals and Facebook's goals are aligned: to engage people with great content and make them want to come back for more.
As we explained, it’s extremely unlikely that one unique person will see all the content you publish in the course of a day. If they do see several of your posts, it's because they've engaged with your content so often that Facebook has decided to show them more of it. That's is a good thing... and pretty much the opposite of spamming. They’re asking for more of your content by how they're interacting with it, and Facebook is happily serving it up!
So how does Facebook know who to deliver your posts to and how often they should?
- Who posted it: The friends, family, news sources, businesses and public figures that a person interacts with most are prioritized in their newsfeed.
- What type of post it is: Whether it’s photos, videos, or links, the types of posts that a person interacts with most rise to the top of their newsfeed.
- How much activity it's getting: Posts that have a lot of reactions, comments, and shares (especially from the people a person interacts most) often appear higher in a person’s feed.
Using these three factors, Facebook does a really good job of figuring out which users will appreciate which posts. Likewise, Facebook is really good at not delivering content to users who don't want to see it.
So lay your spamming fears to rest. There's a reason people are seeing your content in their feed. It's because they've somehow indicated to Facebook that they want to. Otherwise, Facebook wouldn't serve it up to them. It's not in their best interest to do so.
“The goal of newsfeed is to show people the stories that matter to them most — by showing people the most relevant stories to them higher up in their feeds, we hope to create the best, personalized experience for everyone using Facebook. We do this by taking into account thousands of signals and ranking stories from most to least relevant for each person. Every time someone refreshes their feed, the news feed ranks all the stories they are eligible to see and delivers them in this order to their feed.”
The key takeaways of this? Post often. Take more risks with posting. Try new things. If a post doesn’t “work,” very few people will receive it, and you can fail gracefully.
Sure, they could go to your page and see that old post, but remember: no one really visits your organization's Facebook page but you and your team. If your supporters don't see your post in their News Feeds, chances are they're not going to see it.
How Do You Create That Much Content?
Feel like creating 3-5 posts everyday is intimidating? We have two words for you: content curation. About 80% of the time, you should be sharing images, videos, and news created by others that directly relates to your cause. Then you only have to worry about creating 20% of your content in house. That's much more doable, right?
Wait... What's that we hear? Are plagiarism alarms going off inside your head? Relax. Sharing others' content is not only encouraged by Facebook, it's built into the core design of the platform. Here’s why.
There are many ways to find and choose such content to share, including ActionSprout’s Inspiration feature.
When in doubt, you can even repost your own high-performing content a second or third time. According to Facebook:
“It is not bad to periodically repost your top-performing content. If you find that a topic or image gets a lot of engagement, try reposting it. Because newsfeed curates what each person sees in order to serve them the most relevant and interesting content, it is very hard to 'spam' the people who have liked your Page.”
How you find your content doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you’re posting regularly and often, during the times when your supporters are most likely to be on Facebook.
And that’s it. By following this little tip, your organization will be much more likely to reach and engage supporters... for zero advertising dollars at that!
What more information? Here's how one nonprofit greatly increased their reach and engagement on Facebook by curating content each day.
Have questions? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org