Advice and answers from the ActionSprout Team

Do any of these questions look familiar? These are the things our nonprofit friends most often want to know. 

Hopefully these answers will help, but if you don't see what you're looking for, just ask: info@actionsprout.com

How can I increase the organic reach and engagement of my Facebook Page?

The key is content curation. That's the practice of finding and sharing the top stories and news related to your mission on your Facebook page.

Your page shouldn't be limited to content directly from your organization. It should also tie in content related to your cause, especially if it's content that's likely to get a lot of likes, shares, and clicks. 

Facebook's algorithm promotes content that people engage with. Thus, by sharing the most highly engaging content, you'll exponentially grow your audience and future interactions with your own content.

Learn more about curating your Facebook content

What's the difference between reach and engagement?

“Reach" is the number of people who will see your post in their newsfeed.

Facebook users have more than 1,500 pieces of content targeted at their newsfeed per day. But how much do they actually see? Only about 200-300. That's why not all your supporters will see all of your posts. And even if they do see them, they may not stop to read and interact.

“Engagement” is how much interaction your post spurs, from people liking it (or otherwise reacting), commenting, sharing, clicking, or watching a video. 

Your engagement numbers are but a subset of your reached numbers because people don't interact with every post they see.

How can I get more people to view my nonprofit’s Facebook page?

Frankly, people don't usually go to other Facebook pages. (Think about it: When was the last time you visited a Facebook page other than your own?) People prefer to just see and engage with content that appears in their newsfeed. 

In other words, don’t worry about your page views too much. Focus instead on creating great posts that people naturally want to engage with.

What defines a “fan,” and how does Facebook calculate that?

Fans are anyone who has clicked the “Like Page” button on your Facebook page, ad, or post. Your current fan count is the number of people who have clicked that button (minus those who subsequently unliked your page by clicking the button again).

Being a fan of your page doesn't mean they're necessarily still following your page or receiving your posts in their newsfeed.

What's the difference between liking a Facebook page, being a fan, and following a Facebook page?

Everyone who's clicked your "Like Page" button will also be following your page by default (unless they click the button again to unlike it).

Following a page means you've asked Facebook to keep showing you the page's posts in your personal newsfeed. 

Once you've liked a page, you can also choose to unfollow it. This maintains your public like of this page, but you will no longer receive that page's posts in your newsfeed. 

On the flip side, you can also choose to follow a page and receive their posts in your newsfeed without publicly liking them.

Can people who haven’t liked my nonprofit’s page (non-fans) still see our posts?

Absolutely! All posts that you publish to your page are public and viewable by anyone, regardless of whether they've liked your page or not. The number one way non-fans will ever see your content is if and when their friends share your posts.

They can also sometimes see your posts when their friends like or comment on the post, or if you use a hashtag they happen to search for.

Is there any way to send a message to all the people who have liked my page?

Not at this time. Facebook does not allow page managers to bulk message the people who like their page.

Alternatives include: messaging key people who like your page individually, engaging them in conversation in the comments, or running social actions to collect their contact information, so you can send them emails.

How do you build relationships with people who like and comment on your posts?

One of the best ways to build deeper relationships with your Facebook supporters is to engage them in conversation. Message them back, reply to their comments, and like their comments on your posts. 

Above all, don’t leave their questions unanswered. Thank them for their support and share additional resources they might enjoy.

Active engagement with your supporters shows them you care.

Learn more about building relationships

Should I verify my nonprofit’s Facebook page?

Yes! There is no reason not to verify your nonprofit’s Facebook Page. Verification signals trust and security to your supporters, and clears up any questions about whether the Facebook Page belongs to your organization. This verification is also tied to your page throughout Facebook, including searches and comments.

Learn how to verify your page

Why don’t I have a “Donate Now” button on my nonprofit’s page?

To unlock that button, your Facebook page must be classified as a nonprofit. Here’s how to check what your current page category is and change it.

Once your page is categorized as a nonprofit, follow these instructions to set up your new donation button.

I started my nonprofit as a personal profile on Facebook. Should I switch to a page?

Definitely. Personal profiles are designed to represent real individuals, not organizations. Facebook says:

Personal profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people. Pages look similar to personal profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations. Pages are managed by people who have personal profiles.

Using a personal profile in any other way violates Facebook’s terms of use.

It’s against the Facebook Terms to use your personal account to represent something other than yourself (ex: your business). If you’re using your account to represent something other than yourself, you could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Page.

Also, personal profiles are limited to 5,000 friends, and many nonprofits quickly exceed that. So it's in your best interest to do so.

Learn how to convert your personal account to a Page.

What makes a “good” post? Should I always include an image? Should my text be a certain length? How about videos? How long should they be? Are text-only posts okay?

There are no fixed rules that define a “good” post. Ultimately, you'll need to experiment and pay attention to what resonates on your page with your fans.

Here are a few general rules of thumb:

  • Try to post the most engaging image or video you can. Photos of people and animals tend to be highly engaging, especially if they’re looking right at the reader.
  • If you’re including a lot of text in your post, make sure your most important message comes first. Otherwise, people will have to click “read more” to see it and will likely miss it.
  • If you think you might spend money to boost a post with an image, make sure the image contains less than 20% text. You can check this with Facebook's text tool.
  • If you're posting a video, make sure it grabs people’s attention in the first two seconds. Videos autoplay as they come into view, so they only have a very brief moment to catch a person's eye and make them watch. Grab attention first. Then go more in-depth.
  • Did you know 80% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off? Add text or captions to make sure it's understandable, even if they can't hear it.

How does the Facebook algorithm determine which of your fans receives a post?

There are three main ways Facebook decides which of your fans will see a post in their newsfeed:

  • Past engagement with your page - If they commonly engage with your posts, they are likely to see more of them in their feed. If they usually don’t engage, they'll see fewer of your posts over time and may stop seeing them altogether.
  • Interest in the subject matter - Have they historically shown Facebook they're interested in the subject you just posted about? For example, if they often engage with posts about polar bears, and you post about polar bears, then they're likely to see your post in their feed.
  • Content type - Do they typical show a preference for the content type you just posted? If they commonly engage with videos, for instance, and you post a video, there's a higher likelihood they'll see it in their feed.

How often should I post to Facebook?

This will depend on when your particular audience is usually active on Facebook. You can access this data under your "Insights" tab. Just look under "Posts."

Should I be concerned about “communications fatigue” with our audience if we post 2-3 times a day?

First of all, not all your page fans see each of your posts. Each time you post to Facebook, the algorithm decides which of your fans will most likely enjoy and engage with your post.

So if you post multiple times a day, you're reaching a new sub-group of your fans each time. In other words, you're increasing your overall page reach for that day.

It is safe to say that if you posted to Facebook five times in one day, no single fan would see all five posts in their feed. Facebook is very good at protecting its users against such spamming.

How many posts per day is too many?

That will depend on your audience, your content, and your issue. Many successful pages post 10 or more times per day! Most nonprofits, however, just don't have the time or resources to post that often, and that’s okay. Post as much as you can. It’s extremely unlikely that you will ever post enough to cause a problem.

What’s the difference between a mention and a hashtag?

A mention links to a person or page. Once you mention them in a post they'll receive a Facebook notification when that post goes up as well as whenever someone interacts with it.

Mentions are used to get people's attention, invite them to engage, or ask for a response. Anyone who clicks on the mention will then be taken to that profile or page.

Learn more about mentions

Hashtags are used to organize large conversations on Facebook and social media at large. When someone clicks on a hashtag in a post, they see a feed for of all the people and pages talking about that subject. It’s a way to tell everyone, “I’m joining this conversation, and I want this post to be a part of it.”

Learn more about hashtags

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