Posted by Pamela McLeod


Online marketing has seen a huge upswing in availability, engagement and access. It has become easier than ever for your nonprofit organization to reach out to potential constituents and draw them into your cause. Facebook offers one such field with enormous potential for your NGO to tap into: 360° video and photo. This relatively new feature allows your organization to post media which constituents can fully engage with, completely drawing them into your world. So how can your charity try out the feature? Today we are going to discuss some benefits and tricks to get started.

360° shows constituents your world.

For a nonprofit organization, 360° engagement provides the perfect way to draw potential constituents into your world and make them feel involved. What better way to show donors why your cause matters than to literally show them your cause? Whether it’s a post at an event, working with (approved) clients or a tour of the facility, 360° gives volunteers and donors a chance to see inside the organization, and really feel like they are a part of the cause.

For example, check out this video by the NGO charity: water which shows the life of a 13-year-old girl named Selam who gets clean drinking water for the first time. The video showcases firsthand effects of charity:water’s efforts, and raises awareness for the issue, all while promoting their cause in a positive light.

360° drives emotion.

Not only do 360° videos and photos show constituents your world, but they also drive emotion, which can be a primary reason donors decide to get involved. When viewers feel something in your posts, they are more likely to connect with your cause and be inclined to donate, volunteer or fundraise. You can show constituents why your organization matters by reaching out and tugging on their heartstrings through 360° engagement.

360° is easy and inexpensive.

If your nonprofit organization wants to post 360° media on Facebook, getting started proves easy, depending on whether you decide to share photo or video files. It can also be pretty inexpensive, as Facebook offers a virtually free advertising and marketing platform for your charity. Whichever you decide, 360° engagement provides a great field to get involved in to share your charitable cause and help grow your mission.

Get started with 360° video.

Between video and photo files, 360° video remains the more difficult. For 360° video, a special set of cameras records all 360 degrees of a scene simultaneously. Viewers watching the video can then choose which angle to view the scene from. Online, this occurs by holding the cursor over the video then clicking and dragging around the view to see from different angles. On a mobile phone, viewers can drag with their finger or rotate their device to see the scenes.

Unfortunately, current mobile devices cannot record 360° videos on their own. While some apps do exist, these are still in test mode and often are not reliable. For the best experience, Facebook recommends using one of their supported cameras:

These cameras can be more expensive, but if your NGO seeks to record valuable 360° videos, go ahead and check them out, along with Facebook’s support page for video.

Get started with 360° photo.

A more fiscally-sound option to video is the 360° photo, which can be done directly from a smartphone or device. While there are 360° photo apps available—including Google Street View and Google Camera—one simple strategy uses the panoramic option in your camera settings. According to Facebook, any device newer than an iPhone 4s, iPad Mini 2 or iPad Pro model works. Galaxy devices newer than Samsung Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 3 will also work.

First, open the camera setting on your phone and click “Panoramic.” Then, follow the directions to take a panorama photo. Next, go to Facebook and click to share an update. From here you can upload your panorama photo. It should automatically upload as 360°, which you will be able to see in the bottom right corner of the picture.

You can even select the starting view by rotating the picture before sharing. After you have shared the picture, you can change the starting view or turn it off 360° in your settings. For more insight into the 360° photo sharing process, check out Facebook’s support page for photo and see their example here:

With Facebook’s 360° interactive photos and videos, your nonprofit organization can tell its story and bring viewers to a deeper level of your mission’s narrative. Share a more immersive experience with your NGO followers by taking them behind the scenes and putting them at the center of the action at your organization.

No matter what your nonprofit decides, one thing can be certain: 360° engagement is not going away anytime soon, and offers a great resource to get involved in and grow your cause.

Interested in learning more ways to market your nonprofit organization through social media? Firespring is here to help! We offer useful webinars, materials and seminars on how your NPO can market itself to further its cause. Learn more by giving us a call at 877.447.8941 or email hello@firespring.org.


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