Want to learn more?
Join us for a free educational webinar to get the most from your marketing and fundraising efforts.
Last January, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm would change to prioritize content that users’ friends and families share while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands. While tweaks to the newsfeed are not new, this shift is a big change.
Facebook’s intent with the algorithm change is to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”
What does this mean for you and your organization’s social media marketing efforts? Users will see more posts from people they’re connected to in the newsfeed and less content from the pages they follow, including yours.
This doesn’t mean you should abandon ship; as long as there are two billion people using Facebook, there will be value for businesses and organizations. You just have to figure how out you fit in with this newsfeed shift. Try these ideas to start with.
Show your Facebook community how to see your content first.
Users can still choose “See First” in their newsfeed preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite pages. Create a few posts that show users how to become “see first” followers so they don’t miss important news and information from your organization.
Facebook Live is a feature that not many organizations use, but there’s a lot of value in going to your community and having a dialogue with them periodically. In fact, you could do a live conversation weekly to try to engage your followers and get them involved in a discussion with you. It doesn’t have to be polished—just relevant and consistent in order to gain traction. It could be well worth your time; on average, live videos get six times as many interactions as regular videos.
Improve the content you share.
Content is still king, but what you create and share on Facebook needs to be relevant, valuable and engaging now more than ever. If you post content just to post content—without being strategic or thoughtful about it—your reach will go down. The more you provide images and information that has meaning and connection to your audiences, the more likely they are to engage with it (e.g., like it, share it, comment on it, etc.). The more engagement, the higher likelihood your content will show up in your followers’ newsfeeds.
Build a team of social media evangelists.
Ask volunteers, employees, supporters, influencers, board members, partners, friends, family—anyone connected with your nonprofit—to like your page if they haven’t already and to share and comment on your posts. Don’t ask for the “like and share” in your Facebook post specifically (that’s a no-no), but do ask for it offline, via email or on your website. Remember: The more engagement you create, the bigger reach your content will have.
Create a Facebook group.
Facebook has hinted about all the different uses of a group over the past year. It’s an easy way to connect with like-minded people over any topic and create conversations with your community. Here’s the difference between your brand page and a group: Content you share on your page has the opportunity to show up in the newsfeeds of everyone who’s following you, whereas updates from your group will only show up in the newsfeeds of those who’ve joined. Make sure they work in tandem. Actively promote your group to your followers, encouraging them to join so they participate in the discussion and keep up with what’s new in your organization. Once you have an active group, just be leery of self-promotion. A group is for engagement and conversation, not for soliciting.
Pay to play.
One of the most obvious ways to beat the algorithm change is to create Facebook ads. This isn’t new, but it may become even more valuable now that organic content won’t have the reach it once did. What’s important with Facebook ads is to be strategic. If you don’t have a goal or objective for your ads, they can lead to a waste of your budget.
Invest in a multi-channel approach.
Facebook is not the only solution to a successful social media marketing strategy. It may be the most popular social network, but it may not be where your audience is, or you may find that you can create more engagement on Twitter or Instagram. If you target millennials, Snapchat’s new design has made brands more prominent, so you might want to check that out as well. Start testing where your audience is and experiment with different content ideas. Definitely don’t put all your eggs in the Facebook basket—the new algorithm is not in your favor that way.
The bottom line with any social media network is this: It’s not your space. Not really. You’re just leasing it—rules, algorithms and policies can (and will) change in a moment’s notice. That’s okay, you can always adjust. But the best way to create meaningful engagement and connect with your supporters in a consistent way is through a website that’s created with them in mind. Social media will ebb and flow, but a captivating and engaging website provides you with a marketing hub where you create the rules because you own the space. Ultimately, that’s your best investment.
Want to take your organization’s social media to the next level? Firespring offers social media marketing for nonprofits to help you stand out from the crowd. Find out more by calling 877.447.8941 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.