15 tips for achieving organic results on Facebook (Part Two)

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Not sure how to re-engage audiences on Facebook once you’ve made your initial impression? In this blog, we’ve curated 15 simple tips to help you implement your social media marketing agenda faster, more efficiently and more successfully. These tips are designed to help you improve user engagement, page / post visibility and the overall efficiency of your Facebook-driven online marketing campaign.

Publish engaging content. The more followers you engage, the more of their friends you reach, and the more of your own followers will see your posts.

1. Remember the eight seconds rule. The average attention span of online audiences is 8.25 seconds, according to Facebook. Avoid using long status updates unless you are sending across an important message or story. Your audience wants quick updates and short messages.

2. Keep it short. Write and rewrite as time permits. Short, powerful copy works best. Replacing long hyperlinks with tiny URLs can help tremendously. Try free, online platforms such as bitly or TinyURL to shorten your long links and even track audience clicks.

3. Say it with visuals. Pairing your text-based messages with photographs and videos will capture more attention and look more attractive on the News Feed than a block of plain text. Photos with captions help your audience relate to your cause, and they make great cover photos too! Free tools like easel.ly, Piktochart, Design Wizard or Canva can help you easily create interesting images and posters for Facebook posts. Remember to maintain brand consistency by using your organization’s color scheme and branding. This helps your audience easily recognize your posts while scrolling through their News Feed.

4. Reply to messages promptly.  Now more than ever before, charities are expected to have an online presence on Facebook and to be ready to engage in conversations. You don’t need to reply instantly. In fact, for small charities in particular, it’s critical you don’t let your social media presence takeover. That said, you do need to be responsive. Your Facebook page now shows how quickly and how often you respond to messages. A low response rate will reflect poorly on your brand and discourage people from engaging with you. Always reply to comments and private messages, and if possible, create standard saved responses for common queries such as contact information, thank you messages, etc. You can even set auto responses on your page! It is important to remember, however, that Facebook is an online platform for engaging in meaningful conversations. While efficiency is important, you still want your brand’s personality to shine through. With that in mind, try to offer personalized responses and comments whenever possible. The more Facebook sees users engaging with your posts, the more of your followers your posts will reach!

Worried about Facebook taking over? For most small charities, a few hours of planning each month, repurposing content used for existing activities, and two 15 minute Facebook check-ins a day is more than enough for many small charities.

5. Showcase your work. Your audience wants to read and learn more about your cause and the work you do, which is likely why they’ve liked your page. They want to know where their donation dollars are going and they want to stay in-the-loop with your news and updates. Unless they know about your work and impact, they will not feel compelled to support you. Share interesting images and posts about your organization’s projects, behind-the-scene images of your staff and volunteers, events, field work, etc., to make your followers feel part of the efforts.

6. Use Facebook milestones. People want to hear happy endings and success stories that show the difference you are making with their support! By using Facebook milestones, you can share anniversaries, birthdays, or goals you have reached as part of your charitable mission. For example, if you have rescued 1,000 kittens or fed 10,000 people, share it using a Facebook milestone!

7. Create Facebook events. To promote your campaigns and events, create a Facebook event and ask your staff, volunteers or supporters to share the event by inviting their friends to the event page. Facebook Events allow those invited to click Yes/No/Maybe in response to the invitation, and it will appear on their Facebook calendar which will act as a reminder to ensure your audience does not forget about the invitation. Plus, Facebook also sends a reminder notification on the day of your event as one last push for attendees! Do not ignore your event page after your event is over; upload photos from the event to show your audience how successful it was and how beneficial their presence or support was.

If you are selling your tickets through an online platform like CanadaHelps, you can still use Facebook Events. It’s a way to reach potential attendees and to send them to your online ticket page.

Close the deal. Get organic visitors (and paid visitors too!) who visit your page to follow you.

8. Tell your story. Facebook users want to know more about a page or organization before they decide to “Like” it. Sharing pictures, crafting a quick “elevator pitch” for your profile, and creating an engaging and meaningful “About You” section on your Facebook page will not only help audiences learn more about you but also help you establish a reputation as a genuine, worthwhile cause.

9. Post regularly. If a user visits your page and sees the last post was made months ago, they will probably not feel too excited about following it or liking it. Although it can be tough to remain active on social media, this really is a critical key factor for success, growth and engagement. Facebook allows you to schedule your posts in advance making it easier to plan, keep track of important events, and not miss out on posting during peak viewer hours. You can schedule posts using the Facebook publishing tools on your page, or use external social media tools such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite which both have free trial versions available.

Network for Growth!

10. Double up. If you do not have enough time to maintain all your social media accounts, you can link your Facebook page to your Twitter account in order to automatically re-post your Facebook posts as tweets. This is a highly efficient means of crafting and sharing promotional content quickly across multiple channels. You can learn more about this process and how to link your accounts linked here.

11. Unleash Similar Pages. Located under page settings, Similar Pages suggestions is a “must-turn-on” feature. It will allow your page name and photo to appear in the listing of similar pages for users who are viewing a comparable charity or cause page. Think of it as free advertising for your page by Facebook!

12. Network with other organizations. Follow similar organizations that work towards common goals. Share posts that you think your viewers would be interested in seeing. Your audience follows you because they are passionate about your cause. Make sure they receive updates that show them just how hard you are working towards your goals.

13. Tag related or partner organizations and people in your posts. For example, tag your staff, volunteers, or supporters in photos from your fundraising gala or event. This way, your posts will show up on the profile pages of the people who are tagged in the post or photo, and their friends will see it in their News Feeds because their friends are tagged. This is an easy way to quickly share your brand or message to a large audience pool!

14. Join groups. Hear what the community is talking about by joining a variety of Facebook groups. As much as your page is for you to share your message, Facebook is also useful in helping you hear what your audience and the rest of the world is saying. Nonprofits on Facebook is an amazing group that highlights how other charities in the world are using Facebook for their cause.

Track and learn from all the insights that Facebook provides to continue to improve as you go.

15. Keep evolving.  Use the free Facebook insights tool to understand when your followers log onto Facebook and what posts have received the most response on your page. This will help you plan posts that suit your audience, understand what your audience responds to, and how they interact.

Organic reach is just one piece of the Facebook marketer’s toolkit, but if you really want to grow your Facebook success, you can use just $100 to test out Facebook advertisements. Read more about Facebook paid reach here.

Ready to learn more? Register for the Online Donor Acquisition and Retention course from CanadaHelps here. Full participation in the CanadaHelps Online Donor Acquisition and Retention Course is applicable for 3 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or re-certification. Learn more about the Online Donor Acquisition and Retention Course from CanadaHelps here.

This post was originally published on Hilborn by CanadaHelps

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