Social Media Advice for Nonprofits

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If you run a volunteer organization, chances are you’ve often felt you need a stronger social media presence, but you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you have heard conflicting advice. After all, there are a lot of so-called social media experts out there!

I’ve spent some time working on social media in both the news media world and the volunteer world (see about page of this blog) for the past few years and I’ve compiled a list of the basic things any administrator of a basic Facebook page can do to boost their presence online.

1. First, let’s start with the anatomy of the page. You’d be surprised how many pages are categorized incorrectly.

From your admin panel (the top of your page when you’re logged in as yourself or the account associated as the admin of the page), click ‘edit page’ and ‘update page info.’

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What is the category listed for your page? If you are nonprofit, make sure you’ve selected that category. The category is what helps content show up accurately in Facebook’s graph search, which will help people find your business or group.

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Make sure you have as much accurate information as possible in the other fields, including the correct website, products, company overview, long description and general information. It’s good to check this page every six months or so, as sometimes features and fields for an admin page will change over time.

2. The next thing that nonprofits or page admins often struggle with is how often to post. It may not be a high priority to post content to Facebook with so many other tasks to do.

If you’re struggling with remembering to post to Facebook, just start out with a small attainable goal and grow it from there. If you’re posting once a week, set a goal to post twice a week. If you’re posting several times a week, you will see a large bump in your engagement if you start posting every day.

Why should you post more often? Every day a Facebook user could potentially see thousands of articles, updates, photos, etc. from their network. Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm filters out a lot of that (source: Social Media Fuze), so the likelihood that your post will actually be seen by the fans who like your page isn’t very high. The shelf life of a newsfeed is also a few hours, so even if you posted on Monday, your users may not see that post if they haven’t logged on in 24 hours.

Want some more stats about Facebook? Here are some basics I put together for a presentation on reaching social media and youth for a conference for rock climbing organizations in late 2013:

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The entire presentation about social media can be found on the site here.

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