As the single largest social network on the planet, Facebook boasts an impressive 1.23 billion users across the globe. Of the marketers surveyed by The Guardian – “Facebook: 10 years of social networking, in numbers” 74% responded that their lead generation strategies are influenced by Facebook and user interaction, with many business entities utilizing this network as their primary marketing strategy. In fact, some 52% of marketers in 2013 communicated that they had acquired customers from Facebook.
According to HubSpot – “47 Handy Facebook Stats and Charts” we have the following statistics:
- 85% of fans of brands on Facebook recommend brands to others
- 70% of Facebook users follow links posted by family and friends
- Companies that have more than 1,000 Facebook likes also receive nearly 1,400 website visits a day
- Half of all Internet users who don’t have a Facebook account live with someone who does
Couple these facts with the Digital Marketing Ramblings report – “By the Numbers: 50 Amazing Facebook Mobile & App Statistics” we find:
- 78% of all US Facebook users accessing the platform on their smartphones
- over 60% of all mobile social sharing
- Mobile platforms are the number one way to share and connect
Simply stated, if your strategy does utilize Facebook to stay connected with your donors and potentially reach new donors you may be missing an opportunity for your existing group to expand your fundraising efforts.
The primary issue marketers run into is “clutter”. That is, all of the other bits of information vying for attention, from paid advertising, to humorous quips to the latest news headlines are constantly being shared and promoted across this network. This has presented very specific challenges for fundraisers to stand out on each users feed.
In its basic form, “fans”, “brands” and topic pages utilizes “likes” to influence how often and how high they will rank thru each users timeline and feed. The more likes, the likelier the content is to show to each user.
Of course, Facebook is a business, so actually having a business rank and reach new potential supporters has become increasingly difficult within the Facebook algorithm itself. Facebook has gone out of their way to LOWER the impact brands have with reach and visibility to encourage brands to pay for advertising.
This means it is even more important to connect with those donors and supporters who will further your cause through their own connections. With more meaningful content that emotionally connects with your supporters and potential supporters, you have the opportunity to bypass most paid advertising by delivering what your audience wants.
Facebook Social Media Marketing – Ranking Content
Like most search engines, Facebook relies on an algorithm (mathematical equation that weighs different indicators based on preprogrammed “desires” of what the engineers want to rank) to filter, rank and spread content. The latest algorithm places value on “quality” of content rather than value. Good news for those groups that do not post 100 times a day.
But what indicates “high-quality” content on Facebook?
According to Lars Backstrom, Facebook’s News Feed Manager, the company is now focusing on the links shared by groups and whether or not these links are from authoritative sources. While it is not exactly known, authoritative sources are viewed as those sources that are “liked” (engagement) frequently and “shared” often (reach).
One way to view how authoritative your group is seen on Facebook is through the updated Insights Dashboard. This dashboard breaks down each of your posts into performance metrics for both reach and engagement. From this dashboard you need to pay particular attention to those posts that have performed well with your network, and duplicate these types of communications.
Each post should offer some valuable information that emotionally connects with your network. This content should encourage your followers to interact with your content by supplying information that is timely, relevant and not only furthers your goals, but those of your supporters. It has also been noted that “positive” content types tend to be liked and shared more often than negative content.
Primary Uses of Facebook
Story telling is the most engaging way to interact with donors, volunteers and potential donors online. Visual storytelling, that is to say, compelling imagery with an emotional message encourages more connection. This is Facebook’s strongest hook and a primary reason so many people utilize this social network. With one engaging image and a focused message, you can relay a story that not only connects with each viewer, but also motivates them to take action.
According to Buffer, Facebook photos receives 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs on links than posts containing only text. Fundraisers and charity, by their very nature of trying solve problems and help a community, offer some of the most compelling imagery and stories available to share. This offers your organization the opportunity to bring donors and potential donors face-to-face with the heart and positive impact of your goal.
As a fundraising marketer, you should experiment with various forms of media – photos of your events, community, beneficiaries and volunteers are a great place to start. Encourage discussion and allow your volunteers to join in. The goal is to not only emotionally connect, but to inform and engage. You need to mix the imagery of the problem and the goal with the people who are making the difference. You not only want people to like and share your content, you want them to visit your site, donate and join with your existing volunteers to make a difference.
Building a Community
Engagement on Facebook is extremely fluid and conversation like. This allows a unique opportunity for fundraisers to not only emotionally connect but to nurture and grow an involved community of supporters (followers in Facebook terms). Ask questions of your followers and reply to their feedback. This allows the entire group to feel a part of your cause and will foster more personal relationships.
There is nothing wrong with asking people to like a post or to comment. The absolute best thing you could do is ask people to share your post and offer feedback on your cause. As the leader of your fundraising group, you must begin the conversation for this to happen. The more you engage, the faster your community will grow and the more you will increase donations.
Secondary Uses Of Facebook
Increase your donor list
As we discuss in “14 Ways To Increase Your Donor List” you should use this platform as a way to encourage your Facebook fans to subscribe to your newsletter. Simply add your “Join” email form directly to your Facebook page.
Add Your Facebook Post Directly to Your Blog or Website
While this does require monitoring, adding a Facebook post to your website can be a powerful tool. It allows your supporters to directly engage with your Facebook page and the posts on your website or blog. With a little development or a free app (depending on your website platform) you can replace static images in blog post with photos or videos uploaded by your supporters. Couple this with adding Facebook comments to your post and you are powerfully engaging your supporters and rewarding their engagement with instantly displaying their feedback on your website.
This is also a way to keep your website content fresh and can help with your Search Engine Traffic.