Love it or hate it, Facebook continues to be an important tool in a nonprofit’s marketing and fundraising kit.
On their Q3 earnings call, Facebook released the following mind-blowing statistics:
- 1.35 billion people log into Facebook each month
- 864 million daily active users
- 64% of monthly active users log on every day
- 1 billion video views each day in September 2014
Here are just 8 things your nonprofit needs to understand about Facebook as we enter 2015:
1) 2015 will be survival of the fittest.
According to Facebook, the average user has about 1,500 new items they can see in their News Feed when they log on. Some people have as many as 15,000!
There are 30 million active Facebook fan pages, and 700 million people use Facebook Groups daily.
That is a LOT of competition for attention.
In 2015, getting attention on Facebook will require more time spent on research, writing great content and creative visuals.
Seeing Facebook more as the cornerstone of your online presence and less like a one-way, publishing platform will help tremendously. How can Facebook augment your successful communication and fundraising efforts already underway, such as storytelling?
2) Promotional posts will get buried.
Starting in January, overtly promotional posts will not get as much organic reach in the News Feed (read: they will get buried).
I wrote about this in my last blog post, and I don’t think that this is something to worry about for the majority of nonprofits. However, it is certainly something to pay attention to as a bigger trend.
3) Native links and videos will get preference.
Native links are links to outside websites that you post inside the Facebook status window.
To go along with this recent push for native links, I am loving the “save” feature that allows users to save these articles to read later, right inside Facebook. (I used to take screen shots or email the link to myself! Talk about inconvenient!)
Native videos are videos that you upload right inside Facebook, rather than posting the link from YouTube or Vimeo. If you do post these on your Page, your Facebook Insights will include views and a call to action link.
No matter where you post your videos, the ones that work best on Facebook are those that entertain, inform or educate on a particular topic.
4) The free lunch is really, really over.
Getting results from Facebook ads is hard work. Just read some of Jon Loomer’s great stuff on this topic.
Facebook advertising will be required in 2015 if you want to reach more of your fans, get new fans on your page and promote your events, posts, etc.
I suggest that you get training on the topic, attend webinars and read blog posts. You can also get professional development on the subject.
5) Vanity metrics are so 2014.
Vanity metrics are the numbers that may make you feel good, but do not necessarily translate into more funds raised or more event tickets sold. For example, you may boost a post and get 5,000 more people to see it, but what does that really do for your organization in the long run?
As Facebook guru and trainer Mari Smith says, “Stop striving for the ‘Metric of More’ and instead focus on the ‘Metric of Meaning’.”
6) Unresponsiveness is unacceptable.
When you open the Facebook can of worms and create a Page or a Group, you have a new responsibility. You need to be available to answer questions, comments and feedback from your new online community.
If you are not willing and able to monitor Facebook and get responses to people within 24 hours (less than 12 hours is more ideal), then do not bother.
7) Facebook Groups will become more useful.
Facebook Groups now have their own standalone mobile app! This is hugely useful if you drive a lot of engagement from a Group.
Lifehacker wrote about how underrated Groups are, and I tend to agree. Groups are great for keeping a dedicated, specific, niche audience updated and engaged.
Note: Facebook Groups are very different from Facebook Pages! For more on this, read this post by The Social Skinny.
8) Facebook at Work will come online.
Facebook At Work is a super secret project/new website where Facebook users will create professional profiles, completely separate from their personal ones.
It is designed to compete with LinkedIn, and will have similar functionalities to Basecamp and Yammer, where colleagues can chat together and collaborate on projects.
It’s important to pay attention to this announcement, as Facebook At Work could provide an alternative to LinkedIn and even Dropbox and Google Drive for file sharing.
My number one piece of advice for Facebook marketing in 2015 – Don’t rely on Facebook.
Focus on creating a fantastic online experience for your donors and potential donors who visit your website. Use video, a great blog and dynamic email newsletter to keep in touch with your supporters and showcase your impact.
Use social media channels to bring new people into the fold. Good luck!
What is your biggest Facebook marketing challenge?
The preceding is a cross post by Julia Campbell, founder of J Campbell Social Marketing, a boutique digital marketing agency based in Beverly, MA. Julia received her degree in Journalism & Communications from Boston University and earned a Master in Public Administration from Old Dominion University as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Tidewater Community College. A Beverly native, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, a mother and a social media marketing specialist, Julia helps nonprofits connect with supporters by effectively harnessing the power and potential of online marketing and social media tools. Julia’s clients include small community-based nonprofits and large universities. She also offers one-on-one coaching sessions, group seminars and college courses. Her blog was named one of the Top 150 Nonprofit Blogs in the world and she is included in the Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014. Julia has been featured on Maximize Social Business, About.com, MarketWatch, Alltop, Salon, Social Media Today, Forbes and Business 2 Community.