May 6, 2013

3 ways to boost Facebook engagement with text updates

Post Status

How to make text updates as effective as photos

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers.

John HaydonIt seems like all the “experts” tell us is to post photos on our Facebook page to get more likes, comments and shares.

Text updates aren’t as sexy, but they can be equally as effective.

Why bother posting text updates on your Facebook page?

Why should you care about posting text updates when the research says photos work best?

There are at least two reasons:

  1. Research is always biased. All studies about how content performs on Facebook is based on aggregate data from thousands of Facebook users, and never a true benchmark for your unique community. It’s like comparing apples with a huge bag of fruit.
  2. Posting diverse content helps you engage more users simply because people have diverse preferences for content type and content topics. Continue reading
April 8, 2013

Understanding how Facebook Graph Search works

graph search
Photo courtesy of TimeHacker (Creative Commons)

5 ways to improve your organization’s visibility through Graph Search

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers, Facebook users.

John HaydonFacebook Graph Search is very different from Google search. With Graph Search — which is still in the process of being rolled out to Facebook’s 1 billion members — you combine a keyword search with friends who’ve shared content on Facebook related to that search.

For example, you can search for friends in Boston who like volunteering for animal shelters. What this means is that there are now many more ways for people to discover your organization on Facebook! Continue reading

December 10, 2012

How nonprofits can adapt to Facebook’s newsfeed changes

6 tips to keep your content top-of-stream

Guest post by Meghan Keaney Anderson
Hubspot

In late September news trickled out about a change in Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm that was causing big drops in reach for many branded pages for nonprofits, businesses and all organizations. The EdgeRank algorithm determines which posts are displayed in the newsfeed and in what priority order. Noticing a clear decrease in the reach and virality of pages, Beth Kanter took to Facebook to see if many nonprofits had experienced it. She received a number of replies affirming the dropoff, while others, like John Haydon at Socialbrite, say the evidence doesn’t support that claim.

What seems to have changed?

The main tenet of social shares remains true: Interesting, remarkable content will always rise to the top

Both EdgeRank Checker and Post Rocket have good posts on the details, but in a nutshell, Facebook has altered the way it displays posts in the newsfeed to prioritize posts that have the greatest number of interactions – a cumulative figure determined by the number of clicks, likes, comments and shares a post receives. The new algorithm also factors in negative feedback and penalizes posts that have been actively hidden by viewers or reported as spam.

Regardless of whether Facebook’s code tweaking is having an impact on your fans’ newsfeeds, the real question now is: Short of paying for promoted posts, what can nonprofits do to adjust to these changes and make sure their content earns the sort of reach and virality needed to engage new volunteers, donors and advocates? Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help your content remain top-of-stream. Continue reading

August 31, 2011

Tricks to ramp up your nonprofit’s Facebook Page

Planned ParenthoodPlanned Parenthood had success engaging supporters through its Facebook Page.

How a few simple changes can make your Facebook Page more visible & engaging to fans

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, community managers, marketing professionals, NGOs, businesses, brands.

Debra AskanaseWhat is your nonprofit doing to engage with your Facebook fans? I put that question to attendees during a talk I gave recently at a gathering of New York nonprofit organizations — and heard about some great practices:

Planned Parenthood was able to move its Facebook fans to successfully defend the organization against legislative attacks.

• MASA Israel found that including a media image (photo or video) with every wall post update increased wall post engagement. MASA Israel also developed a successful Facebook application that streamlines the program enrollment decision-making process.

• The Partnership at Drugfree.org held a successful Facebook wall chat, most recently with the actress Melissa Gilbert.

The importance of the newsfeed

At the event, convened by my colleagues Michelle Perrault and Seth Giammanco at Minds On Design Lab, I talked about how to ramp up your Facebook engagement. The presentation covered understanding Facebook post engagement, matching goals to engagement, practices and ideas for designing Facebook Page, and how to measure engagement and ROE (return on engagement).

Most fans never visit a Page but instead rely on the Page’s content to show up in their newsfeeds. A recent ComScore study reports that “Facebook users are 40-150 times more likely to consume branded content in the newsfeed than to visit the Fan Page itself.” However, the problem is that not all content will show up in the Top News section of the newsfeed, which is the default newsfeed setting.

Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank that dictates which content will be featured prominently in an individual’s newsfeed. (See J.D. Lasica’s explanation of how EdgeRank works.) EdgeRank takes into account three factors: how recent was the content published (on a site, on a Facebook Page), how much interaction did the piece of content create and how regularly the individual interacts with that organization or brand. Thus, if an organization publishes a video to its Page, and no one Likes or comments on it, the video may never show up in the Top News newsfeed of someone’s home page. However, if an individual often Likes, shares or comments on that organization’s content, there is a higher likelihood that the video will show up as part of the Top News. Continue reading