Facebook Marketing for Nonprofits: a 2020 Guide

The tools you need for a successful Facebook marketing strategy in 2020

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms in 2020, with over 2 billion monthly users. This makes it a great tool for nonprofit organizations who want to get their name and their story out in front of new people. But if you’re new to Facebook, it can be hard to know where to start with your strategy. That’s why we created a guide with all the details on Facebook marketing for nonprofits in 2020.

Facebook Demographics

Facebook users range in age from 13 years old to 65+ years old. Users ages 25 to 34, both male and female, make up the largest group. A more detailed breakdown of age and noted gender is as follows:

  • 13-17 year old users: 2.5% are female, and 3.1% are male.
  • 18-24 year old users: 10% are female, and 14% are male.
  • 25-34 year olds users: 13% are female, and 19% are male.
  • 35 to 44 year old users: 7.6% are female, 9.5% are male.
  • 45-54 year old users: 5% are female, and 5.4% are male.
  • 55-64 year old users: 3.2% are female, and 2.9% are male.
  • 65+ year old users: 2.3% are female, and 2.1% male.

Demographics are important to understand, because they can help you decide the kind of voice you have on your Facebook page, when you post content, and what kind of content you post.

Posting On Facebook

When it comes to the actual content that you’re posting on Facebook, there are a number of things you should take into consideration. One way to help you keep track of all the different types of content you’re posting and when you’re posting it is to create a content calendar.

content calendar template

A content calendar is a great tool for organizing your Facebook posts. You can customize your calendar with the social platform (or platforms, as shown above) you would like to post on, as well as the number of posts you have each week, and the content of those posts. This helps you look at your content from a larger perspective, and create cohesive themes or campaigns.

You can also use a scheduling platform, like Buffer, Hubspot, Sprout Social, or Hootsuite. These tools post content directly to your social media platforms. This can save you a lot of time in the long run, because you can schedule content weeks or months in advance, on a schedule that you want.

Now that we’ve talked about some helpful tools, let’s dive into the what, when, and how of Facebook marketing for nonprofits.

What You Should Be Posting

Video is the best performing type of content on Facebook. Videos have an average engagement rate of about 6%, followed by photos at 4.42%, page posts at 3.39%, and links at 2.72%. Status updates come in last place, with an average engagement rate of only 1.44%.

Whenever possible, you should try to create videos to post on your Facebook page. Now, these don’t have to be professionally shot and edited videos (while those are nice sometimes!). You can easily film and share video from your phone, whether it’s a video of volunteers at an event, a Q&A with some of your team members, or clips from an online webinar. Whatever kind of video content you choose to share, keep in mind that the optimal length of Facebook videos is 3 to 5 minutes.

In addition to video content, you can (and should!) be posting other forms of content every once in a while. Photos, links, and posts about your organization, upcoming events, and opportunities for donations are informative and essential for promoting your nonprofit to new people. This is key for a successful Facebook marketing strategy.

When You Should Be Posting

While there isn’t one perfect time to post on Facebook, there are times and days of the week that users are typically more active, and present a better chance of engagement.

Since most organizations operate from Monday-Friday, 9-5, we often assume that these are the best times to be posting content. However, research from BuzzSumo shows that, based on average engagement, the most optimal time to post on Facebook is between 9-11 PM EST, and the best day of the week to post on Facebook is Sunday. So, if you’re only posting during typical working hours, you may be missing out on some Facebook engagement (scheduling tools can help with that!). Try scheduling occasional posts between 9-11 PM, and on weekends so that you can really gauge whether this is the optimal time for you.

It is important to note, though, that each target audience is different, and will be more active at different times of the day. If you know who your target audience is, try taking a look at other brands and organizations with the same audience, see when they’re posting on Facebook, and which of their posts receive the most engagement. This may offer you better insight into when your target audience is most likely to engage with your posts.

How Frequently You Should Be Posting

While it might seem like posting on Facebook as frequently as possible is a good idea, research from Hubspot has shown that this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, once your nonprofit organization posts more than five times per week, your return on investment drops.

So why does this happen? Well, Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes new content. Therefore, if you’re posting multiple times per day, your earlier posts are most likely going to be lost, and only your later posts will be shown in someone’s Facebook feed.

This can actually be a good thing, because this means you don’t need to spend a ton of time creating content for your Facebook page. As long as you’re posting consistently between two and five times a week, you’re likely to get some engagement from your target audience. If (and when) all of your posts start receiving a lot of engagement, you can revisit your strategy and decide whether you’re ready to post on Facebook more often.

Facebook Marketing Tools

There are several free marketing tools within the Facebook platform that can be used to ensure that you are making the most of your time. Let’s take a look at these tools and how they can help with your Facebook marketing strategy.

Facebook Business Manager

The Facebook Business Manager provides a lot of different benefits. First, it allows you to separate your organization page from your personal page. This can prevent security or privacy issues, and ensure that the correct posts are going to the correct pages (no accidental personal posts on your organization page!).

Facebook Business Manager also allows you to add other page roles, such as administrators and editors. This way, your social media employees and volunteers can post directly to your Facebook page, perhaps during events or projects. However, if you’re concerned about how much access they may have on your Facebook page, you can manage their roles so that they cannot make significant changes to your Facebook page. You can also remove roles through the Facebook Business Manager whenever necessary.

If you decide to run advertisements, you can track them through Facebook Business Manager and create audiences for different ad campaigns.

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are a perfect way to help you build a community. Much like in-person events for volunteers or donors, groups can bring together people who are interested in your nonprofit. You can use Facebook groups to promote special events, ask questions, share fun thoughts and photos, call out or thank group members, and genuinely engage with some of your most loyal followers. Facebook group conversations may even help you garner new ideas for future events or projects, and find out what’s most important to those who care about your organization.

Facebook Insights

In order to understand how your Facebook content is performing, you should take a look at Facebook insights.

There are two types of Facebook insights: Facebook page insights, and Facebook audience insights. Facebook page insights show you how your content is performing, how people are interacting with your content, and how you can improve your Facebook marketing strategy over time. Facebook audience insights help you understand how to create engaging advertisements and relevant content for your audience.

To see your Facebook insights, all you need to do is navigate to your Facebook page, and click “insights” at the top.

facebook page insights

Once you click on your insights tab, you’ll get an overview of the activity on your Facebook page, including page views, actions on your page, page likes, post engagement, and more. You can click on each of these sections for a more detailed breakdown of the information. Facebook insights also show you when your fans are online, so you can make inferences about the best day and time to post.

There’s a lot more information that you can find within your Facebook insights, so we recommend that you take a look at the Facebook Help Center to learn more about using and understanding it.

How Your Nonprofit Can Create Clickworthy Content

Now that we’ve covered the general idea of posting on Facebook and working with the available tools, let’s look at some real-life ways that you can engage with your audience on Facebook and build a community. These forms of content can help your nonprofit break through the endless scroll of the news feed, and reach someone new.

Storytelling

Storytelling is a major part of any marketing strategy. It tells people who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Most often, your story is what will help people resonate with you and want to engage with your organization. Providing people with a story to follow can even help show them how their engagement, donations, or time can help your nonprofit and make positive change in the world.

Polls

Polls offer your audience a chance to quickly engage with your organization. These polls can be simple and fun, like asking your followers their favorite kind of cookie, or they can be more serious questions that coincide with an upcoming event or fundraising campaign. You can continue to increase your engagement with polls by sharing poll answers and reminding your followers that there will be another poll soon.

Live Video

Live video is great for a variety of content. You can promote your live video on your Facebook page, and gather questions in the comments that will be answered during the event. These questions could have a theme, such as questions about a recent project or upcoming event, or you could simply host an AMA (ask me anything) about your nonprofit. Live video can also be used to showcase an event, service project, conference, or everyday life at your organization headquarters. You can even save your live videos to your page so that new followers can watch them after they’ve ended.

Ready to Kickstart your Facebook marketing strategy?

Facebook marketing for nonprofits is a great tool for growth, but we know that getting started can be the hardest part. If you need help creating a strategy, content calendar, fundraising campaign, or advertisements, we can point you in the right direction. Just get in touch with us – we’d love to get started on a project with you!

Thoughts or Questions?

Our blog does not accept comments, but we want to know what you think!  Tag us on Twitter to get the conversation started or contact us.