We offer tips to help you make the most of your charity’s Facebook presence
Since its launch in 2006, Facebook has amassed more than 50 million monthly active users in the UK, compared with just over 16 million on Twitter. Facebook is particularly well used outside of urban centers, making it an important tool for engaging with local communities.
Your charity can use Facebook to find new supporters and hard-to-reach audiences, build communities, generate income, and promote your events and activities.
In recent years, a number of ethical considerations, such as misuse of personal data and ineffective moderation of hate speech have led some charities to question their involvement with the platform. A coalition of charities formed the group, Charities Against Hate, to produce useful material on addressing these issues and guidance to support your policy decisions on social media use.
Facebook supports the social activity of a vast range of individuals and interest groups, so whoever your audiences are, there is a good chance you will find them on the platform.
Many special interest communities gather on Facebook. Joining the Facebook groups where your audience are will help you reach the people who you are trying to support. Join as your charity’s page and become an active and helpful member of the group. Members will begin to like your page if they value your support.
You can also run targeted advertising campaigns through Facebook Ads Manager to reach your target audiences and recruit them as followers or subscribers by running a page likes or lead generation campaign.
Facebook includes an events section that allows you to showcase upcoming events. You can include the date, time, and location of an event, a cover image and a description to help explain who the event is for and what will be covered.
For live events you can include a physical location and for virtual events you can incorporate a registration link.
If someone expresses an interest in or marks that they plan to attend your event, it is more likely to be shown to their friends and connections on the platform. You can also pull your event listing into a Facebook Ads campaign to drive interest and sign ups.
Grow a community of beneficiaries, supporters, and experts via your Facebook business page by creating engaging content that draws them into conversation with you and each other.
Content that supports your organisation’s educational goals and positions you as experts is a valuable resource for people in your audience and beyond that rely on your expertise. Misinformation is rife online and charities have an important role to play in improving the quality of the infosphere.
Use conversation starters to spark discussions with your audience about the issues that matter to them. Ask a question or make a statement on something relatable, offering easy ways for your audience to share their experiences, making them feel welcome in your community.
Create space for the voices of your community by sharing their stories and achievements as case studies, with their permission and your thanks.
Launch Facebook groups to support people in your community with lived experience to come together. Facebook groups are also really helpful for bringing together fundraisers taking part in an event so that they can enjoy the highs and lows of the journey together.
Use Facebook Lives to give a glimpse of your organisation behind the scenes. You could host a Q&A with one of your experts, a live update from your Chief Executive, or simply show preparations for an event.
Showcase the people who make up your organisation to build trust and connection between your team and your audiences. You might have staff members tell their stories in a post or even take over your Facebook stories for a day!
The number of people using Facebook stories continues to grow with around 500 million people using them every day.
There are a number of ways that you can generate income on Facebook as a charity by setting up Facebook’s charitable giving tools. Once your charity has been approved for the tools you will be able to add a donate button to your page, your adverts and even your Facebook Lives!
Facebook users setting up ‘Facebook fundraisers’ will also be able to select your charity to fundraise for.
Setting up a Facebook Shop will allow you to generate income via e-commerce, whether this is another channel for your retail arm or a place to sell products that reflect your charity’s brand. At the time of writing, Facebook is on the verge of rolling out in-platform checkout which should help to increase the conversion rate in shops.