How to Build Community on Facebook: 5 Nonprofit Strategies
Thanks to the widespread popularity of social media, it has become easier for nonprofits to get in front of individuals who are willing and eager to help. Across the world, 18% of donors have given through Facebook fundraising tools, with 88% of them indicating that they are likely to give through the platform in the future. Social media platforms (like Facebook) facilitate connection, allowing your nonprofit to spin an extensive web of support all across the globe.
To effectively tap into the vast potential of your Facebook supporters, consider implementing these strategies:
- Create engaging content on Facebook.
- Inspire Facebook supporters to take action.
- Leverage Facebook Messenger for conversational messaging.
- Show appreciation to supporters on Facebook.
- Measure Facebook traffic and engagement.
The platforms you choose to focus on will depend on your specific goals and resources. For instance, Instagram is ideal for sharing primarily visual content such as images and videos, while Twitter has a 280-character limit per tweet and is most suitable for quick updates and hashtag campaigns.
Facebook, however, remains the world’s most-used social platform, with 2.958 billion active users each month. With this in mind, let’s jump right into building a strong and supportive community for your nonprofit on the platform!
1. Create engaging content on Facebook.
Feature compelling, attention-grabbing content on your nonprofit’s Facebook page to set up a solid foundation for interacting with users on the platform. This will not only keep current supporters invested in your work but will likely entice new individuals to learn more about your mission as well.
Adding engaging graphic design to your posts can go a long way toward conveying your nonprofit’s mission to Facebook users around the world. Use the following nonprofit Facebook content ideas to inspire your creative efforts:
- A video testimonial of a volunteer or a member of your staff elaborating on their personal connection to your cause
- Live behind-the-scenes footage to provide supporters with an exclusive glimpse into your organization’s on-the-ground impact
- An impact story sharing how donors’ gifts enabled your nonprofit to make a positive difference in someone’s life
- Pictures from a recent fundraising event recognizing donors for their involvement in supporting your organization
As always, be sure to maintain consistent branding, from logos to colors to messaging, to boost brand recognition and make it easy for users to associate your content with your nonprofit.
2. Inspire Facebook supporters to take action.
Encourage Facebook users to deepen their investment in your nonprofit’s cause by inspiring them to take the lead in effecting change online. For instance, have your supporters consider starting a birthday fundraiser on your nonprofit’s behalf.
Before their birthdays, users on the platform will typically receive a Facebook notification prompting them with the option to start a fundraiser for the occasion. All they need to do is select your nonprofit’s name, fill in basic information about the fundraiser, and click “Create” to start collecting donations for your organization in lieu of birthday gifts.
Each of your supporters has their own personal network of family members, friends, and acquaintances on Facebook. A birthday fundraiser allows them to celebrate their special day by making a difference in the world—for your nonprofit, this means additional funds to power your work and additional promotion of your organization online.
3. Leverage Facebook Messenger for conversational messaging.
It’s no secret that personalized communications are key for nonprofits to develop close, long-lasting relationships with individual supporters. Fortunately, your organization can easily interact with users online with Facebook Messenger.
GoodUnited’s Facebook fundraising for nonprofits guide points out several compelling ways nonprofits can leverage Messenger to strengthen supporter connections. For instance:
- Offer tips and encouragement to users who have created a Facebook fundraiser.
- Share updates about your nonprofit’s work, impact, and upcoming activities.
- Send surveys to ask for feedback and gain more information about users, such as their personal reasons for supporting your organization.
- Solicit additional gifts and re-engage donors by continuing to reach out to them long after a fundraiser ends or a gift is made.
Furthermore, your nonprofit can automate many aspects of your digital fundraising and supporter engagement strategies for added efficiency and effectiveness. In this case, you can set up automated conversational messages or partner with a company that handles the entire process for you.
4. Show appreciation to supporters on Facebook.
In order to build and sustain a close community of supporters on Facebook, it’s important to express your appreciation frequently. Users choose to get involved in order to contribute to your impact, so be sure to acknowledge just how valuable their support and their gifts are to keep them motivated going forward.
According to eCardWidget’s guide on how to thank donors, your nonprofit can maximize your appreciation efforts by:
- Personalizing your communications. Tailor each message to its recipient by including the supporter’s first and last name, along with specific details of how they contributed toward your mission. This allows your nonprofit to deepen connections with each individual and sustain their support in the long run.
- Sending prompt thank-you messages. Ensure that your supporters understand the significance of their contributions by following up promptly to express your gratitude.
- Sharing the impact of users’ support. Help supporters recognize their direct impact by updating them on how they helped your nonprofit further its purpose. For example, an animal rescue nonprofit can reach out to a user and share that their birthday fundraiser provided enough revenue to purchase all new pet beds and grooming supplies.
- Providing additional opportunities for engagement. Show supporters that you’re dedicated to developing lasting relationships with them by suggesting additional ways they can get involved with your nonprofit. Depending on their individual interests and preferences, you can suggest volunteer opportunities or simply ask them to subscribe to your email newsletter.
Developing a habit of appreciation is not only polite, but doing so can help your nonprofit develop a strong online presence and a positive reputation on social media, leading to even more support down the line.
5. Measure Facebook traffic and engagement.
Whether you’re promoting supporter-led fundraisers or communicating with users on Facebook Messenger, remember to measure your performance to pinpoint areas of success and areas for potential improvement. Review your social media results on a regular basis, asking questions such as:
- What types of content lead to the most engagement from our audience?
- How many users are liking, commenting on, or sharing our content?
- What is our social media engagement rate?
The answers to these questions may provide crucial insights into how your nonprofit can improve its Facebook strategy. If you determine that you need to boost engagement on the platform, for instance, consider incorporating more Challenges on Facebook. Alongside these peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, you can create Facebook groups to invite users into more close-knit, dedicated communities of supporters.
Social media is so appealing to people around the world because it enables them to build bonds and find community among like-minded individuals. At the end of the day, remember that it’s all about creating a positive experience for your Facebook supporters. Help them feel connected with other people who all want to work toward the same goal—making the world a better place—and watch your support grow.