You probably heard these before: “You have to boost your posts to get exposure”, “Check out my latest post, it got hundreds of likes – I cracked Facebook”, “We need to get more likes to raise awareness of our charity” and so on.
Then, on the other hand, are the people who failed using Facebook to their ‘advantage’ who say “Facebook is dying”, “Facebook ads don’t work”, “We should open a Snapchat account”…
We are caught in the Facebook game – Get more likes, get more followers, get more comments. So we play along and with every post, we inject a small boost “to get things moving”. We are told that it’s ok to boost posts with £5-15 and this is what most small to medium charities (and some of the big ones) do and this is where the process usually ends.
Well, usually it ends at an hourly gaze at the screen, waiting for the likes count to rise and smiling softly to ourselves if they do.
Let me state this as clearly as possible –
This is NOT real.
Why not? Because likes are not a goal – On their own, they are worth £0 to your cause.
We are going to discuss why you seriously need to rethink your Facebook strategy and I am going to give you a quick recipe of simple actions you can start taking right now to start raising funds from Facebook for your charity today.
To understand my logic we first need to understand what is Facebook’s role in today’s world and how it related to a non-profit.
Facebook is designed as a social platform. Originally it was meant to aid and simplify the way friends in American colleges get together to share experiences and ideas with each other. The first form of Facebook ads was called “Flyers” where students or local business owners could invest between $10-40 to promote their message, usually being some kind of a social event in or near the campus. Pretty straightforward – kind of like the ads we see on different niche websites or a local newspaper.
Over the years, “Flyers” evolved to “Facebook Ads” becoming probably the strongest advertising tool in the history of the world, allowing us to target highly specific groups of people.
This system is driven by “the Facebook Algorithm” – an AI (Artificial Intelligence) that scans through ALL of our content in a fraction of a second and knows more about the people of earth than all governments put together. The ads service is fueled by the biggest network of people in the history of humanity, starting from a few colleges in 2004 to a whopping 2.19 billion monthly active users in 2018.
The more popular Facebook became, the easier it became to lose focus on what actually matters and get caught up in a new “rat race” of accumulating more likes, friends, and followers.
You see, we like to measure our success in points and numbers, much like a video game or a game of cards in the casino, we believe that random numbers we agreed as a society are good ARE the measure for our success (in a video game, cards or facebook posts), but we also want that the game will be as easy as possible to play, so instead of choosing a real number like the number of donors converted or amount of money raised, we choose to focus on the easy stuff “Ooooh our last appeal did great on Facebook – we had 400 likes”.
Within a business or a non-profit, the current role Facebook plays is as a platform to reach out to the public, tell them about our activities and successes and invite them to upcoming events. Basically, it’s a glorified bulletin board or newsletter.
Today I would like to show you one other way of using the platform that will get you REAL results and real insight on your target audience as soon as today.
Likes are not a goal – GET DONORS
Coming from the entertainment industry, there are thousands of pages with millions of followers and nothing in their bank account. This happens because the focus and the energy invested on the platform is toward getting more and more likes compared to actually monetizing their audience. A lot of them feel bad or shy away from using the pages as a means to generate income and are driven by the fear of “Selling out” or losing their influence by making money.
So let me ask you this, what would help you grow your charity? 10 likes per post with 1 of them turning to a regular donor or 100 likes per post with no donations?
Hopefully, your answer is “10 likes and 1 donor”. This tells us that the REAL goal here is getting donations and this is where our focus should be.
Ok, so we know that our actual goal is getting donors but at the moment your getting close to none from Facebook. What can we do?
Remember how I mentioned that Facebook is a social network? So be social!
A person that liked your post is the equivalent of a person saying “nice work” at a social event.
Every time you get a like from someone, follow this simple recipe:
- Send a friend request from a real profile of someone within your charity – ideally this would be the charity owner or “The face” of the charity.
- If the person confirms the friend request, send an instant message and again like in a social event, start with small talk and build rapport. Over time, develop templates for this and the following steps and write them down to “copy-paste”.
- Tell him/her that you noticed they liked your post and ask what they liked about it – This will encourage them to say how great what your doing is.
- Ask them if they would like to get involved with a precise call to action inviting them to support your charity – Do that by re-iterating what they already told you that they like about your activity and link it to them (build a bridge).
- Send a link to a donation page on YOUR WEBSITE, not on JustGive, BT MyDonate or other 3rd party platforms. You don’t want to lose them to thousands of other charities that are competing for their attention.
- Follow up, once – If they didn’t donate, send another message 3 days after to remind them or to ask if they have any questions about your activity.
- If and when they do donate, send a quick thank you message to let them know what it means to you and your cause.
The first thing that charity owners say is “I don’t have time for that”.
Well, how much time have you spent on Facebook in the last month that actually resulted in new donors?
When I dig in I see that the actual reason is never the time, it’s usually just fear of asking for money or resistance to change. So once again, let me be blunt and tell you – It’s not about you! You are here to help a cause and you are the spokesmen for this cause. People are counting on you to deliver a consistent stream of donations for your charity, so get on it, no excuses and do it 45 times before you give up.
Once you get the hang of it you should see an average return of 1 in 10 – 1 donor from 10 likes (by different people).
And the better you get at this true result driven exercise you will know more than you thought you could about your target audience and will have your first system for generating donations from Facebook on command – Publish a post >> Apply recipe.
Please let me know how this exercise worked for you in the comments section below and if you this post resonated with you, let’s talk – I’m sure there’s plenty of other things I can do to help you scale your charity and increase your impact on your cause. Schedule your free strategy session with me here