As well-intentioned as you may be, you have to play on the same field as everyone else in social media. In fact, if you’re operating a non-profit, you may even be at a bigger disadvantage depending on the update. For-profit businesses are the source of most of Facebook’s funding. So it’s obvious that most updates benefit those playing ball for cash.
The disappointing factor for a lot of non-profits is that they actually do compete and conduct business almost identically to regular businesses. They create compelling ads in the right way (example here), they often pay for their advertising, they target a niche, and they ultimately deal with competition. Even still, profits vs. non-profit businesses are still two separate worlds, and an update might hit your non-profit a lot harder.
What about your business? Are there are any updates recently that affect non-profits?
Three Important Facebook Updates for Non-Profits
#1 – A Twitterless Universe
One marketing method which was thought beneficial for non-profits was that a Facebook status update could be shared cross-network on other social media sites like Twitter. Hey, a free, instant update! You can’t beat that. So this is a negative update for your business. Right? Well, not so fast. Having Facebook sever ties with Twitter (in only this respect) is a great thing. The 20 seconds it would take you to update a Twitter status was sacrificed by many in order to let Facebook automate the process, which led to poorly constructed, illegible tweets with truncated links.
A nasty, ugly, no good, very bad tweet is a tweet that isn’t retweeted! Non-profits heavily rely on the share potential of their postings, so having to manually flesh out a Twitter status update or news quip is actually a blessing in disguise.
#2 – Facebook Gifts
Another potentially positive update for your non-profit, the new Facebook Gifts feature allows the site’s users to not only purchase gifts from approved companies, but also to have them delivered directly to a recipient’s door. See the potential here for charity? Yeah, it can be huge.
However, since this is a new feature of Facebook, you’ll ultimately see “Gifts” only going to Facebook’s favorite brands. This means you’re going to probably need to contact Facebook directly in order to have your product(s) and brand listed on the new Facebook Gifts feature.
#3 – A Decreased Page Reach
It seems as if Facebook’s project Page reach hasn’t panned out. Supposedly, after the updates were through rolling out, around 16% of fans were supposed to see status updates directly on their News Feed. Many businesses are only reporting seeing around a 6-9% reach. This is a huge difference, especially if you’re a non-profit vying for support.
However, to raise this percentage to 16%, or even more, what you need to focus on is quality. Remember, the more people who like your content, share it, comment on it, click on links etc., the more people will see it.
If you’re unique and good, you don’t have to worry about these percentages.
Organically reaching people in a non-profit is what’s needed. Paid advertising can get the job done, but that expense is too large for many. The Page reach is expected to pan out eventually, when exactly is anyone’s guess.
Non-profits don’t have the same lobbying power in any type of business medium, even on a social networking site. Especially for the smaller non-profits out there, you just have to roll with the punches. Knowing how certain updates will affect you is a great way to stay on top of new marketing decisions.
Post written by: Lori Davis, a writer from a Facebook ad campaign tool – Qwaya. Besides writing about marketing on Facebook, Lori also writes about social context and customer engagement online.