By John Haydon
In a perfect world, all of your fans would see all of your posts in the news feed. But this is not a perfect world, and your Facebook posts are rarely seen by the people who’ve liked your Page.
Yes, it might seem unfair, but when you get right down to it, Facebook users are the ones telling the news feed algorithm what they want in their news feeds, not Facebook.
The bottom line is that posts that are relevant, useful, and / or entertaining get more Newsfeed exposure.
A Simple Facebook Checklist for Writing Better Page Posts
Here’s a simple Facebook checklist you can follow for improving your organization’s engagement and reach on Facebook:
1. Don’t ask for money, just yet
As with belly-to-belly fundraising, it’s never a good idea to have to ask for money the first time you meet someone. The same is true on Facebook.
Before you post anything on Facebook, remember that it’s a friend network. People are there to connect with their friends, not brands or charities. In fact,“supporting my favorite nonprofit” isn’t even on the list:
2. Answer the WIFM question
Make sure your content focuses on WIFM – “What’s in it for me?”
Supporters are more likely to engage with your content if it benefits them. Your content must be valuable, useful, and hopefully entertaining to your supporters.
Be like American Rivers, and remember – it’s really NOT about you.
3. Make your post about your community
Remember, the reason why people support your nonprofit is because they view you as a partner, an agent of the change they seek. But they want to be the hero!
Take the focus off your organization and put it on the heroes in your community.
Learn more: 10 Tips for Turning Photos Into Powerful Stories
4. Tell powerful stories
Your supporters are hard-wired to act when emotions are triggered.
The New York Times did a study on the top emotions that encourage sharing. What they found was that the top three emotions are anger, awe, and anxiety.
Before you publish your next post, ask yourself: How does this update make me feel?
5. Make your appeal conditional (IF)
It’s better to ask people to “share if,” then simply commanding them to share.
Adding a condition “if” puts ownership on the Facebook user. This turns the the call to action into an opportunity for people to share an important part of their lives, and feel included in the group.
6. Optimize it for the news feed
Use Insights to understand what type of content performs best with your fan base.
After you log into Insights, click on the posts report and note the characteristics of your tops posts.
Pay particular attention to the post type that gets the most engagement, as well as the topic of the post. You can also get clues from the comments on your top posts.
Learn more: Three Most Useful Reports In Facebook Insights
7. Recycle past top-performing posts
Another way that you can find engaging content is to recycle top-performing posts from your page. This strategy is almost guaranteed to get your fans liking, commenting and sharing. After all, they loved this content before.
8. Be obsessive about replying
When you reply to comments on your updates, or tag users who have commented, notifications are sent to these users. This brings them back to the update to continue the discussion.
Make sure that you’re getting notifications for your page. You can get notifications on Facebook or by email, by visiting the notifications area in the settings area of your page (as shown below).
9. Enhance your best posts with ads
Use targeted boosted posts to create even more engagement on your top performing posts. Using Insights, select the most relevant post as it pertains to your upcoming fundraiser, and target that post wisely.
John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.