Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

 

Facebook: To Promote or Not to Promote? (…and Is That The Question?)

Posted by Alison Carlman on October 2nd, 2012

GlobalGiving’s Experiment With Promoted Posts
by Alison Carlman and Oscar Norsworthy

This case study was originally posted on Beth Kanter’s blog as an example of an experiment with social media measurement. We hope you’ll find it useful as you think through your strategy for Facebook.

Promoting a post on Facebook

Listen. Post. Learn. Repeat.

On the Unmarketing team at GlobalGiving, we put a lot of effort into figuring out how to use Facebook to support the thousands of charity projects on our website. The more we learn, the better able we are to advise our nonprofit partners. One of the newest features on Facebook is the “Promoted Post.” Promoted Posts are pictures, links, videos, or text that administrators can pay to appear on more Facebook users’ news feeds. (Did you know that only an average of about 15% of your fans see your posts in their news feeds?) We conducted a month-long experiment to see if Promoted Posts make sense for our strategy.

First Thing First: What’s our Goal?

We wanted to see whether or not Promoted Posts help us reach our goals on Facebook. One way to explain our Facebook strategy is the social funnel. People interact with us on Facebook at all levels of this funnel. While ultimately we’d love to see every fan make a donation to a project on our website, our goal on Facebook is first and foremost to develop an active community of fans around the topics of philanthropy and social change. We wanted to see how well Promoted Posts reach our fans on all levels.

Here’s what success – or a positive return on investment (ROI) – at each of the levels would look like for us:

 
The Social Funnel
Awareness: Getting our messages into the news feeds of people who haven’t heard from us in a while – or never have before. Key metric: reach
Engagement: Inspiring interactions (clicks, likes, comments and shares) from people who don’t usually interact with us. This helps the content spread to their networks.Key metric: clicks
Donations: Telling a story that is compelling enough that people give to a project on GlobalGiving.org. (Ideally donations exceed the cost of the post!)Key metric: donations; net dollars after the cost of the post.

 

Our Promoted Posts Experiment

During the summer we promoted three posts, each about a different topic. We spent less than $100 on each post, and we only promoted the posts to our fans. We also posted regular (non-promoted) links and photo posts related to each of the three topics so that we could compare the performance of regular posts versus paid posts. While we couldn’t control all variables, we did our best to aim for consistency with as much as possible, including the time of day we posted and the content of the post, so that we could draw better conclusions when comparing our results.

Below are the nine updates (under three topics) that we posted this summer as part of the experiment, and how they fared in terms of reach (views), engagement (clicks), and donations (dollars). You can see that the promoted posts were the only ones that drove donations, and they drove significantly higher view and click rates.

ROI: Reach, Engagement, and Donations
From Regular and Promoted Posts on Facebook

Post Topic: Natural Disasters
(Promoted Post net revenue= $667)

Link 4,035 views; 62 clicks
Photo 5,483 views; 66 clicks
Promoted 20,282 views; 218 clicks; $750 donations

Post Topic: Everyday Project Stories
(Promoted Post net revenue= -$30)

Link 3,311 views, 24 clicks
Photo 6,347 views; 58 clicks
Promoted 22,498 views; 301 clicks; $30 donations


Post Topic: Special Campaign
(Promoted Post net revenue= $550)

Link 4,204 views; 51 clicks
Photo 4,975 views; 45 clicks
Promoted 31,510 views; 363 clicks; $600 donations


What we learned

We learned two main things from our experiment. First, as you can see above, promoted posts did drive more engagement at all levels of the social funnel. On average, our promoted posts had five times higher reach and seven times higher click rate (!) compared to posts that weren’t promoted. The financial return, however, varied greatly based on the content of the post. We found that promoting general, ‘everyday’ project stories didn’t drive many donations (in fact, it lead to a negative net financial return), but promoting very timely stories or unique campaigns resulted in a significant uptick in donations (netting approximately $600 per post).

Perhaps the most interesting thing we learned actually happened while we were designing the experiment. When figuring out whether to promote links or photos, we found that photo posts drove more Facebook interaction, achieving a higher reach and better overall engagement (the middle of the funnel!). On the other hand, posting links sometimes led to higher click-through rates to our website, generally driving more donations (the bottom of the funnel!). When we looked back in our Facebook Insights data, we found that this pattern seemed consistent with other posts over the past several months. This information is useful to us whether or not we’re talking about promoted posts.

What does this mean for our strategy?

We found that Facebook’s Promoted Posts can get the job done, successfully driving both engagement and donations. It’s important to note though that we’re still not planning to rely on Promoted Posts to push all our fans through the social funnel.

At GlobalGiving we have an “unmarketing” approach to engagement. This means that we believe there’s inherent value in developing authentic, meaningful, and helpful relationships with our audience through social media to help tell our story. In short, it’s not all about driving dollars. Engagement is important to us.

We’ve concluded that an ongoing Facebook strategy based primarily on Promoted Posts wouldn’t be savvy or sustainable, (remember how the ‘everyday’ project stories posts actually ended up costing us money?) but we’ve decided that we will continue to promote posts when they are particularly timely, relevant, or important for our key audiences. We should also be sure to note that we’ll never be promoting content that would otherwise have been unsuccessful on Facebook in general. As you can imagine, the last thing we want to do is bring irrelevant content to the attention of people who rarely hear from us anyway!

What does this mean for you?

If you can find the budget to experiment with Promoted Posts, it’s important to think through how you’ll measure your return on your investment. Can you put a dollar value on message views, click-throughs to your website, or goal conversions (donations, petition signatures, etc.)? If you’re spending advertising dollars on other media, you may find that Facebook Promoted Posts can also help you meet your goals, so it would be worth comparing your results.

Our fans told us emphatically on Facebook, they don’t love the idea of nonprofits paying for a spot on their news feeds. (The irony, of course, was that we didn’t see a single pushback to the promoted posts when we did them without pointing it out, so peoples’ behaviors didn’t exactly match how they said they would react. But that’s a whole different social psychology experiment, right?) If you do choose to promote Facebook posts, you’ll need to do strategically. You should only promote content that you’re proud of, and it would be wise to measure the results carefully so that you can prove that your dollars are helping you meet your overall goals!

If you don’t have any budget for Promoted Posts, you could still look into your Facebook Insights data to see the different types of engagement that photo posts drive for you compared to link posts. Does your data lead you to the same conclusions that ours did?

Do you have thoughts about whether links or photos get you results on Facebook? Have you experimented yet with Promoted Posts?

Facebook Measurement, part 3 of 3

Posted by Alexis Nadin on September 30th, 2011

On Thursday, September 29th, GlobalGiving hosted a webinar on Facebook Measurement in collaboration with Make Me Social. You can listen to the recording here or view the slides here. This webinar was part of a three-part Facebook webinar series. Each session focuses on a different topic:

Session 1: Strategy and Planning
Session 2: Best Practices & Implementation
Session 3: Measurement and Monitoring

See a below for a summary of the second webinar:

Facebook Insights – Data provided to you by Facebook about your Page!

As the admin on a Facebook Page, you have access to “Insights.” Facebook Insights provides you with metrics around the content that you post on your page. It also gives you a better sense of who your audience is by providing you with valuable demographic information.

Please note that Insights are only visible to Page admins and you will need a minimum of 30 likes on the page to access Insights.

The data that you get is not available in real-time, but at most will be 48 hours old. This will make sense when we move on to the next slide.

You will see that Facebook has provided you with some basic metrics under your posts on your Page. You can access more detailed information by clicking on “View Insights” on the right sidebar on your Page.

Facebook Metrics Vocabulary

Impressions: The number of times your post is seen. This includes views on users’ Recent Stories, Top Stories, and visits to Pages.

Feedback: The total number of comments and likes on your story divided by the total number of impressions. This is the percentage of people who, after seeing your post, engage in some way with the post.

Inside the Insights Section

Inside the Insights section, you get access to an overview of the  analytics related to the level of awareness and engagement on your page. Insights is split into two sections: “Users” and “Interactions.”

(more…)

Facebook Engagement, Part 2 of 3

Posted by Alexis Nadin on September 23rd, 2011

On Thursday, September 15th, GlobalGiving hosted a webinar on Facebook Engagement in collaboration with Make Me Social. You can listen to the recording here or view the slides here. This webinar was part of a three-part Facebook webinar series. Each session focuses on a different topic:

Session 1: Strategy and Planning
Session 2: Best Practices & Implementation
Session 3: Measurement and Monitoring

See a below for a summary of the second webinar:

 

Create Your Project Page – It’s easy!

Step 1: Go to Facebook.com/page.

Step 2: Select the category that your organization falls under.

Step 3: Create your custom URL (once you set it, you can’t change it, so make sure you love it!).

Step 4: Upload your profile picture.

Step 5: Develop your page’s information section (before you begin inviting friends).

Step 6: Select your admins (remember, admins have the ability to edit your page and control participation).

Step 7: Begin inviting your friends!

Listen to the recording for examples of great Facebook pages.

What makes a great profile picture?

 

  • Eye-catching;
  • Communicates information about your organization;
  • Includes a message about your work; and
  • is more than just your logo!

 

What is a landing page?

The landing page is what your visitors see before they  “Like” your page. Traditionally, this page is your wall. You can edit this setting under “Manage Permissions” when creating the settings for your page. In some cases, you might choose to direct first time visitors to your information page, rather than your wall.

Facebook also has a landing page application that allows you to customize your landing page with a personalized design. These branded landing pages can be an effective campaign tool. Customized landing pages generally cost $150-500 to have professionally built.

 

What content should you be posting on Facebook? (more…)

Facebook Strategy, Part 1 of 3

Posted by Alison Carlman on September 7th, 2011

Guest post from GlobalGiving intern, Brian Karanja:

On Thursday, September 1st, GlobalGiving hosted a webinar that was focused on Facebook strategy in collaboration with Make Me Social. If you were unable to attend the webinar, you can listen to the recording or view the slides. This was part of a three-part series of webinars with each session focusing on a particular topic:

Session 1: Strategy and Planning
Session 2: Best Practices & Implementation
Session 3: Measurement and Monitoring

This blog post is a summary of the first webinar:

Defining Social Media Goals

With over 750 Million active users of Facebook, it’s potentially difficult to get your content to bubble up and get users attention. To make these connections work, we need to think about:

  • Motivating people to be interested in what you have to say and
  • Mobilizing them around your cause.

The most important component to integrating social media into your nonprofit communications or fundraising strategy is to have a plan!  You’ve got to figure out what you want and understand how to motivate the community to do what you want.  We highly recommend that you write out your goals and the objectives you want to achieve through social media and how your audience can get you there.

Identifying Your Audience

The next question to address is: who is your audience? Who are the people who can help you reach your goals? Take some time to define your audience groups.  If you decide that one of the best ways to reach one of those groups is to use Facebook, then great!  Let’s talk about some Facebook strategies:

First, you’ll need to understand the difference on Facebook between a Personal Page and a Branded Page on Facebook.  A personal profile should be used by an individual. People can be “friends” with a personal profile. Alternatively, people “like” branded pages to interact with them.  Content on branded pages should be more structured because they represent the voice of the organization.

Your Facebook followers will generally fall into three segments:

  • Audience segment A – People looking for information and ways to get involved.  These are people who are open to your message but haven’t yet heard all that you have to say.
  • Audience segment B – People who are helping to support those impacted by the causes your organization directly addresses. They might not know all the details about your work – yet.
  • Audience segment C – People who have bought into your mission. These followers are already established and interested in what you have to say. They are your foundation.

Building and Maintaining Relationships

What do you post on Facebook? This is up to you! What messages will help you reach your goals? You should plan to have consistent message that builds engagement and gets your audience to respond. When planning your content, you should keep in mind the “social funnel.”  Not all of your audiences are going to give to your organization based on your first post. They’ll generally fall through the “social funnel”:

  1. Awareness posts get people on the page and get them aware of your cause (targeting Audience Segment A)
  2. Engagement posts are built around whether people are ‘liking’, ‘tagging’, and ‘sharing’ your content with their friends. Interest your audience and make them build an emotional connection with your org (targeting audience segment B)
  3. Donation asks should target engaged and attached people. If they participate and adopt your cause they become ambassadors for your organization (targeting audience segment C).

 

The key point here is that:

AWARENESS LEADS TO ENGAGEMENT WHICH LEADS TO DONATIONS

Engaging in Conversations (more…)

Building Trust with Millenial Donors

Posted by Alison Carlman on June 24th, 2011

Hi project leaders! I’m Alison Carlman, GlobalGiving’s Unmarketing Manager. I was privileged to attend the Millennial Donor Summit this week which focused on millennials and social change.

The summit gathered around the idea that targetting millennials is a vital long-term investment for non-profits.  Millenials don’t yet donate as much money as their parents do, but they bring their extensive social networks to the table when they engage with your organization.

At the Summit we discussed the Millenial Donor Report, research conducted by the folks at Johnson Grossnickle & Assoc. This online study of nearly 3,000 20-35 year-olds revealed that Millenial donors thrive in online and mobile environments, but they are still driven by personal relationships and human connections.

Millenials donate to organizations that they TRUST. Where does trust come from? 77% of millennial respondents said that friends and family’s recommendations are a major factor in their giving.  This is an important “unmarketing” principle: your current, satisfied donors are your most important assets. If your current millennial donors feel happy and trust you, then they will promote you amongst their own networks.

How do you get your millenials to feel happy and trust you? Trust is built slowly. With the exception of crises, millennials engage first, and donate second.

According to “ The Trusted Advisor,” trust results from a combination of credibility, reliability, and intimacy.  But these factors are divided by one major bombshell: SELF–INTEREST. Donors, especially millennial donors, can smell self-interest coming from a mile away. (more…)

Zero to Social: GlobalGiving’s Social Media Trainings

Posted by Alexis Nadin on October 5th, 2010

Social isn’t just a tactic for marketing; social is how we live. And as a nonprofit, it should be how your supporters give. Social giving only helps your organization by letting your biggest fans be your advocates. Social networks are tools you can use with your overall marketing strategy to make sure you stay relevant to your supporters.

On September 29, 2010, Alison McQuade, GlobalGiving’s Online Marketing Manager and social media guru, hosted beginner and intermediate trainings on social media. (more…)

Getting Ready for GlobalGiving’s Next Open Challenge

Posted by Alexis Nadin on October 1st, 2010

Tips for organizations that didn’t meet their fundraising goal

Today is an exciting day in the GlobalGiving office! We’re thrilled to announce that the September Open Challenge raised $401,169 from 4,900 donors for 136 organizations!  Amidst the excitement, however, we know that a lot of organizations did not meet GlobalGiving’s thresholds, despite a tremendous amount of organizing, outreach, and effort.

If you represent one of those organizations, don’t worry! We haven’t forgotten about you. We want to work with you to help your organization succeed in GlobalGiving’s next Open Challenge, which runs from November 29 – December 22, 2010! (more…)