Facebook Strategy, Part 1 of 3

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:


Engaging in Conversations

To generate engagement, you need to Impact and Inspire your audience and the most effective way to do this is through storytelling.  Storytelling shares information in a format that spreads quickly as the story keeps getting passed on through virtual networks and word of mouth. You should make the content the story and create content that is shareable.

When do you post on Facebook? You can use a content calendar to help you plan your posts. You can also set reminders in order to maintain that consistency but in an appropriate amount.

Taking Advantage of Connections

How do you share and promote your Facebook page? Facebook lets you take advantage of not only just your network, but also the network of your personal connections and their networks making the ability to grow phenomenal. Building the page into everything you’re part of and let people know that you’re on Facebook and direct people there.  It’s important to remember, however, that you should keep the content appropriate for the channel. Short directional posts capture attention and the audience doesn’t get lost in the posts.

These five points summarize the five main things to remember about developing a social media strategy:

  • Set strong goals and map everything out based on those goals
  • Have a good understanding of who your audience is going to be
  • Use the content you create to build relationships with that audience
  • Always be conversational and build conversations with your audience
  • Leverage the power of your existing connections and network to build deeper relations and establish deeper connections

Homework for the Next Session:

  • Evaluate and analyze your audiences
  • Build “content buckets” for each audience
  • Write down how you can inspire people, and then refine your messages for each audience
  • Develop a content calendar to schedule that messaging
  • Analyze your available promotion channels
  • Build a strategy to share

Remember that this just part one of a three part series. There will be two more trainings scheduled for September 15th and 29th. You can access the trainings once they start by clicking here.


Alison Carlman

As Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications, Alison has the privilege of telling GlobalGiving's story and the stories of our inspiring nonprofit partners. Follow her on twitter @acarlman.

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