Facebook is updating the way it prioritises and ranks pages and serves content. Emphasis is being placed increasingly on posts that generate conversation and interaction between users.
What Do The Changes Mean For Charities?
“Showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content.”
The way Facebook serves content and pages on its users’ News Feeds is shifting towards more meaningful and personal conversation over public content from businesses and publishers. As a result, charities are likely to see a drop in their organic reach, referral traffic and video watch times. Facebook as a social network is rooted in personal connections so from an experience perspective, this makes fairly logical sense for them. As many have already seen though, there are knock on effects to the Facebook News Feed changes for charities and businesses alike. This reduces exposure and the ability to organically target and reach people in the same way. It’s worth pointing out that charity content will still appear in the News Feed, though the criteria for serving it is intrinsically higher. Charity Facebook pages are therefore requiring more strategic input and active community management to generate conversation (and compete).
What Can Charities Do?
Revisit content and social strategies and identifying opportunities to start conversations. Facebook Live and videos were singled out as content types that will appear higher in the News Feed. Short, digestible clips and live streams from the field or an event might be good places to start. The tagging and sharing of content also helps to stimulate that conversation. Make sure that posts are engaging and conducive to sharing. Supporting a charity is unlike any other experience. Donors that sought out a page to like and follow will already feel part of a community. Harness that community mindset to increase interaction and conversation around interesting and engaging content. This is not only more satisfying to Facebook’s new algorithm but is also beneficial to a charity’s wider engagement and donor retention.
As with anything new or evolving, testing can help charities to learn and find their way. Monitor the impact Facebook’s updates are having on traffic and engagement metrics, these will be important. Do supporters watch Facebook Live in real time? Do they share and comment on impact stories? What content generates the most conversation and converts the best? There are still a number of unknowns for charities and businesses alike. Trialling different strategic approaches to Facebook will help charities optimise their engagement and uncover the path of least resistance, so to speak.
The Donor Experience
This is another opportunity for charities to remodel their donor experience. Charity Facebook pages should be social hubs for their supporters. While the organic exposure and reach of charity Facebook pages will no doubt feel the pinch, it remains to be seen whether the playing field will remain the same for any paid presence. That said, the Facebook Fundraising Tools still make the social network a worthwhile place to be. Develop a more active and donor centric social strategy that inspires donors, generates conversation and encourages engagement.