Many organizations have noticed that their Facebook engagement is declining. Being any type of brand on Facebook is challenging, and it always has been, but for nonprofit organizations that don’t have the resources to sponsor posts or advertise on social media, it’s especially hard to get noticed. So how do you make the most out of your organization’s organic (unpaid) social media posts?

Here are a few things you can try:

  • Post timing – Facebook Insights provides interesting data about when your fans are online. You can take a look at your own statistics by going to your page’s insights and clicking on the “posts” tab. You might be surprised to find that even though you post when you are at work, most of your fans like to log on just before bed, or vice-versa. Your audience’s time zone can also have a big impact on when they pull up Facebook.  Remember that you can always schedule posts ahead of time if your schedules do not match up.
  • Post frequency – If you are in the habit of posting multiple times per-day (a common thing to do on Twitter, for example), try scaling back to once or twice per day and see if your results improve. A few unique and well thought out posts will almost certainly be better than a string of average posts. If you are only posting once per week, consider developing a content calendar and scheduling more frequent posts. Our workbook, A Practical Guide to Integrated Communications, can help.
  • Photos – Photos don’t have to be memes or infographics to catch people’s eyes as they scroll down their news feed. A simple shot of your office, some volunteers out in the field, or people at your event can increase performance drastically. Thanks to the quality of phone cameras these days, anyone can take social media ready shots at a moment’s notice.
  • Videos – Videos are a bit more time-consuming than photos, but the results are often worth it. Whether you use YouTube or Facebook Videos to post them doesn’t seem to make a tremendous difference in viewership. With Facebook Pages’ new redesign, previous videos and photos show up more prominently, so it may be worth uploading a video just to Facebook to test the results for yourself.
  • News and Timely Posts – You may have noticed a “trending topics” feed on the side of your Facebook page lately. If you can tie one of your posts to these topics, it will be given a slightly higher ranking on your followers’ feeds. Starting a timely discussion around something important to your community is another sure-fire way to get your fans talking to each other, which is the best way of all to increase engagement.
  • Lists and Mysterious Headlines – You may roll your eyes whenever you see an “Upworthy” headline, but they work in getting people to click. Buzzfeed style lists work similarly. They both give the audience enough information to be tantalized, but not enough to actually know what the content is. Naturally, they want to find out, so they click. The only rule with these is to follow through with your promise. If you say that your article is the most “amazing, incredible, jaw dropping revelation ever,” it had better be a pretty astounding discovery or you won’t get those clicks when you try it again.
  • Contests and Freebies – Who doesn’t love free stuff? Consider trying a photo contest to boost your page visits and increase your roster of photos at once. The rules around what types of contests you can run on Facebook are always changing, so do your research before jumping in.
  • Tell your audience to like and share – It might feel weird at first, but ending a post with “please share” really can get you more shares. Again, this is a power you shouldn’t abuse. Save it for your most important posts. If you are trying to boost your number of page likes, consider asking your current fans to spread the word about how great your page is. You can also ask your fans to opt-in to receive notifications every time you post, but only your most hardcore fans are likely to do it.

What have your experiences been? Any tips to add? Let us know in the comments.

For more social media tips, especially if you’re a beginner or looking to reboot your social media efforts, join our free webinar: 10 #Social Media Tactics to Do More With Less.