Facebook is big. In their latest earnings announcement, Facebook touted two billion people using the platform. If you are an organization, the people you serve and want to serve are there. What’s the best way reach them? What interactions can you seek to have there?
We at EM Marketing were lucky that ActionSprout, a leading firm providing tools and training to help nonprofits exceed their goals on Facebook, shared their insights. Big thanks to ActionSprout CEO Drew Bernard! Here is a summary of their presentation.
Before ActionSprout got into content strategy, they shared some really useful information about how the Facebook algorithm works. How does a user see an organization’s posts and what are ways to optimize for that?
Long story short, it’s all about relationships. A user will see updates from people and organizations based on past interactions. That is, if you always like or share from a person or organization, you’ll see more like that.
(Note to self: a future blog post that goes into more detail on that should be written as it is pretty interesting.)
Content Strategy Secret Sauce
What’s the content strategy “secret sauce” for how you can post items? What will help you to expand your reach? It all comes down to making content that your users will want to share. How do you do that?
1. Be useful.
People share your content because they think it will be helpful to friends and family. ActionSprout is in the business of helping nonprofits.
Example: Mental Health Month and the famous “Black Dog of Depression” video produced by the World Health Organization (WHO). It was shared/viewed seven million times because so many people found this helpful to a loved one who might be suffering from depression.
2. Be self-defining.
People share because it helps define who they are to others. They will share funny things to be seen as funny. They’ll share inspiring stuff to show their best intentions and aspirations.
Example: Global Health Hub. They originally had posted about their utility as a resource. But with input from ActionSprout, they changed their message to be about how health is “The First of All Liberties.” In our times where healthcare has so much emotional and political weight, this message resonated with users who shared it to illustrate their commitment to this idea. (Note: this was a test for an organization considering paid placements — results may not be typical!)
3. Be impactful.
People share because they want to make a difference. If you give them that opportunity, they’ll help you reach your mission.
Example: Another World Health Organization topic — antibiotic resistance. Originally, they provided a bullet-point list in text fashion. Instead, they created an infographic that any parent, school teacher or health professional would want to share. They turned valuable information into viral information.
After sharing these content tips (and others about how to optimize using images and video) ActionSprout finished with a demo of how anyone — not just advertisers — can take advantage of Facebook Insights to find their best audiences.
(Echo note to self: also worthy of another blog post!)
While ActionSprout primarily serves the nonprofit and social good audiences, we think these tips are good for marketers of any persuasion. Thanks, ActionSprout, for sharing with us!