Is Facebook advertising right for your nonprofit?

Social media has been seen as an excellent marketing tool for nonprofits that accept donations online, but Facebook is making some key changes. If you're planning to advertise on he social networking site in 2015, it's important to be aware of how the new developments could impact your campaigns. 

Facebook announced it would be changing its algorithm to provide users with more relevant content on the network. The algorithm determines how people see content and posts from friends in their news feeds. However, this move will decrease ads' organic reach and diminish the effectiveness of promotional content, according to Network for Good. Many critics of the changes say the new algorithm will significantly reduce the number of followers they can connect with on the platform without paying for ads. 

Is Facebook advertising still worth it?
One of the most difficult aspects of creating a campaign on Facebook is the lack of fixed costs for display ads. Unlike other types of media, there isn't a uniform cost, although you can establish a daily budget. You also need to choose between a cost per thousand impressions or cost per click model. Advertisers on Facebook only pay for the impressions or clicks the ad attracts. With sophisticated targeting, this can deliver strong return on investment. 

Smaller organizations with a tighter marketing budget may be frustrated by the changes to Facebook's algorithm. Marketers used to be able to accomplish a great deal on the platform for free, and many nonprofits have spent a long time carefully growing their audiences. The reason Facebook ads may be effective for your organization is because of their advanced targeting capabilities. 

Facebook has certain specifications for paid ads. For example, they can't be composed of more than 20 percent text and they must use an image. If the ad includes a link, it should be for a designated landing page, rather than the home page of your website.

How to maximize the effectiveness of your Facebook campaigns
While some people are claiming this round of algorithm changes will signal the end of Facebook as a free marketing channel, the news isn't all bad. There are some things charities can do to maintain a presence on this network. Sharing high-quality content on Facebook helps you get more attention and increase your chances of posts being liked and shared, WordStream stated. This isn't just an outlet for distributing your own blog articles; Facebook is great for posting relevant press about your cause. This creates an opportunity for further engagement. 

Another approach is to take advantage of staff members' personal accounts. Individual profiles tend to rank higher in users' news feeds than branded pages. This also allows donors to connect real people with your organization. Nonprofit employees can share blog content and attract more attention from their larger social networks. 

Facebook will continue to be an important tool for nonprofits to share content about their missions, but you need to update your approach this this platform in 2015. 

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