by Nils Smith, Chief Strategist Social Media+Innovation
After working closely with ministry partners and Facebook personnel, we want to share a new engagement model that will help maximize the time and money you invest in this social network.
To get started, imagine your Facebook page as your home. And you’ve just invited some friends to visit.
Make a friendly first impression through your Facebook page.
When you own a home, you mow your lawn, trim your bushes, and put out a welcome mat in order to appear friendly and inviting. Think of your Facebook page as a front porch. It’s the first impression.
The primary goal of your Facebook page is to build brand awareness. It’s a place where you communicate your mission and tell people how they can engage with your organization. It’s where you publish inspirational content that people feel compelled to share with their friends and family. Basically, it’s the space where you give your audience a snapshot of the heart behind your organization.
So, use a consistent, recognizable profile image across all your networks and choose a welcoming banner image that represents your organization. Also, make sure as many people as possible walk up to that “front porch.” Link to it on your website and invite people who have previously liked your posts to like your page.
Invite followers into a deeper engagement.
You don’t want your audience to only visit your page; you want them to engage. So first, write a thorough bio that tells people about the heart of your organization, and incorporate a useful call to action, such as a “learn more” button that connects to your website. Also, engage your audience with consistently diverse, valuable content that inspires them, and then boost those posts so more people will see them.
Use lead ads, as well, and invite followers to subscribe to your email list. You could also move them to your website by publishing external links in your posts or by publishing external link ads for specific events and highlights featured on your website.
Build a community in Facebook groups.
If your Facebook page is a front porch, then a Facebook group is your living room. It’s where community and conversation happen. Facebook actually recommends setting up a closed group because membership can develop a great amount of intimacy – even if the group becomes rather large.
Facebook is also seeing six times more engagement in groups than on pages, which means more people see content when it’s posted in a Facebook group. I suggest increasing your organic engagement by publishing inspirational content on your page and posting unique content centered on conversation, celebration, and connection in your group. You also want to promote exclusivity. So use your Facebook page to let people know that they can join your Facebook group and get behind-the-scenes details about your organization.
Finally, as people comment, make sure you become a part of the conversation. Always respond to comments on your Facebook page and Facebook group.
Continue the conversation through Facebook Messenger.
Ask your audience to subscribe to your Messenger list. Messenger is almost like email for Facebook – except that it has an open rate of about 80%. The rate for email is roughly 20%. Furthermore, 1.3 billion users are on Messenger every month. So that 80% open rate – combined with a 15-60% click-through rate – makes this medium a remarkable opportunity for engaging your audience.
You can also automate Messenger conversations with bots. A bot functions almost like a tree. It sends followers an initial message and will follow up with various replies based on their responses. You can even receive donations through Messenger bots by integrating your platform with tools like PayPal.
This is the new Facebook model: Engage your audience through a welcoming Facebook page. Next, move them past the page and connect in other ways – particularly through a private Facebook group that offers exclusive content. Then, create a direct line of communication with your organization using Facebook Messenger. This process will help your organization cultivate a dedicated following of donors who will actively engage with your organization, leading to greater Kingdom impact.
Get more social media tips and insights with my Dunham Institute course Radio: Integrating Your Digital Space for Maximum Engagement and Fundraising Impact.
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Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters. Contact Bethany Cranfield at 469-454-0100 to get more information.