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Earlier this month, I put a call out to nonprofits communicators asking them what worked for their organization on Facebook in 2017. A tactic or tool that they would use again in 2018.

A day later, Facebook Zero happened. The world’s most popular social networking site announced major changes to its newsfeed algorithm, changes that would see most nonprofits organic page reach plummet even further.

I was left wondering – would any tactic nonprofits used in 2017 work anymore?

Diving deeper into Facebook’s intent – to make “sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent” — it’s become even more clear that Facebook Live video, among other tactics, will work in the new newsfeed.

Facebook Live is built to encourage engaging conversations with your followers, from notifying viewers that you are live, to letting you and your followers interact in real time.

It’s cheap. It humanizes your nonprofit. And the reach is bigger than you think.

So when Angela Crist gushed about how well Facebook Live worked for her for Hope House Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign, I reached out to learn more.

NOTE: Angela Crist recently stepped down as Chief Executive Officer for Hope House.

Tell me about a Facebook tactic that worked for you in 2017. One that you’ll definitely use again.

With Giving Tuesday and year-end season coming up, we knew we needed a strategy to get through the Facebook newsfeed algorithm.

So on Giving Tuesday, we tried 4 Facebook live video events in addition to other digital channels – email, Instagram and our website.

Last year, the first year we participated in Giving Tuesday, we raised $6,500. Our goal for 2017 was $8,000.

By 9:30am, we met that goal. By the end of day, we raised $15,000.

It was a big, wild success.

Take us through the videos.

First, we started with a morning kickoff video with our foundation partner, who provided our first match. The foundation had never visited us, and as you can see in the video they were pleasantly surprised about us after the tour.

Next we did a behind-the-scenes tour of our only empty room, which was’t going to be empty for long. We talked about the woman who was moving into that very room TODAY, and how viewers made that possible.

Then we sat down with a donor and a board member, both of whom are influential in our community. They talked about why they supported Hope House. Interestingly, this video got the lowest views on OUR page, but since these two gentlemen were well known, their video got shared a lot with people from their networks.

Last, I did one “setting in for the night” from my home, tying a bow on the whole day. It was a gratitude conversation, and I made sure to talk about the woman who just moved in that night. How’s she must be feeling at the moment.

I can tell you that in the 6 minutes this was live, we had $2k come in online.

What kind of resources did you need to pull it off?

We planned the whole campaign about one month in advance. We didn’t spend much time planning each video, just about 15 minutes each.

The videos don’t cost anything!

We sent donors straight to our website for donations. We didn’t do any donation options on Facebook.

What would you say to a nonprofit looking to try this tactic?

Before this, I always thought that videos needed to be polished and edited. That’s out the window. I love that.

With Facebook Live, you can be authentic. Like I’m talking directly to a person. It fits how we want to be.

And it broke through the algorithm.

Try it!

Here Are Some Quick Tips

  • Try a small-scale Facebook live first, so you can test your tech and work out the kinks.
  • You don’t need to follow a strict script, but don’t wing it, either. Have some talking points and a purpose for the video.
  • Promote your videos in multiple channels.
  • Note highlights or create a highlight reel for the press and donor communications.
  • Don’t forget to ASK for something – sign up, help, follow, let us know what you think.

Keep Reading

Facebook’s Latest News Feed Changes: What Nonprofits Can Do
https://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/blog/2018/01/16/facebooks-latest-news-feed-changes-nonprofits-can/

Facebook Live-A-Thon for @ASPCA Raises over $50,000 on Giving Tuesday
http://www.bethkanter.org/givingtuesday-facebook-live/

35 Facebook Live Ideas to Show the Impact of Your Nonprofit https://www.johnhaydon.com/facebook-live-ideas-show-impact-nonprofit/

How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money
https://npengage.com/nonprofit-fundraising/facebook-live-to-raise-money/

Your Facebook Group May Soon Be Able to Host A Watch Party
http://www.adweek.com/digital/facebook-watch-party/

How to Use Facebook Live: The Ultimate Guide https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-live-guide


Do you have a Facebook Live story or tip to share? Tell us more in the comments.

Published On: January 23, 2018|Categories: Nonprofit Communications|

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