The conversations around nonprofit social media strategy too often focus on the “media” part: What to post and when.

But what about the “social” part? That’s the real magic of social media, and remembering that will serve you well in 2019 and beyond. After all, it’s the reason that people keep using social media, despite all the negativity around it.

I’ll be covering both parts: the social and the media during next week’s new webinars, Social Media Strategies for Nonprofits that Won’t Waste Your Time.

I like to think of the “social” part of social media as “showing up and hanging out.” Here are three ways I suggest you do that in 2019. These are primarily on Facebook, but you can expect to see these same kinds of features on other platforms.

Facebook Groups

Facebook is re-investing in Groups. That’s where good conversations are most likely happening now. I know for me personally, the vast majority of time I spend on Facebook is spent looking at and replying to posts generated in Groups.

As a group admin, you can control who gets in using screening questions. You can turn on Group Badges that help you reward people for participation. You will soon be able to charge a monthly subscription fee to enter your groups if that makes sense for your purposes. I can see this being especially useful for those of you whose organizations want to provide a more personal level of community support, but who could use some help paying for that staff time.

Even if you aren’t running a Facebook Group yourself, you can participate in other groups by responding to questions and sharing helpful information.

You can also now join groups as a Page, which is a very interesting change! I know a lot of you are very excited about being able to engage in Groups as your organization’s Page rather than as a person. Group admins still have the option of excluding Pages from joining, so it won’t work everywhere. I see a lot of pros and cons to this, which I’ll be discussing more in next week’s webinars.

Live Streaming on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

There are so many great opportunities for you to use live streaming! Some streams are highly orchestrated and planned, while others are totally spontaneous and everything in between. They can go on for a few seconds (great for Instagram stories in particular) all the way to several hours.

Live streaming via your phone, on the spot, really is the ultimate way to use social media to take people behind the scenes — to take them right along with you and to let them hang out with you. You can use it on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube now and even LinkedIn is getting in on live streaming.

Facebook continues to make big investments in live streaming so that’s a natural place to start if you are still experimenting. I think Facebook Live is best used for community engagement — see Julia Campbell’s post on all the ways to use live streaming to tell your story as it happens. But fundraising is possible too. Here are some Facebook Live for fundraising tips from John Haydon as well as Facebook’s fundraising tips using Live.

Facebook Events

Facebook also seems to be making it easier for people to see Events and notifications about them. You can set up Events through your personal profile, your Page, or a Group. Once people say they are Going or Interested in your event, they will receive notifications and reminders about it. You can also advertise to people who have expressed interest in events.

Facebook has also created several new types of events related to video, including Watch Parties and Premieres. Premieres are a great option for those of you who aren’t quite ready to go Live, but who still want to engage in real-time with people in the comments of your video.

Heck, why not go for the trifecta and set up an Event in your Group and then hit Go Live in the Event . . . Or use a Watch Party in a Group to show a live or recorded video.

You can see there’s a lot of overlap here in where Facebook is steering you to get the most engagement! Maybe it’s time to stop worrying so much about the media you post on your Page and to give the social side more love and attention.

Published On: April 9, 2019|Categories: Social Media|