How to master Facebook and make an impact for your organization

Participation on social media platforms has grown exponentially over the past decade, and your organization’s online presence should be growing along with it. Facebook is the most widely-used social media platform and is an important part of your marketing communications.

Over the last year, Partners for Healthy Pets closely studied their Facebook page to better understand what types of content were most popular with their audience.

Here are their top three tips for social media success.

1. Video is king. Make them short, sweet, and emotional when it’s tasteful to do so. When a viewer scrolls over videos in their Facebook feed, they automatically play. Most people watch the videos with sound off. If there’s something that needs explaining, consider subtitles or closed captions. A concise, well-thought-out video will grab attention. Remember to be sensitive and tasteful. Avoid posting videos that include severe animal abuse, suffering or gory images. While it’s important to spread the word to prevent abuse, autoplaying traumatic images could upset your audience too much.

2. If you can’t make videos, post engaging photos. Tell a story! For example, Transformation Tuesdays (use the hashtag #transformationtuesday) or Throwback Thursdays (use the hashtag #tbt) are great ways to show the progress of an animal in your care, or to highlight the growth of one of your staff members. And don’t be afraid to get creative. For example, the Humane Society of Silicon Valley dressed up their adoptable dogs in holiday costumes, and all but one was adopted!
3. Post content that your audience cares about. Your clients and fans have liked your Facebook page because they want to stay in the loop about your cause, company, or current work. Be thoughtful! They want to know how you’re helping pets or other animals so post upbeat, informative updates about your progress. Notice the types of content that are most popular, measures in likes, comments, and shares, and looks for patterns in what your audience likes best.

And finally, here are some social media tips  from our SAWA marketing team:

1. Develop a strategy. Organizations with a documented strategy are more successful at consistently creating content for social media. Think about your audience and the types of content they like best. Set goals for your social media pages, such as growing your number of fans and reach. Make an editorial calendar to document what and when you’ll post to stay organized and on-track. Writing down your plans will help your team stay on target.

2. Regularly boost your best posts. Facebook’s algorithms are always evolving and updating, which means that you have to pay for your audience to see your posts. Investments of as little as $20 can go a long way. If you don’t pay, it’s likely that under 10% of your page fans will see any given post.

3. Show some personality. It’s important to be professional, but don’t be afraid to share your unique point of view and use some humor. Your online “voice” should reflect the personality of your organization and staff.

Questions or comments? Ask us on Facebook and Twitter.

Good luck!


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The Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) is a community of professionals committed to excellence in the management and operation of animal welfare and control organizations.


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