Did you hear? Facebook pages for nonprofits have a new template to work with. If you missed the memo, don’t worry! There are just a few administrative and aesthetic changes to keep in mind. So rather than spending your limited time and energy on what’s new, it’s actually a better time to spruce up your page by checking in on what’s already there.
Nonprofit Facebook Page Templates: What’s New and Different
For many nonprofits on Facebook, it can seem like there’s an endless stream of new things to know to make your page effective. When Facebook announced that a new template for nonprofit pages was rolling out in June, there was a collective groan among nonprofit staff.
However, now that the updates are live, we can all take a sigh of relief. There’s nothing that really affects your day-to-day management and posting, and there are no big changes to the overall layout:
- While you’ve been able to rearrange your tabs, like Photos and Events, for some time, it’s now even easier to move them and turn them on and off when you go to the Edit Page section of your settings. Each tab also has a static URL that you can easily grab and then link to from anywhere.
- Previously standard (but more business-related) tabs like Services, Shop and Offers will be hidden unless you decide to turn them back on, while Groups and Review tabs become more visible since they are more community-minded.
- Facebook Fundraisers, which are created and managed by your supporters, are more front and center. Not sure what to do about Fundraisers? More on that below.
- The Share and Save buttons are disappearing from the navigation bar below your cover image, offering you an opportunity to give the Donate button more visual real estate.
In sum, Facebook changed the predetermined page template so that it comes with the features most nonprofits need right out of the gate: a hub for multimedia, events and information about your organization plus the ability for people to take action in support of your mission.
Give Your Facebook Page a Refresh
Are you unmoved (or even a little underwhelmed) by the new Facebook pages for nonprofits? Good! There are plenty of other ways to give your page some love. Give it a mini makeover with a content and strategy check.
Do Some Tab Maintenance
Now that it’s even easier to manage tabs, take an inventory. Is there anything that can be turned off? If you don’t use Facebook Events, say goodbye! If you’re not accepting email newsletter signups through your email provider (like MailChimp’s Facebook integration), you’re missing out! Lastly, take a peek at your About tab. Anything need a refresh?
See how Stand for Children has taken a more custom approach to their page’s tabs, including linking to a comment policy and their page for Spanish-speakers:
Update Your Look
While most Facebook users don’t often visit pages (opting to view content in the news feed), Facebook does publish a post when you update your cover photo. What a great opportunity to catch someone’s eye! Check out how Conservation International is using the new video cover image functionality to spread the word about protecting a national monument. (Here’s the video in case the page has been updated by the time you read this.)
Check Your Engagement Level
When was the last time you spent some time looking at your page’s Insights section? Dig into the data to get a better feel for the types and timing of content that reaches the most people and inspires the most engagement. How are you doing when it comes to driving people to your website? Take stock of messages, reviews and posts to your page. Are you being responsive to your supporters?
To find and explore your data, go to your nonprofit’s Facebook page and find Insights in the white navigation bar near the top. Learn more about the key data you should look for and learn from to improve your social media strategy.
Set a Policy About Facebook Fundraisers
To start with, there’s really no reason NOT to have a Donate button on your page unless you don’t want to offer online donations at all, either via Facebook or your own website. Once that’s all set, it’s time to decide how you feel about Facebook’s Fundraisers.
Fundraisers are a way for any user to personally raise money for your organization — without your involvement. It’s time to do a little reading about the risks and rewards and decide whether or not you’d like to take advantage of this feature now that it’s getting more space in your page’s layout.
Check out how Fundraisers, especially “donating my birthday,” are working for Meals on Wheels:
Start Thinking About Facebook Groups
Facebook is also starting to put more emphasis on Groups as part of their shift toward community building. As page admins get more power to moderate and contribute to Groups, you should consider adding this tool to your marketing and outreach toolbox. Does a group make sense for your annual event, volunteers, members, ambassadors or local chapters?
Get up to speed on Facebook Group features and consider joining a few to see how they work. For an example, see how the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias uses groups to connect and support their community members:
The Future of Facebook Pages for Nonprofits
When it comes to Facebook, change is inevitable. With each new rollout or announcement, there are opportunities to reevaluate and reshape your social media strategy in ways that (hopefully) give your supporters a more meaningful, authentic and engaging experience.
Thinking beyond the page and focusing on how you build relationships is worth the effort. What’s one small thing you can do today to give your online community a boost? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.