Set Up Your Nonprofits Facebook Profile for Success | 2020 Update

Here’s the thing, Facebook is still the king of social media in 2020. If you’re a nonprofit and want to reach people in their homes, you want to be focusing your efforts on Facebook (and Instagram, but we can talk about that beast later).

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Facebook has the ability for your nonprofit to spread their message to millions of people, the same people that their big competitors are advertising to. In a way, Facebook levels the playing field and allows the underdog to compete with the big ones.

How does Facebook get people to my website or page?

The downside is that very little of this reach is organic. Facebook changed its algorithms back in 2018, making the organic reach of content shared on facebook smaller. Back in 2006 when News Feed was first launched (it’s been that long already?), posts were ranked on a point system, with text-only posts being worth the lowest amount of ranking points, and adding different kinds of content to your posts like images or links would add more points. An algorithm would do some math with the points and then rank the posts in your feed based on their points. If you’re interested in a detailed history of the Facebook news feed, check out this post on Hubspot.

Posts in 2019-2020 on your customer’s feeds are based on machine learning algorithms, ones that learn about each individual person and serves them content based on their preferences. This means that only a fraction of your posted content will make it to your Facebook followers’ news feeds organically.

So how do nonprofits reach people on Facebook now?

Paid ads are now the main way for nonprofits to gain meaningful reach to the millions on Facebook with just a few button clicks, and most of those ads send people away from Facebook. Usually to a landing page of some kind.

However, that doesn’t mean your nonprofit Facebook page should be ignored. Facebook is still a massively useful tool for creating a community around your brand.

TIP: Track your effectiveness!
Many of the social media websites allow you to create business accounts, which come with tracking code that you can place on your website to gain useful information about how people engage with your content on social media, and what actions they do (or don’t) take after landing on your website from social media.

Image & video optimization for Facebook

Facebook images sizes for 2020

  • Facebook profile picture size: 180 x 180
  • Facebook cover photo size: 851 x 315
  • Facebook link image size: 1200 x 628
  • Facebook ad size: 1280 x 628
  • Facebook image post size: 1200 x 900
  • Facebook highlighted image size: 1200 x 717
  • Facebook event image size: 1920 x 1080

The 20% Rule

Facebook has found that images with less than 20% text perform better. And this makes sense right? Why would you want to read an image? Part of Facebook’s ad review process. You can read more about Text in Ad Images

Facebook video

  • Facebook video size: 1280 x 720
  • Maximum Facebook video length: 240 minutes (way too long)
  • Facebook video ad size: 1280 x 720

Why put energy into optimizing Facebook images and videos?

When your posts show up on people’s news feeds, or it’s shared on other platforms or in text messages, the graphic will be the first thing people see. They take in this part of the post, then they move on to the title and then to who posted it. Your audience will be making judgments about you or your business before they even learned they’re reading your content.

Optimizing your Facebook profile

One of the things that clients ask me often is “What can I go home tonight and do to help drive more traffic from Facebook?” My answer is always optimizing your Facebook business page. Having all aspects of your Facebook business page optimized will help your Facebook page reach more people organically.

More people will find your Facebook page if you do it right

If you follow these steps for optimizing your Facebook page, then you WILL see improvements in your Facebook pages rank on Google. Also, it will help you show up better in Facebook’s search ecosystem. Facebook doesn’t have the search volume Google does, but it does handle 1.5 million searches daily.

Using the best Facebook profile picture is key

The default size for Facebook profile pictures is 180x180px. Make sure it is clear enough that it still looks good at 40x40px as well. This is the news feed size. For businesses, brands, or nonprofits, this will be their logo.

If the Facebook page is for a personality, like a politician, a real estate agent, or an influencer/celebrity, then a photo of their face will be the best option. Usually having the photo branded for them will help make the visuals more cohesive and enforce some of that sweet, sweet branding.

Give your “About” of your Facebook profile special attention

This section may be the most powerful part of your Facebook page for organic reach. Your short description (About) and your long description (Impressum) are two really useful parts of your Facebook page. If you know how to utilize these two text boxes correctly, you can use them to drive more traffic to your Facebook page. These text boxes are used by Google and Facebook to figure out what your page is about, curate metadata for search snippets, and compare your page quality to other pages in your field.

Sprinkle relevant keywords into your descriptions

This is where the power of the About Us section really shines through. You can sprinkle relevant keywords into your Facebook descriptions and let Google and Facebook crawl this text. This will help your page get more organic reach in search engines and on Facebook. having your brand’s main keyword in the About Us and Impressum areas can go really far in getting search engines and Facebook to notice your page.

About (Short description)

This is found under the About section of the “About” tab. The max character length is 255 characters. This also serves as the meta description of your Facebook page in search results on Google.

TIP: The short description is your meta description
If your Facebook page get ranked by Google, then the short description will be used as your meta description. The meta description is the short paragraph under your page title on the search engine results page. These little paragraphs can be very powerful, as they are what convince people to click on your link when searching in Google. So making this paragraph relevant, and have a clear call to action will be something you’ll want to do.

Impressum (Long description)

This description has a max character limit of 2000. Its use is more for the reader who comes to your page and wants in-depth information about your company. This is where the keyword goldmine is. 2000 characters are several paragraphs, and lots of space to have good keyword distribution and still get your message across. I like to put a more detailed explanation of the business, a short history, as well as the companies mission.

TIP: The About Us, Impressum, and Story sections all can create hyperlinks!

This is super exciting. It’s not recommended to put hyperlinks in your About Us section, as when it get used on search results pages, the links are not clickable. However, people reading your Story or your Impressum will be able to click these links, giving you even more chances to drive people to the webpages you want them to go to.
Story section

The Facebook story section is a section that is meant for a really personal experience. When users click on the story on your page, they will be given a pop-up section, removing all distractions and providing a really intimate environment to digest the content in. The editor is a Gutenberg editor. With access to blocks, inserting an image, adding headlines, and breaking up the page into columns, there are endless possibilities for the content you can add to your story.

Cover photo description

When you change the cover photo of your Facebook page, your followers are updated, and the text of your post is used in the description. This description is also crawled by search engines, so having it be descriptive and keyword rich will help your page with search engines.

Add a link to your website

This seems obvious, but I see a lot of businesses not using this section. Not only will adding a link to your website on your Facebook profile drive more traffic from Facebook to your website, but it will also provide a link pointing to your site, which Google will consider when deciding how high to rank your Facebook page in search results.

Claim your vanity URL and Facebook profile name

This is probably the most important part of your nonprofit’s Facebook page for branding and recognition. Your username is the “@” tag that people use to find your page and tag it in posts. Your vanity URL is facebook.com/username. If you don’t set this, then your URL for your Facebook page will look something like facebook.com/5762575020184. This is gross looking and is very hard to remember.

The best Facebook profile name: What can you do?

Well, as far as how to make “the best” Facebook profile name, there isn’t a whole lot of advice on how to achieve this. You’re limited to 75 characters, which is plenty for any nonprofit name. It doesn’t give a lot of room for keywords or extra branding, but that’s alright. Just enter your nonprofit’s name!

Some extra tips for making the best Facebook profile for your nonprofit

Change your button

Since 2014, Facebook has included a call to action button right beneath the cover image of your page. The 7 options are:

  • Sign Up – Visitors can sign up for a mailing list
  • Book Now – Visitors can book appointments or reservations
  • Contact Us – Opens a contact form
  • Use App – Opens an app
  • Play Game – Opens a game
  • Shop Now – Link to an e-commerce website
  • Watch Video – Opens a video in Facebook

Having the right button for your nonprofit can make a huge difference in the returns your Facebook page gives you. This call to action makes it very easy for people to engage with your business online.

Add products or services tabs

E-commerce should have products selling on their profile. Service providers should have their services tab filled out. This content also benefits from keyword optimization and will help you show up in searches on Facebook.

Pin a powerful post to the top of your Facebook profile

You should pin the post that drives the most traffic, or achieves your goal the best, to the top of your page. Maybe it’s a video about your newest product or a link to a donate page for your fundraiser. Whatever your most important content is, you should have it pinned to the top of your Facebook page for maximum visibility.

Add reviews to your page

One of the best ways to build trust is to have real customers vouch for you.

TIP: Make a Facebook group for your nonprofit
People look for groups that align with their interests. So if you have a Facebook group centered around your business or brand, you can get people to COME TO YOU that are ready and primed to engage with the content there.

Why should I use a Facebook group is I already have a page?
Groups is where nonprofits build communities around themselves or their brand. Facebook Groups allow your nonprofit to gain additional way for your content to show up in your followers news feeds. Groups add to your social media workload, but the return will be more engagement on your Facebook pages and more traffic from Facebook to your website.