HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN ON A SMALL CHARITY BUDGET

Facebook can seem like a scary world, full of possibilities and potential new supporters, but as a small charity how do you make sure that you are making the most of this powerful tool? I am going to share with you the processes used by big charities when they are launching a new Facebook campaign. I have scaled this down to better fit the time and budgets available to a small charity. Follow these steps to make the most of your campaign and remember you may be small, but you are mighty!

DECIDE ON YOUR CAMPAIGN AND THE DESIRED OUTCOMES
Sounds simple but it is essential. To save you time, money and energy be clear about what your campaign is going to be focusing on and what you want the results to be. Stick to this throughout the process and keep coming back to it, making sure that everything you do is a clear step towards reaching your desired goal.
Let’s use the example of a Foodbank charity who want to encourage more people to give on a monthly basis. So it is a regular giving campaign with a target of increasing monthly donors by 20%.

CHOOSE YOUR MESSAGING
You have your campaign in mind but what are you going to say and how do you make sure that it’s going to have the maximum impact? Talk to your supporters. Choose 3 current regular givers ideally from a variety of backgrounds and ask them to tell you in one sentence why they chose to support you.
So in our Foodbank example we asked 3 regular givers who have been long-term and short-term supporters what their motivations were. Bob said “I have hit rock bottom before and I want to give something back.” Jane said “I hate the thought of a mum not being able to feed her children.” Andy said “I want to help those in need in my local community.”

BEGIN THE TESTING
This is the fun part, start using Facebook to test your messages. The idea here is to come up with different posts, let them run on Facebook, review which one has the best results, tweak it and then invest in boosting. This will save you time, money and get the results you want in an efficient way.
For your 3 messages choose an image that can convey that story. This sounds hard but get creative and there is no need for polished professional images, just use your smartphone. Let’s go back to our Foodbank example and come up with some Facebook posts. Try to make them varied and be prepared to go against what you normally do, be brave!

TIME FOR A BOOST
Now you have posted your three messages with different tones and images, its time to boost them. This is to make sure that you are reaching a wider audience than those who currently like your page. This will give you better testing feedback and connect you with new potential supporters. You only need to spend £30 on this to get some good results.

Start by choosing your objective. For this campaign we are going to choose ‘Get more people to react, comment and share’ and a ‘Learn More’ button with a link to the donate page on our website. Its important here to mention that you need to make sure your website is working and that supporters can donate, sign up or interact with it in the way you are encouraging with no confusion.
Now to choose your target audience, keep this broad! Facebook is extremely clever at targeting people, you just have to trust it to do its job. If a post is getting clicks, Facebook will automatically use its information to target more people like those who have clicked before. It really will do the hard work for you. So don’t define your audience too much. I would recommend all ages, sexes and a wide geographic area.
Set your time to at least two weeks, the longer we leave it, the better information we will get. Now sit back and watch your posts go!

ITS ALL IN THE TWEAKING
The two weeks is up and there is one post that is performing better than the others. If you have time, take this post and tweak it further with 3 more posts based on that message. This can give you even more detailed feedback and by the time you launch you will have a tweaked campaign that you can be confident will get results. Do this as many times as you can but if you only have time to do this once, that will still give you fantastic outcomes.

TIME TO INVEST
Video content generates 1200% more shares than both images and text. If you have the resources, it is absolutely worth investing in having a short film created that tells the story you are conveying in your chosen message. If that is not an option, stick with your image. Whichever you decide on, keep the text the same as that used in your tweaked post.
Now is the time to invest as much as is available in boosting this post to a broad audience over a period of at least six weeks. I would recommend a starting budget of £100.

REAP THE RESULTS
If you have followed these steps you should see the results coming in. Keep the post running for as long as you can. Facebook will carry on finding your target audience for you…it’s rather clever like that 🙂

Have confidence in your tested messaging and trust Facebook to do it’s job. Be brave in your choosing your images and text. Remember the work you are doing is important and the world needs to hear about it!

Emma@thesaltways.com

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