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How often should you post on your nonprofit’s Facebook Page, and when?

November 14, 2010

[tweetmeme] Over the last few years I have been experimenting with the frequency of posting Status Updates on Facebook  on the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page. From posting twice a day to only twice weekly, I have tested all levels of frequency in posting until finally settling on posting 4-6 Status Updates a week. At that rate “Unlikes” have minimal and the total number of “Likes” has grown at a steady rate.

But a recent change by Facebook has me reevaluating my frequency in posting. Beginning November 1, users can now unlike your page directly from their News Feed. Previously users had to go to your page and scroll all the way to the bottom left to unlike your page. If users thought your content was boring or too frequent, many just hid your Page because it was easier. Now it’s just easy to unlike:

That said, now would be a good time for many Facebook Admins to step back and reevaluate as well:

1) Have a look at your Insights to see if your Unlikes have increased since November 1. If so, try posting less. I suggest 3-5 times per week although many will tell you even less than that. I have noticed an increase in Unlikes of my Page, so I am going to follow the less-is-more philosophy over the next few months and see if it helps my Page retain more Likes.

2) If your Status Updates get very little “Thumbs Up” or “Comments”, then perhaps your content also needs to be re-evaluated. If all you post is marketing-related content (donate, come to an event, sign our petition) rather than cause or issue-related content, then expand and experiment with different kinds of content. Don’t just post for posting’s sake. Your Status Updates need to be interesting to your supporters. Your work is to find out through a process of trial and error what kind of content is interesting to your supporters. Much easier said than done, I know. It’s also worth noting that more Thumbs Up and Comments = More News Feed exposure.

3) Studies show that mornings are the best time to post on Facebook, but don’t just post in the mornings and never at the same time each and every day. If you want to reach all of your supporters, then you need to mix it up. Not everyone starts their day with Facebook (though a lot of young women do). Try a Monday afternoon, then a Tuesday morning, a Thursday morning, and Friday at noon.

A final caveat: Large national and international organizations have a different experience on Facebook and social media in general. They usually have a lot of fresh content, a cause that people can be passionate about, and a brand that supporters can whole-heartedly dedicate themselves to. These organizations can (and usually do) post two or three times a day, and yet retain and even grow their Likes through frequent posting. But most small to medium-sized organizations just will not have that same experience. You’ll have to experiment to see what works for your organization, but I strongly suggest that in light of Facebook’s recent change, you err on the side of caution.

Related Link:
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Use Facebook and Facebook Apps

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2010 11:59 am

    Thanks. I’m curious has anyone ever asked their FB fans outright how many posts are too much or what they most want to read about? I have it on my plan to ask…one of these days 🙂

    We had an online fundraising drive for 2 weeks at the end of October, and I was sure I would see people drop off or at least hide our feed given that we were posting 1-2x/day (one direct ask with a link to a content-heavy blog with an ask and one more “fluffy” or wholy programmatic post). It increased our web visits that week by 18%, increased our Facebook fans by about 15% and only increased our “hide this feed” by 1%.

    I doubt we could sustain that kind of posting volume, though, and I will check our stats! Thanks!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:07 pm

      I asked via a TwtPoll! Curious… how did you find out how many people were hiding you?! THANKS.

      • November 15, 2010 12:51 pm

        It’s available in FB insights. The old version: at the top of the new insights page, click View Old Insights. Second graph down. I’m pretty surprised that stat didn’t come over with the new Insights app.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:59 pm

      Good to know… I’ll check out the old insights. THANKS!

    • July 18, 2011 10:42 pm

      That’s a great question Barbara and something that charities should ask on social media pages. The fb insights are really good.

  2. Laurie permalink
    November 18, 2010 7:04 am

    I thought that feature did come over to the new Insights and was now called “Daily Unsubscribes” (as opposed to “Daily Unlikes”). However, for me, that number is different for the same time period than the “Hidden From News Feed” number in the old Insights, so now I’m not sure.

  3. Erica permalink
    November 19, 2010 8:59 am

    Thanks, this is good to remember to focus on how your audience is responding. For me as a user, I am more annoyed by orgs (and companies) posting the same stuff over and over again. I agree that less is more to an extent, but I like to hear from orgs I am following daily if they post interesting things, it helps to keep them in mind. I work at a small non-profit and I understand your comment that large orgs simply may have more content to post and smaller orgs may not be able to post as often. If orgs are not posting something interesting or re-posting the same messages frequently that is a bigger reason I will unlike them than multiple posts per day, if the posts are good, within reason, of course.


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