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Five Recent Facebook Upgrades That Nonprofits Need to Know About

June 11, 2012

June 13 Update :: ROI on $30 Promoted Post

If there is one thing that nonprofit social media managers are learning (or should be learning) from utilizing new media it’s that technology is now constantly in flux. As soon as you learn and become comfortable with a tool set, it’s replaced with a new one. The best social media managers will adapt quickly, embrace a state of constant learning, and not allow themselves to become easily agitated by modern nonprofit technology. That said, in recent months Facebook has launched a slew of new features for Facebook Pages. My favorite five are listed below. The others will be covered in my upcoming webinars on Facebook and Facebook Apps for Nonprofits.

1) New App Center Launched, “Giving” Category Dropped

Facebook has launched a new App Center for Timeline and Mobile with over 600 Apps. Originally launched in February 2012 as an App Gallery with three “Giving” Apps, the “Giving” category has been dropped and the three Giving Apps replaced with two Lifestyles Apps and one Utilities App:

App Center > Lifestyle > Causes

App Center > Lifestyle > LIVESTRONG.COM

App Center > Utilities > Petitions

2) New Facebook Pages Manager App

For nonprofit Facebook Page Admins on the go, Facebook recently released a new Facebook Pages Manager App for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Admins can use the app to post to their Pages, comment, get notifications of activity, manage Admins, and view Page Insights:

3) Ability to Schedule Status Updates in Advance

For nonprofits with a global audience, this is a long-time needed functionality for Facebook Pages. As those of us in the United States, Canada and Latin America are wrapping up our work days, Asia and Australia are just beginning theirs  – and then hours later those in the Middle East, Africa, and then Europe come online to a new day as well. Third-party apps like HootSuite and TweetDeck have long allowed admins to schedule Facebook Status Updates in advance, however, as recent study’s have shown, doing so can decrease your Page’s Likes and Comments by 70%. So, to schedule a Status Update using Facebook, as I did below on the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page, begin by selecting the “Schedule” icon from your posting module:

4) New Promoted Posts

I have noticed a significant drop in engagement on the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page over the last month. On average my Status Updates are only being reached by 11% of my fans and thus receiving a lot less Likes and Comments:

Clearly, Facebook has changed the algorithm of Status Update exposure in the News Feed again –  just in time for the launch of their new Promoted Posts functionality. This blog post will be posted as a $30 Promoted Post on Monday morning, June 11. I’ll let you know how it goes and if it was worth it:

5) Ability to Translate Status Updates Using Bing

The ability for fans to translate your Page’s Status Updates into their native language appears to have been launched in October 2011, though I didn’t notice it until very recently. I had seen the functionality on Profiles, but not on Pages. A few months back I even visited numerous Pages that post in other languages and the translation functionality was not there. That said, it’s there now and it’s a simple upgrade with big implications. Nonprofits with a global presence no longer need to publish multiple Status Updates in multiple languages and as activists and social do-gooders, the breakthrough of the language barrier on Facebook gives nonprofits an unprecedented opportunity to build a global community:

Related Links:
Webinar: Facebook and Facebook Apps for Nonprofits
HOW TO: Custom Design Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Timeline

31 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2012 5:27 am

    I just wanted to comment that I think part of the reason that many people are not commenting or liking is the majority of followers on Facebook users are unfortunately college students, and where do they go in the summer? Home. Once they go home, they are on vacation mode and have no interest in getting involved in causes or politics.

    Non-profits needs to find a way to keep people interested off campus or in the back of their minds so they can come back and read their news feeds during the summer months.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      June 11, 2012 12:31 pm

      Hmm… the vast majority of of my fans are over 30… and the most active over 40 – and the smallest age group is 18-24. Perhaps for your page that’s the case, but it’s a popular myth that Facebook is only for “young” people. The reason is Facebook has changed the algorithm. Most nonprofits have no idea how it works. 🙂

      • June 11, 2012 12:39 pm

        I think it depends on every one of the them. Each non-profit has different target. Ours is more geared towards 17-30. But we have had active 40- as well. Facebook started out as a dating site then turned into a college social media site before it became a worldwide global social network. We’re still learning to think outside the box.
        And you’re right, most of them don’t. I honestly don’t think any of them do. Our organization is still fumbling over it trying to figure out how to reach more people for our cause.

      • nonprofitorgs permalink
        June 11, 2012 12:49 pm

        Yehp. I now get more ROI from 5,000 followers on Google+ than 31,000 Facebook Fans… I have said it for years. The most overrated Shiny New Tool in the toolbox. 🙂

  2. June 11, 2012 6:11 am

    I just had Facebook block a post with a spam warning pop-up today (blocking a link back to our own site). It would not let me post until I removed the link. Have you seen that before?

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      June 11, 2012 12:28 pm

      Was it a link? links trigger a lot of spam monitors.

  3. T.S permalink
    June 11, 2012 6:12 am

    Sweet, schedule option 😀 Though it’s still not available for me but something worth looking forward to. A very much needed option. Thanks a lot for sharing 😀
    Btw, does the algorithm work in the same way with scheduled posts as they do with normal posts? Or are scheduled posts treated differently(though I don’t see why it would be so, but it’s facebook; you never know why they do what they do…)?

    And a small note regarding #5:
    Bing translation is utterly unreliable and horrid when it comes to languages from Asia or Africa. So anyone from those regions should keep that in mind. My page sometimes posts in Bengali and Bing ends up giving wrong translations which sometimes barely relate to what the post actually was about.

  4. June 11, 2012 7:39 am


    This is a very helpful post! Have you heard anything about Facebook developing a Facebook Pages Manager app. for Droid?

  5. June 11, 2012 8:47 am

    My organization’s page isn’t showing the ability to schedule status updates (re: #3). Any tips or suggestions? Thank you!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      June 11, 2012 12:27 pm

      Wait it out. It’s coming…

  6. June 11, 2012 12:12 pm

    Can’t wait to hear more about your #4 promoted posts experiment! Thanks for sharing this info, Heather!

  7. Ann permalink
    June 12, 2012 5:10 am

    We can’t see the “translate” button on any of our Spanish posts on our page. Is there a setting we need to turn on?

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      June 12, 2012 5:17 am

      You won’t see it as a Page Admin… only as an individual. 🙂

  8. June 12, 2012 7:32 am

    Hi Heather – glad to hear #3 (status scheduling) is simply being rolled out in waves – I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me! Do you know FB’s eta for making it available?

    On a brighter note, I downloaded #2 (the manager app) last week and really like that I can access my org’s page on the fly. Looking forward to seeing how it further develops.

    And I’m definitely eager to read about your experience with #4 (promoted pages) – I’m still ambivalent about FB ads for small orgs, but this may have a different cache.


  9. June 12, 2012 8:17 am

    Can you start a cause using an organization Facebook account? My organization is having trouble accessing the causes app using our organization’s Facebook acocunt.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      June 13, 2012 9:39 am

      Not anymore. Looks like they changed it recently with the launch of the new App Center.

  10. June 12, 2012 9:01 am

    Reblogged this on SunSlice.

  11. June 12, 2012 8:04 pm

    Another new feature that facebook is launching is admin roles. You will be able to set different admin roles with varied permissions… Like a manager will have full admin capability; a content creator can do everything but not modify admins; a moderator can respond to comments/ messages but cannot create new posts..

    Up till now we manage our facebook page with only two admins because a lot of people posting can create confusion.. but adding the moderator role allows us to have more people to respond to comments especially on events where the event managers can directly respond.

    I read about the feature here:

  12. Autumn permalink
    June 25, 2012 9:41 am

    Looks like the Bing translate for Spanish is decent, but I know it’s bad at Finnish, for whatever that is worth. So you might want to check how Bing will translate things into your users’ primary languages and see if you should still get it properly translated. You can always use the geographic options to send translated messages to those with poor aut-translate options.

  13. July 20, 2012 1:43 am

    Hi – I am the admin for this non profit on Facebook but I can’t seem to make comments on other peeps pages in the name of my non profit it just comes up with anonymous face whenever I comment anywhere…

  14. October 4, 2012 5:51 am

    So where’s the Schedule option? I’ve been using Hootsuite for a long time because I like to make posts when I think of it and not have to wait until the right time. It’s been3 months since this article but I don’t see a schedule option anywhere when I go to make a post. Did it get canned?

    Any other suggestions for getting posts to show up on more people’s pages? I saw one about setting up facebook to pull posts from our blog via an RSS feed or something as well. Didn’t try that yet.


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