Facebook Video and Facebook Live for Nonprofits: New Exposure

Last year, Facebook updated its algorithm to give priority to video uploaded through its native video utility (as opposed to linking to a video on YouTube or Vimeo). By fall 2017, social media marketing experts reported that videos on Facebook were experiencing 137% greater reach—137%!—than posts with photos or links. To encourage the creation and sharing of even more video content, Facebook then rolled out Facebook Live (live streaming, similar to Periscope), and this year added Facebook Stories (similar to Instagram Stories). So how can you use Facebook video and Facebook Live for nonprofits, especially for fundraising campaigns?

Nonprofit digital marketing expert John Haydon explains that using Facebook Live requires you to start by answering four essential questions:

  1. What are we going to talk about?
  2. How should we respond to commenters?
  3. How long should we broadcast?
  4. Will anybody actually tune in?

If you’re not able to articulate the answers to these questions, put a hold on your video planning until you can. Video that’s created without a focus on the essential “why” usually amounts to ineffective marketing—and wasted time, money, and effort.

Once you’ve determined your mission and audience for the videos, start thinking about what type of content you want to create. As the Nonprofit Times comments, charities have used Facebook Live for everything from reporting in the field, Q&A sessions, and mini telethons.

But don’t be afraid to think beyond what’s already out there. Use your Facebook videos and Facebook Live for nonprofits to:

  • Show behind-the-scenes setup of special events
  • Tell short stories about the individuals who will benefit from your campaign
  • Broadcast live from special events related to your campaign, whether a volleyball tournament, a dinner with a keynote speaker, or a student poetry reading
  • Tours of buildings, rooms, or parks that are being built or developed through your campaign
  • Announcements, such as reaching major milestones along your fundraising journey

As long as you stay authentic to your organization’s mission, almost anything goes!

Facebook has created its own a guide for using Facebook Live for fundraising. And don’t forget to check out John Haydon’s 11 tips for making your Facebook Live broadcast successful. With a few good ideas and a little practice, you’ll be on your way to effectively using Facebook video and Facebook live for nonprofits and fundraising campaigns.