A great way to reach new board members, prospective donors, and the community is to talk to them directly through their computers, and Facebook Live makes that possible. With this broadcasting tool, you can chat with your followers and field their comments and questions in real time. That gives your nonprofit the chance to position itself as a thought leader while also connecting with people in new ways.
Benefits of Online Videos
Videos give you a three-dimensional, interactive way to share ideas with your followers. With a video, you can show off your facility and your mission more effectively than you can with print brochures or website content. Additionally, live videos, in particular, let you interact with followers in ways that were previously only possible with in-person interactions.
Depending on the content you decide to share, videos can also make you look like an authority on certain topics, and that alone can be a powerful fundraising tool for your organization. If your community truly believes that you know how to cure hunger or reduce poverty, they’re going to be more likely to give to your cause. From a marketing perspective, online videos can also boost the visibility of your organization, especially when used in conjunction with social media.
Boost Exposure With Facebook Live
Theoretically, posting on social media helps to bring visibility to your mission, but recently, the social media giant decided to prioritize posts from family and friends in most people’s feeds. Unfortunately, that shift means that some of your followers may not see your posts, but Facebook Live is a great way to circumnavigate that issue. Live videos automatically get bumped to the top of the feed. Even more importantly, when a video is live, people tend to watch for three times longer than they watch non-live videos.
Social media users also interact more with these videos. In fact, Facebook Live videos only account for 1% of the site’s content, but they make up 11.1% of shares and 5.2% of all likes. That means people are over 10 times more likely to share a live video than they are your other posts
What to Share
To get people liking and sharing your video, you first need to present interesting information, and deciding what to focus on can be the most difficult part of this process. Keep in mind that the video is live, which means that viewers can comment as the camera’s rolling. To encourage as much interaction as possible, you need to choose a specific topic that’s likely to be interesting to your followers.
Had a lot of hits on a recent blog post? Always hearing the same questions from new donors? Working on a new project? These are all great questions to consider as you select your topic. Beyond that, here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Provide an introduction to your cause.
- Take a backstage tour of your facility.
- Showcase your volunteers in action.
- Interview your employees.
- Have a public brainstorming session about your next fundraiser.
- Broadcast a live event, such as an adoption day for your pet shelter.
- Auction off items as a fundraiser.
- Announce exciting changes or upcoming events.
- Give regular updates about your progress on a certain initiative or program.
Ultimately, you want to share content that gives value to your viewers. That value can be in the form of entertainment or new information, but it can also show them how their donations are improving the world and their community.
The Tech Side
Creating a Facebook Live video is pretty straight forward. You simply start to create a post in the mobile app, but instead of writing something or uploading a photo, you hit the live broadcast icon. Then, you record whatever you want with your phone, and your followers see it in real time.
To make the most of your video, you may want to test out how the feed looks before you go live, and you may want to do a practice run of your presentation so that you’re smooth on screen. Finally, to ensure the connection is steady, you need solid service on your phone, or you may want to use Wi-Fi.
Making the Most of the Experience
So that people tune in, let your followers know that you plan to broadcast. Post updates on your social media page, but also consider reaching into the "real world" with signs or mailed announcements. Before you go live, Facebook prompts you to name your video. Ideally, you should choose a short but descriptive title. A precise caption lets people know exactly what they can expect to see in the video but doesn’t overwhelm them with text.
For maximum effect, your video should be at least five minutes long, but making it a bit longer gives new participants time to find the video and start watching. As people comment, you may want to read their comments aloud and answer their questions. That type of engagement is what makes these videos so special.
At the end, don’t forget to ask people to follow you or donate to your cause. You have a captive audience, and you need to take advantage of their presence. You may even want to send out a few thank you notes to recognize donors who attended your live video event.
When you run a charity or a nonprofit, you rely on your community. Their donations and volunteer time is essential to the success of your mission, and that means that you constantly have to find new ways to reach out to these people. Facebook Live videos may be just the thing, and it’s easy to try. At the end of the day, if you already have a page and some followers, you just have to hit broadcast and start talking.