5 Mistakes You Could Be Making in Your Non-Profit Facebook Campaigns

        We get it – if you’re working in marketing at a non-profit you’re probably wearing a million different hats. You can’t possibly be an expert in everything, and you often don’t have time to learn. This post is for you – the time-poor, the many-hat wearing marketing unicorns who choose to follow the path of non-profit marketing for the greater good.


1. Confusion Between Narrow/Expand audience

When you’re setting up an audience in Facebook ads, you can choose from so many different options to reach your perfect audience. However, I’ve seen a few campaigns where all the ideas about audience targeting are dumped into the one box. This means that anyone who meets just one of these criteria would be reached by your campaigns. Use the Narrow Audience option underneath to define more criteria – a person will have to meet at least one thing in the first box, and something else in the second box in order to be targeted. Think of it as anything within a box means “or” and adding a second or third separate boxes means “and”.

2. Not addressing the comments on ads

Non profit ads can received a LOT of comments, especially if you’re using particularly poignant imagery. If you go to your page, and then Notifications, anyone who comments on an ad will be listed here, along with people who comment on your organic posts. If the ad is stirring up a lot of conversation (lucky you), you can filter by “most recent” at the top to make sure you’re responding to each comment as they come in. Everything should be replied to, even anything negative or difficult, or people could be put off making that valuable donation.

3. Excluding / including Fans

This depends entirely on the objective of your campaign. If you’re trying to acquire new people to your charity, remember to Exclude Fans (right at the bottom of your ad set creation window). However, if you have an urgent campaign where warm audiences would be most receptive, you may wish to run a small campaign exclusively targeted at fans specifically. Just remember, an existing fan is likely to respond very differently to a cold audience, so focus on the objective of your campaign, and don’t waste budget on the wrong audience.

4. Use of images only

The Facebook algorithm much prefers carousel ads (where you click to scroll across multiple images) and video ads to single image ads. And they’re so easy to create nowadays. You can create a Slideshow ad to function as a video simply by choosing up to 10 images and allowing Facebook to fade in and out of each image. You’ll reach more people for less budget, and potentially even see higher click through rates with these ad types.

5. Looooooooooooooong ad captions

It’s tempting to tell your whole story in a Facebook ad, but it’s just not the place. Think of it like a billboard above a motorway – you only have a second or two of focus to grab attention, so make your point quickly and succinctly. Facebook recommends 90 characters, and while you can go on for longer, you don’t want your main point to disappear below the dreaded “Read More” tag.

Any other common errors you’d add to this list?

Or let us know if you need a hand with your non-profit marketing.

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