Stealth Measurement: How Networked Nonprofits Use Facebook SMARTly


Think of a Facebook Page as a mini-web site in Facebook. It gives your nonprofit a friendly url. People can find you via Google, and there's no limit to the number of people who can tell you how passionate they are about your organization. And, what's even better, it doesn't take all that much time and effort to have a powerful Facebook Page.

Step 1: SMART Objective based on Benchmarking

Identify the intent of your Facebook Page

  • Keep current audiences engaged between performances
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Identify and recruit new audiences to your events, programs, concerts. or exhibits
  • Inspire conversation online/offline to support audience development
  • Get new ideas and feedback on programs and services
  • Research what people are saying about your organization
  • Drive traffic to web site or blog
  • Social content generation
  • Identify and build relationships with influencers, allies & supporters

Next, make it into a SMART objective.











A benchmark provides context for your organization to measure your objectives. A benchmark can be comparing your results to previous results or comparing yourself to peer organizations. Devon Smith has completed a benchmarking study for this project here. For a quick tutorial on using Facebook Insights to get the two data points mentioned below, check out this video.

Intent: Raise brand awareness
By the end of Leveraging Social Media experiment, we will increase the number of Fans who "Like" us on Facebook by x%
Compare to your current baseline: How many Fans does you have now? What is the average number of views your posts receive now?
Peer Organization Benchmark Median Number of FB Fans: 1600 per Devon
(See Slide 8)

Intent: Inspire conversations related to audience development goals
By the end of Leveraging Social Media experiment, we will post content daily that engages people in our art and increases the number of comments per post by x%
Compare to your current baseline: What is the feedback percentage?
Benchmark Median Number of Daily Comments Per Post: 4.5 per Devon
(See Slide 13)

A few other Facebook tracking tools: All Facebook Stats and Insights.

Step 2: Internal: Work Flow and Policy


More about Facebook Admin Roles

  • Page Administrators: You can add an unlimited number of administrators on Facebook Page, so why go it alone? By sharing the workload, you'll be able to do more. Here's more details about how to manage your Facebook Page as well as the Facebook Admin tools.

  • Post as You or Your Page? Facebook's newly launched design allows you to do this. How to toggle between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page (video)

  • Work Flow: Don't live on Facebook, it isn't effective. Design your work flow. Small (15-20 minute) chunks of daily time for implementation (posting content and answering fans) and some concentrated time for planning your monthly editorial calendar of content and engagement. Nutshell Mail can be a useful tool for monitoring responses. You'll also need to schedule time to collect and analyze your data. Use SpreadSheet Aerobics to help you save time and here's a spreadsheet template to use.

  • Tips for Being Effective: If you're doing the work on Facebook, your time is spent: being a resource, engaging, moderating, and measuring. Tips.

  • Facebook Use Policy: If you're going to have many people on staff and volunteers help you, you may need a Facebook Use Policy

  • Do You Need A Community Policy? This is where you layout the rules of engagement and what types of posts are appropriate. Here's some examples

Step 3: Look, Feel, and Functionality

Step 4: Listening and Networking

  • Find Out Where Your Fans Hang Out on Facebook: Identify Facebook Pages that attract a similar target audience and use analytics tools to find other likely pages that they have joined.

  • Are people already talking about your organization? You use tools like Facebook Open Search or Social Mention to search public information on Facebook to see if people are talking about your organization. Use this information to shape your content strategy.

Step 5: Networking, Getting Attention, and Recruiting Fans

  • How to Optimize for Reach and Visibility:

  • No More Default Landing Tabs: This feature is no longer available - but no great loss You now need to focus on "pinned posts" - posts that stay at the top of your wall for 7 days. You can still add in apps that have a call for sign ups and these remain at the top, but no longer the gateway to your page for new fans.

  • Recruitment Campaigns: Some organization have fun contests or "friend get a friend" campaign for the initial recruitment and engagement. See how the California Parks Campaign recruited new members and caught the attention of the mainstream media. Santa Clara Public Health Department Fan Page gave away t-shirts to the first couple hundred fans.

  • The Basic Checklist

  • Use Badges and Fan Box Widgets To Promote Your Page Outside of Facebook If you're a page administrator, you'll notice a "add the Fan Box Widget" link. This allows you to create a customized badge on your web site or blog that promotes your Facebook Fan Page. This is a highly effective way to recruit more fans. More from the Fan Box wiki. Here's a few more ways to integrate "Share on Facebook" with other channels. Here's a collection of free social media icons, including Facebook that you can use you your web site, email signature, or other places.

  • Use of Contests/Raffles: This is somewhat of a blurry area, so be sure to read Facebook's Promotional Guidelines. You need written permission from Facebook and spending a significant amount on ads per month. See these two posts for more explanation. Tips here. Be sure to measure the return.

  • Twenty Ways to Promote Your Fan Page: Tips

Step 6: Engagement Strategy

  • Five Ways To Get Engagement from Your Fans - Good tips. Ask their opinion, create fan-centric content, calls to action, and more

  • Facebook's Guide to Publishing Engagement Posts

  • Always Be Commenting: It is important to respond to people who comment on your Facebook content. People want to know that you’re reading your Wall and reacting to comments, so the three keys of commenting are: fast (within 24 hours); many (respond to everyone); and often (make commenting core to your Facebook activity). More tips: How To Enchant Your Facebook Fans

  • Engagement: Play Tag With Your Friends One of the most engaging and viral ways to share content is to post photos and tag people. Now, you can only tag people who are your friends - and that's why it is useful to have a multiple administrators for your page. The best way to get photos and videos of your fans is through hosting events. For example, one organization took photos of people at offline event of people holding a sign with their message and then uploaded the photos into their Facebook Fan Page. This is not a new technique, it's called the "hold a sign meme." Here are five easy and simple ways to engage your Facebook Fans. Facebook now lets you tag friends and Pages in comments

  • Dealing with Upset Fans: A couple of good tips and tricks.

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Step 7: Content Strategy

  • Create a Monthly Editorial Calendar. Use the spreadsheet template. Spend about half-hour every week to create your editorial calendar. Take a look at all your existing content, events, and materials. Assign something for day. Facebook content is micro-content in small chunks. You can post questions, photos, videos, articles to blog posts, content that other people have created but on the topics you need, etc. Also create a list of "evergreen" content that doesn't require a date and you can post if you get stuck. Here's an editorial calendar spreadsheet. How to keep you Facebook messaging consistent with a topic calendar

Step 8: Reflect and Refine

  • Other Analytic Tool: Edgerank

  • Questions: What patterns are you seeing? What will keep the same? What will you change?

  • Facebook often changes how it works and features you can use. You might want to follow the Facebook blog for the most up-to-date changes

  • Finally combining your metrics with an after action review and even sharing it publically to get feedback from stakeholders can help you improve what you're doing. Here's a terrific example from the League of Women Voters in California.


User Statistics
Check Facebook
Nielsen Social Network Report, September, 2011
Facebook 2011 Demographics Revisited
Pew Internet: Social Networks in Our Lives

Nonprofit Research:
Using Facebook To Meet Your Mission from Idealware
Social Congress

User Behavior
What Facebook Users Want (a mix of community and news) from Chitka
Loyalty of Facebook Users
Facebook As A Niche Marketing Tool
Analysis of Content, Frequency of Posting on Facebook Fan Pages (some good points for your content strategy)
Facebook Fan Page Engagement Rate

Facebook Changes

Additional Resources: