Tip: Want to make your Facebook posts more effective? Here’s how!
Okay, so you’ve decided to share your petition on Facebook because you read my colleague Julie’s post about how important social media is for getting signatures. Great! But now that you know you should use Facebook, how do you make sure you’re doing it right?
Well, our Online Marketing Manager, Leona, is here to help. Below, she’ll share with you 10 Top Tips to help make sure that when you share on Facebook, you’re sharing as effectively as possible. I’ll let her take it from here:
If you’re ready to advocate for causes you care about using Facebook, there’s a few key tips you need to know. Following these guidelines will help ensure that more people see your posts, and that means more people will learn about your petition.
The content of your post is crucial — and by content, we mean the visuals (like photos or videos), the words you use, and the way you try to “sell” your petition to others. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Include a video
Facebook has algorithms that prioritize certain kinds of posts. For example, it shows you more content that matches things you previously liked, commented on and were interested in. It also prioritizes showing images and video posts in people’s newsfeeds — which is something you can use to your advantage.
Including a video you uploaded in your post is a really important way to make sure your post shows up in as many of your friends’ newsfeeds as possible. And since Facebook has an Autoplay feature for videos, those posts become much more eye-catching than a regular post, because they start moving as soon as a person starts to scroll by. How do you add a video? Just record yourself on your phone, talking about why you started your petition and why it’s so crucial that other people help your petition become a success.
What kinds of video attract people’s attention? We know from experience that including a personal story, footage of the incident, and framing your cause in terms of “the Good vs. the Bad” are all powerful ways to make people pay attention.
Pro Tip: Keep your video to 1 minute or less. Shorter makes for better engagement!
- Include an image instead
Like I mentioned above, Facebook prioritizes videos and images. So if you have a really emotional, strong photo that goes along with your petition, share that on Facebook. Choose or make an image that taps into people’s emotions (like fear, anger, injustice, empathy, etc.). For more information, read our post on how to choose the best photo for your petition.
- Post 1-2 times per day
Be careful about writing too many posts — but also be careful about writing too few. Try posting 1-2 times per day for best results. This way, you’re getting your message out to your friends, family and followers pretty often, but you’re not spamming them. No one likes spam. Eww spam.
- Pay attention to your words
When you’re writing your post, use language that’s a rallying cry — or, what we in biz refer to as a “call to action”. This is text like, “Take action now”, “Sign the petition,” “Make your voice heard,” etc.
Also remember to get creative with your message! You want your text to be short and entice people to click, but it should also stand out. What can you write that’s unique or different? Experiment each time you write; try something new and catchy.
- Make @people_in_power hear you
Tag your target — someone like a politician, government agency or corporation — to increase public pressure on social media. This works well when your target is likely to be concerned about public perception. Use the “@” sign to tag your target, e.g. “Demand @SeaWorld” or “Tell @EPA”.
- Create a conversation with #hashtags
Pay attention to trending topics on Facebook. Include popular #hashtags that have surfaced recently. It adds to the conversation and helps to rally the cause digitally. Stick to just one hashtag to increase the chances that your cause will start trending. Some examples are: #NoDAPL, #SaveOurNHS and #StopYulin.
- Go public
If you feel comfortable, switch your post to being “public” in your privacy settings so you can reach people outside of your network. You can still keep the rest of your posts private, and just switch a few specific posts you wrote to public.
How do you do that? Just find the post you want to make public, and look for the timestamp on it. To the right of that timestamp, you should see either a small little icon of a globe, or a little icon of two people. The icon of people means you’re only sharing that post with friends right now. Click on the icon, and choose “public” (next to the little globe). And voilà! Now your post is accessible and easy to share — and everyone who shares your post from hereon out will be able to make sure their friends can see it and learn about your petition, too.
- Debug that shit!
Be sure to use this Facebook Debugger tool with your petition URL, to see what your petition will look like when you share it. This debugger tool shows you what information will appear when you share your link on Facebook, Messenger and other places.
- Always include your petition link!
You thought I’d forget this tip, but I didn’t 🙂 But you’d be surprised how many people forget to add this important piece of info when writing their posts. Make sure you didn’t share that video in vain. Add the URL.
There is also no harm in including a shortened URL in your post. You can shorten your petition link using bit.ly.
- The Ultimate Question
Finally, ask yourself, “Is this something I would repost?” Because if the answer is no, you have some tweaking to do.
- Bonus: Buy some Facebook ads
And if you’re ready to take the next step to up your Facebook game, consider giving your petition video an extra boost with a Facebook video ad. A bit of ad budget will make the video go further than just having your friends share on their own. You can target people based on age, gender, geographic locations, interests and more. Make sure to test out multiple headlines, text, and images, because it can yield quite some difference in terms of signatures. Be aware of the 20% text rule that Facebook sets for all visual used in boosted posts and ads. This rule says that your photo or video can’t be covered in words, and only 20% of the visual can have text on it.
Want to see some examples of how Leona has tested out various different visuals and text in Facebook shares? She’s run some experiments to see what gets people to pay attention the best — and she’ll share that info with you in this post.