How to Boost your Cause with Social Listening
Engaging your supporters and keeping them passionate about your cause is one of the most important things your nonprofit does. It’s not always easy but you’re always working to do the best you can. Unfortunately, there will always be one hurdle you can’t overcome: you’re not them, you’re you.
Sure they’re interested in similar things, like protecting the environment, saving endangered animals or electing the same candidates, but at the end of the day you can never truly know which articles they want to see or which pictures will inspire them.
This means that engaging your supporters on Facebook will always be a bit of a guessing game: Should I talk about X or Y? Will they care about Z? What article should I post? Luckily, there are ways to make the best educated guess possible.
Now this doesn’t mean aiming for the lowest common denominator and only posting things to try and please your audience. There is still a place for education and introducing supporters to new causes. These strategies are merely a way to fine tune and hone your messaging in a way that will reach and engage more of your supporters.
Let’s explore the top two tools that will help you learn what your supporters love.
Social Listening for Trending and Timely Content
One thing that is universal, regardless of your nonprofit or cause, is this: supporters are more likely to engage with trending or timely content. Therefore, it’s important to keep your eyes open for timely content that is related to your cause. Fortunately, there is Inspiration and Facebook’s Trending feature that will make finding this content a breeze.
Facebook’s Trending feature will show you what people are interested in on Facebook right now. Posting content that is related to this content will receive greater reach on Facebook while the topic is trending.
Filtering by data inside of Inspiration will show you the trending content from your network. This content is much more likely to be related to your cause and be something that your supporters are interested in. Once you have identified a timely piece of content, you have a few options for next steps.
- Create an action based on this topic. This captures the engagement that the post receives and moves supporters to the next level of involvement with your cause.
- Write a blog post on the subject. If your nonprofit maintains a blog, try writing a post on the subject and posting it to Facebook. This is a great way to share your thoughts on the subject and invite supporters to join in.
- Share the article / post. You can also simply share the trending post and include your own two cents with it. What did you like best about the article? What does this mean? Or pose a question about it to your supporters. Sharing others’ content positions you as an informed source of information on all things related to your cause.
Social Listening for Stories your Supporters are Talking About
Beyond trending content, what are your supporters interested in and talking about right now? Browsing through your Inspiration feed can help you find the answers to these questions.
First of all, a little house cleaning: make sure you’re following the right Pages before you start! You’ll want to follow Pages that are similar to your own in mission and audience.
Do they support the same things you do?
Are they a source of information on your cause?
Does their audience appear to be similar to yours?
Doing a little house cleaning will greatly improve the content of your Inspire feed and make your life easier. (Note that follows are not public and the Pages you follow will not be notified.)
Okay, now it’s time to get to work!
First, filter your results by “People Engaged“. This will give you a list of stories and content that people who support your cause care about right now. If you haven’t already, consider addressing some of these issues on your own Facebook Page, blog or website. These topics are proven to engage on Pages similar to your own, so addressing them yourself will likely to lead to increased engagement on your Page.
Next, what type of content usually performs the best on your Page: Image, Video, Links? Choose to filter the results by this format to receive a list of content that your supporters are interested in, in the format they prefer. This is a good place to find content that you can reshare on your own Page.
Lastly, you can search for keywords. We suggest the following two strategies:
- Search for trending content from Inspire or Facebook. What are others in your space saying about this? Is there anything you can share? Is there something that will inspire your own original content?
- Research your own ideas. Have an idea? Research and see how others approached the subject. What worked for them? How did people respond? This will give you a leg up when you address the subject yourself or it will tell you in advance that it’s a bad idea.
Social Listening for Patterns
Finding that the same story keeps popping up no matter where you look? This is a huge indication that this is something that your supporters are interested in! If one of these topics relates to your cause, this is a good time to spin up an action, write your own response, or join the conversation.
Social listening not only keeps you informed on the issues that relate to your cause, but also how your supporters are reacting to them. Have they been misinformed? Set them straight. Are they looking for ways to get involved? Put them to work. Do they have questions? Answer them. This is a great chance to be responsive and connect with your supporters.
How does your organization use social listening? Let us know in the comments!