Why is our Facebook engagement so low?

16 November 2021

Q: We post on Facebook 4 or 5 times a week. A few years ago, when we started our Facebook page, we used to get 'likes' and 'shares' on every post. But over the past year, we have almost no engagement on our posts and it feels like we are wasting our time. Should we close our Facebook page?

A: Your problem is a common one. Organic Facebook post reach has been steadily declining (by 'organic', I mean the reach for posts that are not promoted). The 'tricks' that used to work, like using more visual content or videos, are no longer effective. So what do you do?

It's important to go back to basics and think about why you have a Facebook page. Are you using it for advocacy, for fundraising, to promote events, or to raise awareness of your cause? Has your page been effective at reaching these goals in the past? If so, consider using paid promotions to increase your reach. For as little as R100, you can ensure that your posts reach substantially more people.

However, if your page has never achieved these goals, re-look at your content strategy. Are you posting engaging content? Does your staff engage with your posts? If your staff, who are people very close to your cause, are not interested or engaged in your content, you cannot expect the general public to be. 

It might sound counter-intuitive, but posting less frequently can sometimes see an increase in your reach. Better quality posts, less often, is more effective than posting random content daily, just because you feel you have to post something. 

In short: Facebook is 'pay to play'. If the platform is important to your organisation, spend the money to make it worth your while. And post quality content, that you and your staff find interesting and engaging. - Ruen

Have a question about digital communications for your nonprofit? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know how we can help you. Selected questions will be answered free of charge on this page. 


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Ruen Govinder answers your nonprofit's digital communications questions. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know how we can help you. Selected questions will be answered free of charge on this page. See details of our premium services at the bottom of the page.

Ruen is the founder and director of Hashtag Nonprofit. She has over 20 years of experience in consulting and managing online communications and technology for the development sector. She produced a series of e-books on communications strategies for nonprofits, and has worked with clients across Africa and in the United States.

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