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Social Media Lesson #2: Top Facebook Posts


With our increased focus on Social Media over the past few months, we've seen some of our highest engagement ever on Facebook. We're excited to share the five most popular Facebook posts from this summer!

#1. Inspirational Quote

Thanks to the creativity of our amazing Social Media intern Jessica, we started experimenting with sharing inspiring education-related quotes on Facebook. We knew that our Twitter community responded to them well, and we thought our Facebook fans might enjoy them too. And, because Facebook is making images even more prominent in the News Feed, we thought block quotes might be popular.

But we couldn't have expected the response we got. The first quote we shared received a record 274 shares, and the numbers have continued to climb since then. These posts make people feel great about teaching and education, which makes it easy for them to share it on their own wall. Plus, the block quotes are visually appealing, and look great as you're scrolling through your News Feed. Who doesn't Like that?

Lastly, we've noticed that timing has a huge impact on how widely shared these posts are. The post above, our most popular to date, was published at 7 pm on a weeknight, and our second most popular quote was published on July 4 at mid-day. These are times when people have some free time and are more likely to be checking out their News Feeds, either on their computers or their smartphones. When you want people seeing and sharing your content, make sure to publish at a time when they have a free moment to do so.

#2. Student Thank You Note

Student thank you notes are an important part of the DonorsChoose.org experience. Any donor who gives $50 or more receives thank you notes directly from the students he or she helped. With thousands of thank you notes coming through our office everyday, you can imagine that we see notes that range from inspiring, to heartwarming, to just plain hilarious.

Every quarter, our team looks through stacks of thank you notes for those that we think our community would enjoy most. Then, we save them in a folder, and share one each week. Not only does it provide amazing, mission-centered content that our community enjoys, this process also saves a ton of time. We don't have to spend time every day (or even every week) searching for new content. Instead, we can just share a thank you note we love.

When thinking about how to make a name on Social Media, think about the content that only your organization can provide. Maybe it's amazing photographs, or stories of the impact your work has made. Fans respond to the content that is highly personal and unique to your organization. It's your job to share it with them.

#3. Share this photo if...

We saw this post by HBO Documentary Films and we knew we had to try something similar. We all have stories about being inspired by a great teacher at some point in our lives, and we wanted to give people the opportunity to tell those stories. We used one of our favorite classroom photos and added a simple call to action for our followers.

We were interested to find out if people responded to us asking them to share. We've always been hesitant to straight out ask, but figured it was worth a try, after seeing HBO Documentary Films' success. The test proved successful, with 350 choosing to share the photo. We've since experimented with other "Share this if..." posts, with similar (great) results.

It's also worth noting that some of the best social media ideas come from paying attention to what others are doing. Try following a couple of your favorite companies with large communities, and see what they do to engage fans. You'll find yourself inspired to try out all types of new content on your own social channels.

#4. Caption this photo

Similar to thank you notes, the photos we receive of students using the materials they receive through DonorsChoose.org are central to the feedback loop we provide to donors. Any time we find notes we love, we save them in a shared folder, then share them when we need content. We had seen posts by some of our favorite organizations asking their fans to caption photos. Given how many great photos we have, we thought our fans might enjoy captioning them.

The responses we received ranged from funny to heartwarming. It became clear that people liked to be involved in our posts in this way, and we've continued testing out the posts. What we've learned from these posts is that people are looking to interact on Facebook, and asking them simple questions like these allows them to be creative in a public setting. Also, these posts provide the perfect platform to share our unique content in a fresh way. Teachers love that we use the photos we submit, and supporters love seeing photos of the students helped through DonorsChoose.org.

#5. Fill in the Blank

Our 5th most popular post is another one using a great classroom photo. To join in the momentum surrounding the Olympics, we asked people to tell us their favorite Olympic sports. Not only did people love the chance to talk about their favorite sports, they also seem to have liked the picture of students playing sports themselves. In addition to the post having an engaging photo, and allowing people to share their own feedback, it was also timely. To maximize social media efforts, it's always worth checking the news, and figuring out how your organization's mission and content fits into it.

It's worth noting that all posts listed above have been photographs. Facebook is serving up photographs more heavily in the News Feed. So, if you want your post to be seen, it might be worth integrating a photograph!

We want to know: what would you like to see more of on our Facebook page?

Want more? Like us on Facebook to see what new content we try out in the future!

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