How charities and non-profits can succeed on Facebook

Are you wondering how to make Facebook work for your charity or non-profit?

Recently I attended a Net Tuesday session in Vancouver, BC called “The Science of Facebook” presented by Darren Barefoot and Theo Lamb of Capulet Communications.

Darren and Theo analyzed 1000 posts from large environmental NGOs and asked 2 questions:
1. What kind of content earns the most likes, comments and shares on Facebook?
2. Which organizations are “killing it” on Facebook?

Here are the main conclusions I’ve been sharing with the organizations I’ve been working with:

  • Follow the 80/20 rule (a.k.a. the cocktail party rule) and talk more about others than you do your own organization;
  • The top performing NGOs published once a day, seven days a week; don’t overwhelm your audience;
  • The top ten posts for likes, comments and shares were all visual – videos and above all photos that featured emotional or provocative subject matter. Most of those included a simple powerful message in overlying text.

You can see the full report and some of the winning posts at

Here’s a glimpse of a couple of Facebook posts that hit it out of the park:

A winning Facebook post from National Audubon Society

Surfrider’s brilliant sushi roll that earned over 11,000 likes and over 11,000 shares and counting.