We've all heard by now the 80-20 rule for Facebook content: 20 percent of content should be created by and unique to your organization while the remaining 80 percent should be shared or curated from other sources. While it is a good rule of thumb approach to content strategy, the real focus here should be on the fact that the majority of your content is ideally from external sources.
Many managers of high performing Facebook pages share content from other Pages every day-and see big results. Here are the five Ws of how they execute this strategy so successfully, and how you can, too:
Why Share in the First Place?
The Facebook News Feed does not slow down. There's a lot going on, making it easy to miss something important. Imagine how your supporters would react if you could find the best content related to your mission on Facebook, and consistently deliver it to them, helping them not miss out on important news, events or memes? Everyone wants to be the first of their friends to like, comment and share the hottest content on Facebook, and your supporters are no different.
Doing so will help transform your Facebook page into a source of solid and relevant information, which will boost engagement and reach. It enhances trust with your audience and your credibility, turning you into an expert in your nonprofit niche. Take for example this top trending image:
When to Share Content
Shared content helps fill in the holes in your content calendar. Begin by mapping out your editorial calendar and look for holes where curated content can strategically map to your goals. While your audience really determines the ideal original content to curated content ratio, as demonstrated to you through analytics and tracking, a popular formula that works well is Give, Give, Give, Ask (as popularized by bestselling author, Gary Vaynerchuk).
What to Share
Using the Give, Give, Give, Ask formula, what you share could look a lot like this:
• Give (Others): Share a great blog article full of information that enriches the community from a heavy-hitting website and generates support for your organization. Don't ask for anything in sharing this. Just add to the conversation.
• Give (Yours): Post/repost a native video created by one of your followers that is funny, inspirational and/or makes a point. Again, don't ask for anything, just share.
• Give (Others): Share a high-quality image taken by an independent photographer supporting the greater community. Just share with your perspective.
• Ask (Yours): Create an original post with a curated call-to-action to generate a pre-determined response - such as e-mail address for a newsletter.
Define Who You Are
Many organizations are interested in using Facebook to establish themselves as a valuable resource. When you can dig up great articles that your audience is interested in-regardless of the source-you'll earn abundant respect. Building trust and credibility doesn't happen overnight. You'll have to post great content for a while to gain a reputation of quality with your audience. To further use other people's content to define your organization on Facebook, add value to the conversation. For example:
• What did you like about the piece?
• What was most important?
• What did you learn?
• What do you hope others will learn?
Adding your own thoughts can be a great springboard to start a conversation and encourage followers to become more engaged. Be sure to respond to folks in the comments and encourage them to contribute.
Where are you in the Ecosystem?
Want to get noticed by a powerhouse in your ecosystem? Share their content with your audience over the next few months and always add your two cents. While it's not a sure thing that they'll notice your efforts and repay them, without a doubt it works more often than not and will help establish your organization within the greater community.
Last, a hint: It can be just as time consuming to find great content as it is to create it if the process is not automated in some way. Luckily, this is made easier than it seems with the help of several tools on the market such as Hootsuite, Crowdtangle and ActionSprout (of which, in full disclosure, I am co-founder) that will show you those posts that are taking off on their Pages-which often is a good sign that they'll work well on your page, too. Share the content or use these success cases as a way to brainstorm ideas for creative posts of your own.
Luckily, the very nature of social media is about sharing and participating in a greater ecosystem. Pair these tactics used by successful page managers with an understanding of what appeals to your audience and start creating a cycle of content curation that maximizes audience engagement and boosts your role in the greater ecosystem.