No doubt you’ve heard that Facebook and Cambridge Analytica used micro-targeted ads to influence US citizens’ voting decisions.
Pretty scary stuff, from the social brand that “wants the world more open and connected”.
- Will people leave Facebook in droves? Nope.
- Will users switch to another social network? Nope.
- Will users be less trustful about what they click on or share? Hells yeah!
Bottom line, Facebook is here to stay despite this massive breach of trust.
Most importantly: What does this all mean for your nonprofit?
I took a deep dive into this answering this question during this Hump Day Coffee Break [Episode #127]. Scroll to the end of this post to view the full episode.
The short answer is that if your entire engagement strategy lives on Facebook (or any other social network for that matter), you’re taking a big risk.
Remember, Facebook owns the user network and all of it’s user data.
You own nothing.
Don’t build your house on rented land!
If Facebook is your only way of engaging supports, you are building a house on rented land. Facebook is essentially rented land, whereas your website, email, and donor database are land that you own!
And this is exactly why ALL NONPROFITS should build engagement on their own land: EMAIL
Why Email Matters NOW More Than Ever
- Email is the foundation of YOUR community that you build yourself. You own the land, and they want to hear from you! They’ve given you permission to take up space in their precious inbox because they like, know, and trust you. This is huge!
- Email allows you to measure engagement down to the individual. Who’s interested in what we’re saying to our community? Email analytics help you answer this question.
- Email segmentation is a super power! Email allows you send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Facebook can’t match the awesome personalization of email (Messenger will likely be the exception to this rule, but that’s for another conversation).
- Email converts more donations. Email is the most effective digital channel for converting and retaining donors. Conversion rates via email consistently dwarf conversion rates on Facebook.
In short, invest in land that you own: your website, your email list, your donor database.
Don’t quit Facebook, it’s not going anywhere. It’s where most of your supporters hang out with friends and talk about the causes they care about. It’s a great place to stay top of mind, and grow your email list.