It seems that more and more Facebook users and organizations are publishing videos on Facebook. For users, videos are easy to publish from mobile. For organizations, a nonprofit Facebook video can get more engagement than YouTube videos or even Facebook photos (according to one study).
But simply uploading a video file won’t guarantee viral Facebook videos. The content and the strategy behind videos are key.
American rivers recently published a Facebook video about a young boy’s love for Northwest rivers. Over 1.2 millions people were reached (so far) and over 7,000 people shared the video with their friends.
4 Tips to Make Your Nonprofit Facebook Video Go Viral
So how did they do it? I reached out to Jeff Wiedner, who runs social at American Rivers, and asked him how they did it.
Below are 4 steps that contributed to their success:
- Understand your people – Start by understanding your people with Facebook Insights and Facebook Graph to discover what works and what doesn’t.
Jeff: “On our Facebook page, we’ve noticed our folks love project updates [“yay — we’re on the winning team”] and positive stories about the river. So we’ve focused on those and built that as our voice there. We let Twitter do the wonky stuff.”
- Create content that resonates – Create (or curate) content that makes your people look awesome to their friends.
Jeff: “Ultimately, the just story resonated with folks. The right content and tone for what we’ve been cultivating. So many of the comments were along the lines of, “check this out – this was totally me” or “that was uplifting” and sharing it with their friends. We got a lot of new people organically from that.”
- Use other marketing channels – Use email, social media, and you’re website to give your best content even more exposure.
Jeff: “We did include [the Facebook video] in our newsletter, and connected with “no kid left inside” groups, mommy and nature bloggers that we’ve been cultivating for months. They loved it and shared it.”
- Don’t build a house on rented land – Always be working towards building your list, engaging your current supporters, and using a blog to link sharing back to your website.
Jeff: “If you don’t like the rules, build better content elsewhere. Spend less time getting ads and building your base there and instead get creative and work your ass off to get them onto your email where they belong.”