8 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Combat Facebook’s Algorithm Changes

girl walking with umbrella

Facebook has updated their algorithm, again. As a result of an increasing amount of content available to Facebook consumers, it seems that the best way for brands to reach their fans these days is by paying. Ultimately, wherever your opinion of the changes falls on the spectrum, it can’t be denied that the new, unnamed algorithm (formerly Edgerank) generated a lot of chatter in the marketing world, with an onslaught of suggestions pouring out from social media blogs across the web.

Despite all the uproar surrounding changes on Facebook, there seems to be a lot of ways to adapt, expand, grow, learn and succeed! These 8 tips on how your nonprofit can continue to stay in your constituents news feeds, come to us from Stayclassy.org.

Become a Better Marketer

Brands should not give up on their Facebook pages. After all, Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and there is research to support social influence as an increasingly important motivator to engagement and giving. When it comes to Facebook, don’t work harder, but work smarter, and pay attention to what works and what doesn’t using the Insights analytics page.

Create Cause Champions

Yelling at fans has never garnered the attention that translates into active engagement. Be genuinely interested in your fans’ opinions and feedback to generate an involved community of fans. By speaking directly to followers, and replying to their questions and comments, you are including supporters in your mission. Even though the interaction is virtual, creating these more personal relationships on social media can prompt fans to become involved champions of your cause.

Tell Stories Visually

Facebook is acquiring new services often, and some experts suggest they will be prioritizing posts from these channels. One of the most publicized purchases Facebook has made is Instagram, which is a great visual storytelling tool. Another acquisition is a service called Branch, which aims to bring people together around a particular piece of web content and strengthen conversation webs between them. Branches can be linked to and shared, allowing people to read the entire thread post facto.

Direct traffic to your website

At the end of the day, social media is not the only key to successful marketing. There are a lot of other factors that play into a brand’s success: from blogging to effective web design, to creative and consistent e-mail campaigning there’s more to marketing than building out social networks. Although they’re useful, your site and web assets are where you maintain complete freedom and flexibility. Promote your mission through well thought-out strategy on your own web pages, building trusted partnerships with other organizations and individuals and by networking at events that build community and support systems in your sector.

Grow by Email

Email is still a more effective marketing tool than Twitter and Facebook. Encourage supporters to sign up for email updates and frame the message in the context that, due to the algorithm changes on social media outlets like Facebook, they might miss out on your nonprofit’s news and initiatives if they’re only Facebook fans. This might also be a great opportunity to gain more involved supporters that had previously only been casual observers of your cause.

Segment your Audience and Explore New Ways to Tell Your Story

Visual storytelling lends very well to showing supporters the tangible and concrete change your organization is initiating in its respective sector. It will be useful to get a better understanding of who your audience is, where they tend to congregate online and to incorporate other visual social media tools like Vine and Instagram into your reports from the field, or behind the scenes at the office or an event.

You should segment your email list allowing you to tailor your message to particular supporters. This might take a bit of research in the beginning, but it could have rewarding payoff in click rates and building followings on other social media outlets that focus on visual storytelling.

Just Ask

As a nonprofit organization, you’re used to asking for assistance in raising money, spreading the word about a new campaign or for people to volunteer their time. Through emails, Facebook page or Twitter, let others know the algorithm change may be affecting your nonprofit’s reach and don’t hesitate to ask for a bit of assistance in announcing that new run/walk registration, your newest creative fundraising campaign, or share a beneficiary’s personal story.

Advertise … smartly

Well, Facebook did say they’ll give you the attention you pay for. Don’t advertise arbitrarily, make sure your strategy is smart and targeted so you get the most out of it. Advertise the content you most want donors to connect with, get them to your wonderful, optimized site and try a retargeting service like AdRoll.

These are just a few tips from StayClassy on how your organization can regain control of who sees your content on Facebook. For more examples and tips, see the full post over on their blog.


The Connected Cause is a place for experts in the nonprofit online space to share perspective, offer guidance and promote best practices for using today’s technology effectively. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of collaborative thought leadership for the nonprofit industry.


  1. This is really helpful list of ‘must do’s’ from the experts! Competition in the social media realm is has become increasingly intense, and starting with the basics is critical to rising to the top – don’t assume that a change in algorithm won’t affect you…it will!

  2. Great practical suggestions and good reminder that Facebook is just one piece of overall engagement strategy

  3. Susan Kenna Wright

    This is super helpful. Love having a list of what to do.

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