Facebook-LiveFacebook has changed everything, again, for schools and nonprofits looking to dominate on social media. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now people live streaming anything on your Facebook newsfeed. Have you seen them? Your friends doing a live stream at the beach? Your local business talking to you about safety tips for the summer as he sips coffee at Starbucks?

Facebook live stream is a boon for nonprofits. Period. This is a huge opportunity and if you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re losing a big chance to gain more followers and supporters. For the basics on how to do a live stream on Facebook, click here.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know to stay ahead of the rest of nonprofits:

  1. Your nonprofit has to have a verified Facebook page to do a live stream. Click here to learn how to verify your nonprofit or school page on Facebook. Know that you can only live stream from a tablet or mobile phone. You can’t do it off of your PC or MacBook.
  1. Remember social media is all about social networking. The key word is “social.” You want to engage with your supporters. What you don’t want to do is to spew out a bunch of live stream content they don’t care about. As you begin to live stream, keep an eye on engagements, how many and how long people are staying with you.
  1. I recommend diving right in. Your live streams don’t have to be long and boring speeches. No one cares about that. Think creatively. What are the things you can do to bring information and make things fun? Ask yourself what your supporters want to know about your organization? Do you think they’d like to take a tour around your offices? Probably. Do you think they’d like to see a busy school during changes in class periods? I think so. Do you think they’d like to cross the finish line at a team event race with some of your supporters? That would be pretty cool. The point is that when it comes to live streaming, you’re only limited by your imagination.
  1. Develop questions and answer periods. Your champions and supporters want to know about you. Remember that you work at the organization, they don’t. As you’re live streaming they might ask you questions in the comments. Take this as an incredible opportunity to engage live with them. Answer their questions in real time. Invite questions from those who are viewing. Get your CEO, program directors and champions on your live streams. This provides an opportunity for your supporters to ask questions and find out more information about your work.
  1. Think about live streaming as a ready-made focus group. Do you have something new happening at your nonprofit that you’d like feedback on? Here’s the deal, many marketing people and staff often forget to think about the key question of whether or not their followers and supporters will like or resonate with any new brand updates, images or campaigns. By doing a live stream on Facebook you can ask your supporters what they think about some ideas you may be tossing around. Talk about getting people engaged and involved in what you’re doing!

If you run a nonprofit or school, this is the time–now–to be live streaming on Facebook. The reason is simple; most organizations are not doing it. This gives you a great opportunity to claim your market share right at the beginning of this new reality, which by the way is here to stay.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Be Bold, Dominate and Succeed in Marketing For Today’s Digital World On A Limited Budget” (Free Digital Download)


© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.