Facebook is constantly evolving and redefining itself, tweaking configurations and algorithms in its pursuit to become the clearinghouse for the entire Internet. As a Facebook manager part of your job is staying on top of these twists and turns.

In this article we'll review the basics of Facebook page administration if for some reason you are not using the new nonprofit Facebook template.

1. The Admin Panel

The admin panel is your command center and dashboard – displaying notifications, messages, likes and insights. It’s the first thing you should check when you open your Facebook page. 

2. Insights and Quick Stats

The Insights section of your Admin Panel is the number-crunching guy with the rumpled slacks who hunches over his desk all day converting data streams to percentages and graphs, so the rest of us can understand. Here you can keep tabs on:

  • Which of your posts are most popular? Are there trends in what makes for a popular post?
  • What posting times tend to get the best visibility among your fans?
  • How old are your fans? Where are they from?
  • How many people does your typical post reach?

We recommend taking full advantage of this wonderfully nerdy tool to optimize your Facebook tactics.

Want to zero in on the performance of one particular post only? Click on '(Number of) People Reached' under your post to see the Quick Stats breakdown on clicks, likes, shares, and comments.

3. News Feed

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm decides what content to show to which user. Changes to the algorithm overtime have become the bane of organizations and businesses that are finding it much harder to make their posts visible.

Whether or not your fans will even see your status updates depends on several factors:

  • How much and how recently they’ve interacted with you.
  • When you post.
  • What type of content you post.
  • How many people commented, liked, reacted to, or shared your post soon after it was posted.

On average only 10-30% of any nonprofit page’s fans will now see their post.

Mercifully, Facebook has allowed users to now handpick which organizations will always show up in their newsfeed by clicking See First under Following on the organization's page. Encourage your supporters to select this option.

Beyond the golden See First, you can do several things to boost your visibility, like sharing photos and Facebook Live videos. They’re more likely to show up on News Feeds, and people are more likely to comment and like them than text-only updates. You can also get staff or friends to actively comment and share your posts, which tells Facebook the posts are interesting and worth showing to other fans.

A few savvy practices like this can make a world of difference in your News Feed visibility.

4. Paid Promotion

Just a few bucks can go a long way to boost visibility for a particular post. With $10 you can triple or quadruple the number of people who see your post when you pay to promote it. We’ve seen a lot of success with this feature. To give your post a boost, just click the Promote arrow at the bottom of any post.

5. Highlights

Want to ensure that certain posts get star treatment on your page? There are two ways to show favoritism:

  • Highlight. If you don't want a post to get buried as time goes by and other posts pile up, choose "Highlight" from the drop-down menu on the post.
  • Pin to Top. Pinning is a great way to highlight upcoming events, advocacy campaigns, or other issues that are only in the pipe for a short period of time. When you pin something to the top of your timeline it will stay there for seven days. To pin a post, just hover over it, click the pencil icon, and select Pin to Top.

6. Visitor Posts Sidebar

This is where any post in which you are tagged appears (and where your supporters can post on your page). Stay abreast of any new content in your sidebar. People are taking the initiative on their own to engage with you. It's a prime opportunity to extend a conversation or to find re-shareable content.

7. Pages to Watch

In the Overview section of your Insights, you can select other Facebook pages to watch. This is really useful. WIth some choosing savvy, you can learn a lot. You'll see how other organizations in your field are faring at engaging their supporters, and what their top posts were recently. This is a great way to learn what resonates with fans like your own.

So, there you have it. These seven functions will give you a fair, fighting chance in the face of Facebook's ever-changing whims.

Use the tools at your disposal and stay on top of changes, and your nonprofit can still thrive on Facebook. Good luck!