DemLabs blog

Campaigns can't avoid Facebook's power to influence people. How can cash-strapped campaigns harness this power to reach more people?

Follow the money: Facebook thrives on ad revenue. It keeps people engaged for more time by delivering personalized content and sharing trending posts more frequently.

ActionSprout a free app lets campaigns harnesses Facebook's desire to keep people engaged to reach more people. ActionSprout finds popular posts on the topics chosen by a campaign and delivers a feed of new story ideas for them to share. Campaigns add comments to these posts and share them as posts or Facebook ads.

"Facebook’s draw is its ability to give you what you want. Like a page, get more of that page’s posts; like a story, get more stories like that; interact with a person, get more of their updates. The way Facebook determines the ranking of the News Feed is the probability that you’ll like, comment on, or share a story", - Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic.


"When you post a story to your page, Facebook doesn’t automatically place that post in your followers’ feeds — it chooses only the content its algorithm considers the 'best'. Data from your page plays a significant factor in that calculation, and a big part of that is the frequency of your posting. Best practices show that to have the greatest chance of any one of your posts actually making it into your followers’ feeds, your campaign needs to post at least one story to your Facebook page each day.

Top-performing posts are almost always stories curated from other sources. You don’t need to create an original post every day — you just need to find relevant stories to share and add a bit of context to, based on your particular platform, issues, and positions", explained Shawn Kemp, the co-founder of ActionSprout.

Free content customized for your campaign
ActionSprout provides a curated content feed of popular stories to share. Its experts and partners provide daily recommendations on stories high-profile topics, such as climate, education, and healthcare.

A recommended story, for instance, on teacher salaries might come with information specifying that it generated exceptionally high numbers of comments when posted by candidates in the Midwest with an affordable-childcare platform. Facebook’s algorithm displays posts from groups that post regularly more often and more prominently — leading to new followers and more engagement.

Facebook advertising for less 
In addition to freely (organically) re-sharing posts, groups can also place Facebook ads using shared posts. These re-shared posts are inserted into the news feeds of people you want to reach.

"These groups can be based on demographic information, geographic location, political leaning, and interests. For example, it might cost $20 to put a story in 6,000 people’s newsfeeds. Recent posts with good Facebook engagement make for better ads. They reduce the guesswork involved with creating ads that will appeal to your target audience and the costs to deliver them. It is a good practice to test campaigns with at least three audiences. Run the ad for three days, with a $3 daily budget for each audience to see which perform best.

A good story targeted at a receptive audience, results in more followers— which means more people will see your messages, share your ideas, and ultimately turn out to vote," explains Kemp.


Building Mailing Lists from Facebook
Groups often want to convert their Facebook following into email lists that can be used for direct communication, especially for donation appeals and get-out-the-vote efforts.

ActionSprout’s Social Actions lets you create and share Facebook-optimized petitions, polls, and donation requests. These actions can be completed with a single click without leaving Facebook. Typically 30% of the people click through to view your action. The names and email addresses of people who complete an action are exported to CRM and email systems and automatically added to your contact list.

The Upshot
Make the Facebook algorithm work for your campaign.  Add you comments to popular posts and share them for free on Facebook to gain followers and use them in ad campaigns. Save time and money by betting on proven winners.

Co-Founder, DemLabs

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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.