FACEBOOK - How to build an audience for a non-profit organisation with no advertising budget

Posted on 2014-12-05
Last Modified: 2015-01-29

A non-profit organization is trying to build audience via facebook page.  Do we need to pay a campaign in order to send emails to some contacts.

I have selected one contact from a contact list.  The message I get is "None of the email addresses you add seem to belong to.........".  It is attached.

I then select two contacts from a contact list (one contact is the same as previous one), the message I get is "1 email will be sent shortly".  But the email still has not arrived after 1 hour


1. Do we need to pay in order to be able to send an invitation to contacts?
2. Can we find audience without any payment?  There is no budget at the moment allocated for marketing.
3. The attached error message suggests that I check the country restriction and age restriction, I don't see any restrictions button on the page either.  Options of setting is also attached.

Thanks in advance for advice.
Question by:mk50
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Jason C. Levine earned 300 total points
ID: 40484009
To be clear, Facebook doesn't send emails for page campaigns.  What you can do is invite your existing friends to like the page, which will send email to those people depending on their privacy settings.

What I think you are talking about is promoting your Page via an ad listing.  That definitely isn't free but it's also not tremendously expensive.  You can do this is in $15-$20 bursts and reach a few thousand Facebook users that you define via the ad targeting options (age, location, interests).

The way to do this with absolutely no budget spend is to post a "Like our Page" button on your web site and also send email to your existing base (if any) asking them to go to the page and like it.

Author Comment

ID: 40484793
There is a button called "Build Audience" on the upper right hand corner.  If you click this button, it has a list of actions.  One action is "Invite email contacts".  I suppose this is to send email to contacts.  If not, how should this be used?
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 300 total points
ID: 40484801
This is fundamentally the same action as inviting your friends.  You would give Facebook access to your address list and Facebook would either invite them to join Facebook and like the page or, if they are using FB already, issue a message to them to like the page.  Basically you are giving FB free data but FB won't email them for the most part.
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Author Comment

ID: 40484811
That is what I originally thought that the facebook will send emails to the contacts that I import to facebook via this function.  However, the email has not arrived yet even the facebook did say that it would be sent shortly since yesterday.  

My question here is whether I need to pay to get this function work.  Don't know whether this is a bug in the system or something else I need to do to get it to work.
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 300 total points
ID: 40484846
No, you don't need to pay money for that.  You are "paying" FB in information by giving them your contact list.  

Why you aren't getting anything to the test address is a different issue.  It may be that no emails are sent, it may be the emails are spam flagged, or a combination of the two.  To be honest, you would do better opening a free MailChimp account and just use it to send the emails to your contact list with a button to like the page.  Much less complicated.
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Lucas Bishop
Lucas Bishop earned 200 total points
ID: 40542829
Emailing contacts to like your page is in most cases going to yield unspectacular results.

The key to building your audience with no budget is two-fold: Content + Networking.

First you'll want to have some content that people will share with their friends. For example, if you are a non-profit animal rescue, you would record a video that showcases one of your pets that needs adoption. You'd tell the story of the pet. A story that pulls at the viewers heart strings. The video would show how the pet was happy when it was first dropped off by its previous owners and now it is shuddering in the corner, living in fear, wondering why it has lost its loved ones and if anyone will ever love it again. You make sure to include your facebook page url, your location, contact info, etc in the video, so when it is shared, it is able to bring traffic back to you. The key to your content though is eliciting emotion. If you don't trigger an emotion within the viewer, they likely won't share the content.

Now that you have your content, you reach out to industry leaders. For example, dog trainers. Tell them how much you love what they do for the community and you'd really appreciate it if they would share your video with their followers/friends, so that the pet could find a new home. You can find these types of people through sites like or simply through you and your colleagues own knowledge of your industry. You'll likely find many people are willing to share your content. In return you can recommend their services, or depending on your non-profit, they'll receive instant positive karma.

Once you have a thought leader who is willing to share your content, all of a sudden you have the potential for it to go viral and drive traffic back to your page. Once you have a formula for this that works, rinse and repeat.

If you can run a content generation/sharing process like this on a regular basis, you'll start to gain a viewership and won't need to reach out to industry leaders for your videos eventually, as your followers will naturally spread the word for you.

Another technique would be to do a giveaway/contest that requires people to like your page. However these 'likes' are less likely as they are from people who are trying to get something.

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