Top 10 Facebook Posts for LA-Area Nonprofits, Labor & Advocacy for March 1 – March 7

We decided to take a look a the top ten over-performing Facebook posts for LA-area organizations for the past week. “Over-performing,” for those not familiar with the term, means performing better than average for posts by a particular Page.

A post may overperform by generating ten likes and one share, if the average post by that particular page gets, say, five likes and no shares. Whereas a post with 100 likes, 35 comments and 13 shares may be considered to under-perform, if the page in question tends to post hyper-engaging content that typically generates more engagement.

So, this data is not intended to rank Facebook posts by their overall “quality” or “virality” (yikes – did we really just use that word?). One take-away that can be generalized from these posts is that their respective pages did something right, relative to the status quo for their post overall.

If you manage a page or are in any way involved with the social media presence for one of these organizations, you might get an idea what kind of material your audience finds engaging.

Right now, we’re tracking over 300 pages for organizations, invidivuals, public officials, and campaigns in the LA area. If you want to make sure your page is in the mix for future comparisons, simply email us at or tweet at our chief overall thing-doer @newlinla.

And we’d be remiss to not give a shout-out to Crowdtangle, the tool we use to analyze pages & posts.

Without further ado, here are the posts that dominated the internet in the LA social justice world this past week, ranked by the factor by which they over-performed.

Post #1: Heal the Bay (Overperformed by 21.7x.) Inspiration + creativity FTW.

Weekend inspo via Ocean Reality

Posted by Heal the Bay on Saturday, March 5, 2016

Post #2: Labor 411 (Overperformed by 19x). From the It’s About Time, You Others Better Get in Line dept.

Another reason that I choose Costco every time over the Sam’s Clubs of the world.Posted by Labor 411 on Friday, March 4, 2016

Post #3: Center for Community Change (Overperformed by 13.7x). The post is doing great, so if you’re applying for this job, it looks like you’ve got some serious shoes to fill.

Are you ready to create social change? Check out some of our open positions including a Digital Campaigner and Web Developer. We are looking for smart and passionate people to join our team!Posted by The Center for Community Change on Thursday, March 3, 2016

Post #4: Los Angeles LGBT Center (Overperformed by 12.0x). Celebrity + timeliness (the Oscars) + one of the most pressing issues in LA right now overall + how that issue affects the page’s key audience.

When Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne toured our youth center, he was shocked to learn that an astounding 40% of the youth…Posted by Los Angeles LGBT Center on Monday, February 29, 2016

Post #5: Labor 411, again (Overperformed by 10.1x) Blatant injustice + a call to action.

Tell Mondelēz International to keep the Chicago Nabisco plant open: by Labor 411 on Friday, March 4, 2016

Post #6: The California Endowment (Overperformed by 9.3x) Triumph over adversity = 100% inspiration (and a challenge to conventional wisdom).
(Note: we skipped the actual 6th-place post because it dealt with a very personal tragedy within an organization’s close-knit community.)

The story of Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa who went from being an undocumented farm worker outside of…Posted by The California Endowment on Monday, March 7, 2016

Post #7: Homeboy Industries (Oveperformed by 8.5x). Again, inspiration.

This is a great story about the solar panel event that took place today at Homeboy.Posted by Homeboy Industries on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Post #8: Anti-Defamation League (Overperformed by 8.5x). Useful resources for Women’s History Month.

March marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, so we have compiled all of our Women’s History Month educational…Posted by ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Post #9: Power my Learning (Overperformed by 7.8x). An infographic about reading that is, well, not easy to read. (Let’s talk about design ?)

30 minutes a day.Posted by PowerMyLearning on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Post #10: Youth Justice Coalition (Overperformed by 7.3x). Injustice + a compassionate call-to-action & a chance to help.

FYI Fundraiser for protester who was stabbed at Anaheim KKK Rally.Posted by Youth Justice Coalition on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Overall, we think uplifting messages and inspiration won the week. By the way, our digital strategy clients can get access to our Crowdtangle dashboard for an even deeper look at Facebook content performance metrics. Feel free to say hi!

Since you asked: 6 tips on the LA 2050 Grants Challenge


I’ve had a few1 organizations reach out to me for advice on how to come out ahead in this year’s LA 2050 Grants Challenge. They seemed to find my advice helpful, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of you lovely people.

Granted, you’re in the home stretch and there isn’t much time to implement, and maybe the middle of the event isn’t the optimal time to begin strategizing (more on this in the thrilling conclusion).

And with time running out you probably feel like this:

[action gif illustrating the pressure of last-minute digital strategizing]

But better late than never. Probably.

I’m starting the list with #2, because the #1 most important thing is not necessarily the most urgent thing, and I decided to save it for last.

You’ll see what I mean. (Also, I’m the dessert-first type.)

2. Keep on emailing your list.

You’re already doing it, obvs. Don’t be shy about it, because anyone who’s on a few nonprofit/innovation/social justice/whatever lists is already primed to receive frequent LA 2050 vote appeals. You can get a few more out in the next week without alienating your list members too much.2

3. Cross-check your email list and your social media audiences.

Hopefully your CRM can do this. What you want to do is look for the most engaged members of your community. For example, if someone is on your email list, and follows you on Twitter, and has liked your Facebook posts, then they are really into you. Make a list of these super-fans and reach out to them directly to ask them to share your posts and to ask their friends & followers to vote for your project. You may want to look at people who connect to any two “nodes”: e.g. follow on Twitter & liked a post on Facebook; subscribe to email list and follow on Twitter; etc. You get the idea.

4. Enlist your allies.

This might prove to be challenging because we’ve all got friends & allies in competing organizations. (Someone – the source is murky – called the Grants Challenge the Hunger Games of Los Angeles nonprofits). But if you can, reach out to influential individuals & organizations who can amplify your message. Make a simple, specific request that they either share one of your social media posts, or create their own post asking their friends & followers to vote for your project. If you’re doing the latter, make it as easy as possible for your influencer and have a sample post written, along with an image, before you make the ask. If they agree, great! Now, send them the link or the content immediately so that they don’t forget, and so you don’t have to worry about whether to make that awkward follow-up request. Do the same for the super-supporters you identified in the second step. And by second step, of course, I mean step #3.

5. Quick-and-dirty Facebook ads.

The organizations that reached out to me didn’t have much in the way of social media ad budgets. They aren’t going to get into the numbers of impressions where they would get meaningful data on content performance nor would they likely see the performance indicators move much in response to content or targeting tweaks, so I kept my advice as simple as possible.

  1. Export your email list as a .csv file and format it so that it contains only a single column of email addresses.
  2. Create a Custom Audience by uploading your list.
  3. You can then create a campaign that targets this custom audience.

The way it works is that if someone has subscribed to your list with the same email address they used to register their Facebook account, Facebook will place their profile in the Custom Audience. This won’t be everyone on your list. For example, I registered my Facebook account with an email address that I have never used for anything else, ever, so even if I’m on your email list, Facebook won’t find a profile associated with the email address you have on file for me. But this will work with a certain percentage of your list. And you don’t get charged for ads that aren’t served, so it’s worth a shot. The reason this is worthwhile is that these are people who have already shown an interest in your organization’s work, and we know that not everybody opens your email or clicks on the links, so this is a second shot at some of your supporters.

There’s one more step: create a look-alike audience based on the Custom Audience you just created from your uploaded list of email addresses.

Since Facebook knows everything about us3, they have algorithms that can identify profiles that are similar in interests and behavior to the profiles of your supporters.

These are the simplest way to serve ads to people who are likely to vote for your proposal.

We haven’t touched on content, but there isn’t a whole lot of time to perfect your posts. I did give one content tip, which I’ll share below.

6. Make the most of any video (preferably) or photos (fallback option) of your organization in action.

Ideally, you want media depicting people doing whatever it is your project will facilitate/enable/create, and showing people what your organization makes possible. Obviously, if you haven’t done anything in line with your proposal, and that’s why you joined the challenge in the first place, you won’t have this kind of media.

But if you can do the following, right now, I would: contact someone who would benefit from the project you’re trying to get funded; go and record a video interview with them talking about what your project would mean to them personally; try to get them to keep it under 30 seconds (or edit it later). Post this today with the link to vote for your project and make it the subject of any paid social media campaigns.

Finally, we come to the beginning.

1. Start last year.

I know, I know, that’s not 100% helpful. Aaaaaaaand it’s 40% obnoxious.

But really, the best strategy (for pretty much any and all things) is prepared well ahead-of-time. I don’t have a magic MAKE IT VIRAL button. Nor do I broker deals with the devil (but I know a guy who knows a guy, so…).

Where this advice becomes less annoying and more practical is when we think ahead to the possibility of another Grants Challenge next year, or any fundraising campaign, advocacy push, any time you’re going to ask someone to do something.

Start now by working on this (inexhaustive) list:

  1. Build your email list
  2. Reach out to influencers
  3. Build relationships with bloggers & other journalists
  4. Curate/collect/create ZOMG AMAZING content

Work on those consistently and you’ll be much better situated for any future online outreach effort.

Good luck!


I think three is the minimum number that qualifies as “a few.”

Not a guarantee.

3 I have mixed feelings about this. If anyone wants to talk about it, let’s have that conversation!