No matter what the cause, nonprofit organizations share a lot in common. They rely on external funding, their kind-hearted staff is spread thin, and they often lack a social media strategy. Most throw social media “spaghetti” on a wall, hoping something sticks.
These organizations also compete for funding, talent, and volunteers, with more than 1.6 million tax-exempt organizations in the U.S. alone. Social media is the fastest, easiest, and least expensive gateway for information, resources, and charitable giving.
There are approximately 2.9 billion social media users worldwide. That number is projected to jump to 3.43 billion by 2023 according to Statista. Facebook continues to dominate as the top user platform (2.45 billion), followed by YouTube (2 billion), WhatsApp (1.6 billion), Facebook Messenger (1.3billion), WeChat (1.2billion), Instagram (1 billion) and TikTok (800 million). That’s just the top seven active platforms.
Savvy social media strategists pay attention to the research, as not all platforms are created equal, especially among different age groups. This is important to discern, as an already limited staff could be wasting their time posting the right message to platforms that target the wrong audience. For instance, U.S. nonprofits targeting potential donors with discretionary income between the ages of 50-64 might think Instagram is a perfect channel, given there are 120 million users and rising, right? Wrong. This age group falls second to last in the user category, at only 23 percent, according to Sprout Social. However, 68 percent of the same age group uses Facebook, making that a better target.
Not only can the right channels reach the right audience, but they can also drive traffic to your organization’s website, increasing awareness, attracting talent, donors and volunteers. Additionally, social media can be used by nonprofits to recognize donors publicly through posts that include links to donor websites and social media platforms. That puts your organization’s post in front of their audience, which not only makes them look good, strengthening donor relations but also opens more eyes to your cause, creating new opportunities for support.
There are more than 260 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone. Smartphones create real-time opportunities to pull on user heartstrings, motivating them to act immediately on a call to action, such as “donate $5 to save baby zebras now.” Just remember before you post to preview readability and test functionality for different operating systems (Android, iOS, Microsoft, etc.).
The truth is that a relatively small percentage of nonprofits understand the importance of a strategic social media plan or know how to develop one. Organizations that do have a significant advantage over their counterparts. To find out how your strategy measures up, email firstname.lastname@example.org.