Social Media Marketing A Must Do For Nonprofits

Social Media Marketing A Must Do For Nonprofits

As we enter 2016 social media is all grown up or is at least past their pimply-faced teenage years and is fast-moving toward energetic young adulthood. While businesses have picked up and are running with that ball, non-profits appear to be somewhere between searching for the field and, once in the game, trying to put together a team that knows how to play.

The numbers don't lie. Global social network ad spend was projected to reach $25.14 billion in 2015 (source - or to put it into terms we can all understand, about 18 times greater than Wednesday's Powerball lottery winnings. Businesses are not only tightly focused on investing in platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn but more importantly they are driving timely conversations with engaged customers from those channels, assisted by links from their websites.

For profit businesses on average responded 81% of the time to Twitter posts and 80% of the time to Facebook posts or questions.

Conversely nonprofit engagement, responsiveness and innovation on social media platforms is much lower. A recent survey of 161 non-profits by revealed some sobering insights:

  • 40-85% of organizations are not linking to their social media channels from their websites
  • 76% of nonprofits don’t let donors share their donation experience on social media
  • Although users on many of the most popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter said they expect responses within 30 minutes (32%), 60 minutes (42%) or same day (67%), surveyed non-profits didn't respond at all to 49% of Facebook questions and 55% didn't respond to Twitter questions.

Nonprofits similarly received low scores in post-donation comments and social sharing in general.

So what does this all mean?

  1. The market isn't going to wait for nonprofits to catch up. Forward-thinking organizations should be assessing their positions, creating a social media marketing strategy, executing on the timely and relevant release of content based on the strategy, and monitoring their channels to measure performance.
  2. As younger donors who are highly conversant on social media platforms mature, they expect your organization to be there with them. If you're lagging behind, engagement with them, rich conversations about your mission and services and resulting donations will continue to be moving targets on which you're likely not capitalizing.

What can you do about it?

Change your thinking and change with the times. View your social media connections as the vital platforms they are; marketing channels that give you new ways to connect donors to your organization and engage them in conversation.

Put your money where your mouth is. Apportion a segment of your administrative budget to fund social media initiatives and follow through.

Steve Peterson & Associates can do that for your non-profit organization or next artistic pursuit; insightful assessment of your current social media platforms, partnership to craft a strategy tailored to your organization, content management/messaging and timely reporting and analytics that will measure your progress. Check us out at our website and give us a call when you're ready to get a solid handle on your move to meet donors on their social media platforms of choice.

Follow us on Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Instagram