I began a Social Media Series this past summer that focused on optimizing nonprofit fundraising and engagement opportunities and I have since extended it throughout the year. As the social media landscape continuously evolves, it’s important for nonprofits to stay abreast of emerging features to better understand and utilize the social platforms they have a presence in. It’s also important that nonprofits pay attention to reliable social media stats like user demographics, habits and trends.
I recently came across “The Social Habit” report by Edison Research and Arbitron. The 20th edition of this research surveyed 2,020 participants over the age of 12 by both mobile and regular phone and the results were rather insightful and could help nonprofits better understand the growth, demographic and power of various platforms. The following are 5 insights that stood out to me in the findings:
Americans with a social networking site profile has more than doubled since 2008 from 24% to 56% in early 2012. The growth that social networking has experienced is tremendous but it seems to be stagnating with only a 4% increase from last year’s 52% result. How much further growth there will be remains to be seen, but social networking is here to stay and will remain a leading connect to supporters. Strategies should be planned in advance on platforms that best reach the widest segment of your supporter demographic. Recommended reading: 8 Social Media and Online Basics for Nonprofit Fundraising and 10 Website Tips to Maximize Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement Opportunities.
It is common knowledge that Facebook dominates the social networking landscape with an estimated 143 million Americans with a profile and 54% of respondents in this research confirming having a profile. Not surprisingly 50% or more of respondents in every age category under the age 54 also had a profile. An overwhelming 79% of respondents followed a brand on Facebook over any other platform. Beyond having access to a wider audience the benefits include the ability to creatively raise cause awareness, strong brand marketing and cultivating a community of supporters. Having a cohesive presence on Facebook is essential to any successful social media plan. Recommended reading: 7 Facebook Page Set-Up Tips for Nonprofit Fundraising and 6 Facebook Considerations for Nonprofit Fundraising and Outreach.
Although the report is not specific to nonprofits, the findings are applicable and the results can still help nonprofits tailor their social media plans to their target supporters utilizing platforms most popular within that demographic.