Nonprofit 2012 Social Media Trends

Last week at the Nonprofit Technology Conference 2012, Blackbaud, Common Knowledge and NTC released their 4th annual Nonprofit Social Network Report. The report surveyed 3,522 nonprofit volunteers and employees from a variety of sectors including: Arts & Culture, Education (Higher Ed and K-12), Environment & Animal Welfare, Health & Healthcare, Human Services, International, Professional & Trade Associations, Public Benefit, Religious & Spiritual, Media, Labor Unions and Mutual Benefit.

The report covers top 12 trends in social media for nonprofits and a variety of key trends to watch out for in 2012.

The Highlights:

  • In comparison to 2011 report, nonprofits reported a 30% increase in number of Facebook Fans and an 81% increase in Twitter followers.
  • Respondents own an average of 2.1 Facebook Fan pages and 1.2 Twitter accounts. But a gross majority own and manage one account per social platform.
  • The average cost of a Facebook Like was $3.50, and the average Twitter follower required an investment of $2.05. Something that should be considered as a minimal investment for acquisition of new fans or followers.
  • The Average Value of a Facebook Like is $214.81 over the 12 months following acquisition.
  • 54% of respondents said they were not fundraising on Facebook – a missed opportunity.
  • 33% of the respondents who fundraise on Facbeook said that their priority is individual giving, followed by 20% of event fundraising, Causes was third at 17%, and peer-to-peer fundraising linked to a mission-focused theme rather than a face-to-face event) was fourth with 11%.
  • Nonprofits have started to increase budget for adding social media personnel to their budgets equating to 1/2 FTE or more. 42% said they will increase staffing in 2012 for social networks, while 55% will stay the same.
  • Respondents said their top 3 factors for success on social networks: (41%) developed strategy, (37%) prioritization by executive management, (28%) dedicated social media staff. “The formula– get a plan, get buy-in and get an experienced team member to lead the new initiative.”
  • Conversely, those who did not have a presence on social media said it was because of no strategy, no staff, or no budget.
  • The top 3 reasons for using Facebook advertising was Awareness (66%), Base-Building (54%), and Non-Financial Asks (33%) such as recruiting volunteers, signing a petition, etc.
  • While 23% of respondents had a presence on Google+ with an average of 47 in their community, Facebook and Twitter seemed to have a larger impact with 98% having a presence on Facebook with an average of 8,317 in their community and 72% with a presence on Twitter with an average base of 3,290 followers.

You can download the entire report for free, here.

Future Trends to Watch for 2013 – Highlights

  • Monetization of Facebook, will it still be worth the investment?
  • Success of Google+, by integrating into Google’s massive product line to streamline the social experience – will it be enough?
  • Twiter evolution, with the most follower growth year over year, will nonprofits start to monetize their Twitter presence?


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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.