Fri, March 25 2011

Top Nonprofits Outpace Top Companies in Social Media

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Social Media •

A new study featured in PR News from the Society for New Communications Research finds that companies have nothing on the 200 biggest charities when it comes to social media adoption:

• Charities’ adoption of blogging outpaces both the Fortune 500 and the Inc. 500 by 23% and 50%, respectively; 64% of these top performing charities maintain a blog for their organizations.

• 97% of these charities have a Facebook presence, 96% have Twitter accounts and 92% use YouTube.

• 55% of these charities are using online video to deliver their message and inform their audience about their mission.

• These charities report using search engines and social networking sites (76% and 75%, respectively) in their recruiting and evaluating processes.

• 90% of respondents consider social media to be very important in increasing awareness of their charity mission.

Of course, these 200 charities aren’t necessarily representative of the nonprofit sector.  They represent the biggest and likely most sophisticated organizations.  Though there’s plenty of research showing small organizations are also experimenting with social media.

The real question: Is this all worth it?  Is it a good thing that those big charities are ahead of those big companies?

There’s no easy answer to that without dealing with your Iceberg Questions:

1. Who is my constituency?
2. Why do I want to engage them - what is the goal?
3. Are these members of my community even using social media?
4. Have I watched and listened to how my community is using social media before I dive in?
5. Which few tools make sense - and do I have the time to do them well?
6. What are some small, measurable goals that I will use to measure success?

Then you’ll know what you should do - and how to measure ROI.  The question of “is it worth it?” will be easy to answer.

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