The third annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, released by NTen, Common Knowledge and Blackbaud, found that Facebook is the most popular social platform for nonprofit organizations, with 89 percent using it.
Facebook has been the most popular platform in each of the three annual studies conducted by the organizations. Since the first poll in 2009, Facebook has grown from 74 percent using it to the current 89 percent, according to the report.
For nonprofits, social media marketing represents a chance to expand their reach and visibility. With more than 800 million users, Facebook can help nonprofits target a massive audience. Additionally, as Fans share content with their friends on the network, the nonprofit receives greater attention.
While Twitter and LinkedIn are also used by many nonprofits, cause marketing (like general consumer use) is lower on these platforms. According to the study, Twitter actually saw fewer users among nonprofits in 2011, with 57 percent reporting use compared to 60 percent in 2010. The same was true for LinkedIn, with 30 percent saying they had a presence – a 3 percent dip from 2010 when 33 percent of organizations were active on the professional networking site.
Despite the dropoffs in active Twitter and LinkedIn initiatives, 82 percent of responding organizations said they believe social media marketing is valuable.
Brafton reported on Tuesday that consumers respond best when social media content demonstrates the personality of the business. While some industries should stick to fact-based, straight-forward content, others, including nonprofits, can use share information via more compelling styles and tones to garner interest.