Are nonprofits using these most engaging social media tactics consistently? The answer, according to our research, is “Not really.”
We know from previous Nonprofit Communications Trends Reports that social media is the communications channel where nonprofits spend the most time but have the least confidence in the value of that time spent.
Nonprofits fully understand the potential benefits of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. But the advice on how to achieve those benefits is very general, like “post engaging content.” Many nonprofits feel like they are at the mercy of good timing, sheer luck, or the mysterious and constantly changing algorithms to achieve results.
To better understand what’s happening on social media for nonprofits, for the 2020 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, we surveyed nonprofits on their use of the specific social media tactics that the social media companies themselves say are most engaging.
Here’s what we found . . .
About half (53%) of nonprofits say they manage an active Facebook Group. Facebook is reinvesting heavily into Groups and Mark Zuckerberg has said that he expects much of the future user activity on Facebook to take place in private Groups.
Less than half (42%) of nonprofits post to Instagram Stories at least weekly. Instagram Stories are the fastest growing social media format. Several social media industry insiders believe that the Stories format will soon overtake the more traditional Newsfeed format as the primary way people use social media.
Only a quarter of nonprofits (25%) actively encourage communications via Facebook Messenger or a chat bot. In addition to Groups, Facebook is also encouraging users to connect with brands via Messenger as a more private communications channel. Even if you don’t use Messenger specifically, it’s extremely likely that you’ll need to use an instant messaging or chat program with supporters, and that will likely include a bot to help automate some of those conversations.
Only 17% say they actively encourage people to create Facebook Fundraisers for their nonprofits. We see all of the problems with Facebook Fundraisers from the nonprofit’s perspective. We hope Facebook will work with nonprofits to address some of those concerns. However, there is no arguing with the ease of giving for donors.
Just 13% say they live stream video at least monthly. Video posts are by far the most engaging content on social media, and live video streams are watched even longer than recorded videos.
These are the social media tactics that work and that the social media companies themselves are investing in and banking on to keep users coming back every day.
If you are frustrated with lackluster results on social media, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy.
You might consider going all-in with at least one of these engaging tactics.