Are You Maximizing Both Facebook and Twitter?
It seems that every time I talk to a nonprofit about its digital strategy, there seems to be some confusion about the benefit of Facebook and/or Twitter. Don't get me wrong, everyone who has these questions is active as an organization in both of these areas — but there just seems to be a question about the value.
I'll even go one step further and say that the fundraisers often think the value is low enough to actually just hand over complete control to their partners in the organization that do not raise money. I'm not saying this is a bad thing — but it makes me worry that organizations are really not thinking of it as a revenue channel.
Putting my worry aside, I have to admit that I am now of the opinion that perhaps the nonprofit confusion, hesitancy, etc., is not that much different from others industries. I found this great article the other day from MarketingProfs, but before you dive in, realize it is a pretty heavy article with lots of numbers and predictions — but there is some super valuable information in it. The biggest takeaways are that 1) other industries seem to be slowly venturing into this arena and 2) the numbers make it clear — we MUST go there and go there more quickly.
As an example of No. 1, the article states "although 85% of [commercial] marketers polled at the beginning of 2013 by AdAge said they use Facebook as a marketing tactic, among them just 61.5% said they have used it for advertising. Facebook's Sponsored Stories ad product gets rave reviews from some, yet less than 30% have given it a shot."
Let's take big breath now and say, "Phew, we (nonprofits) are NOT alone!!"
Now that we feel like we are not as behind as we thought in our thinking and practices … let's GET ON IT!! Look at these numbers.
Larry Kim, founder and chief technology officer of WordStream Inc., authored "Twitter vs. Facebook Ad Showdown: Which Offers the Best Social Media Ad Platform?" based on his research into Twitter and Facebook ads to see just how each measures up. He compared them across four areas:
- Which platform reaches the largest audience?
- Do Facebook and Twitter ads drive real results?
- Which social network owns the mobile space?
- Which offers the most varied and effective ad types?
Here's the breakdown, but you really do need to read the full results. One thing is clear: Nonprofits should NOT choose between these platforms. Each has a very unique offering — Twitter is better in some areas than Facebook and vice versa. But, if we are not leveraging it for fundraising and building donor relationships in addition to driving awareness and connections across the community, we are missing a huge opportunity.
- Facebook has greater reach counting both overall active users (1.15 billion active users to Twitter's 232 million) and also when looking at the daily posts.
- When it comes to ad performance, it is a bit of a mixed bag. Twitter doesn't publish some of the same metrics as Facebook, which makes it difficult to compare. However, there are two really important findings in this article. When looking at metrics associated with "engagement" (defined as shares, likes, etc.), Twitter is outpacing Facebook pretty extensively. Also, Facebook has clearly outpaced Twitter when it comes to revenue that is associated with its network, but when you compare the growth year over year between the two, Twitter could easily close the gap. In other words, don't bet on one horse — just bet on them both as great advertising, fundraising and marketing opportunities.
- Relative to mobile accessibility and value — let's be clear — we all know that the Facebook ads that show up in the right rail don't even show up on your mobile device. So Twitter is naturally in a better position on mobile when it comes to this area. But Facebook offers some various products that enable ads within stream. So while Facebook might be behind Twitter in this area, it can quickly catch up with its network size.
- And — let's face it — the ad formats are a bit of a toss-up. Facebook has a lot but wants to scale back. Twitter has just a few and wants to grow the options.
But, like I said earlier, the big message here is to simply look at the numbers reported in this study. It is clear there is huge opportunity and money to be made — and relationships to be built. If you are a fundraiser and not really thinking about these two channels as a part of your fundraising arsenal, then start thinking differently today.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.