How to Choose the Right Social Network for Your Nonprofit
I know there's a lot out there on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for instance. But there are others beyond the top ones, which include Tumblr, Pinterest and even Skype. If you're a nonprofit leader, even if you're not the one that's managing the day-to-day posts, you have to care about which social networks for your organization.
As everyone knows, social media is an essential aspect of brand awareness and even fundraising for most groups. In today's stratified world you want to make sure your nonprofit has a presence in a few of the critical social networks where your message will get through.
So, how do you go about it? How do you figure out which are the best networks for your organization both for your supporters, but also so your team can grow beyond your champions and uncover others who are aligned with your cause?
The following is a simple pro and con list of the top social networks for your consideration. Focus on a handful of them, perhaps two or three and focus on each of these platforms consistently to engage your supporters and expand your base.
Any list must include Facebook, because it is by far the largest social media platform in the world.
- The largest social network in the world with nearly 2.1 billion active monthly users.
- Robust targeted demographic advertising.
- Rich analytics and growth optimization.
- Can easily integrate with Instagram, another top platform (and owned by Facebook).
- You can build an audience on Facebook Messenger with active users that are larger than Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter combined.
- Ease of use for live streaming with Facebook Live.
- You can spend as little as $5 to boost your posts.
- Unpaid organic reach is less than 1 percent.
- Must pay—consistently—to have the chance to your audience.
- Views for auto-play count as quickly as the three-second mark.
- There’s a glut of fake profiles on Facebook.
- The algorithms prioritize posts from friends over those of businesses.
Instagram is owned by Facebook and has over 800 million monthly users.
- Easy to use and more fun than Facebook, because it's visually appealing and there's a lot less negativity.
- Powerful analytics and insights.
- Ability for extensive use of hashtags.
- Ability to upload up to 10 pictures or videos in a single post.
- Can create a business account and sponsor paid ads.
- Fake accounts.
- Primarily for mobile use.
- Facebook is pushing users to integrate their Instagram accounts.
- Like Facebook, algorithms have a preference for friends over businesses.
This social media platform has 150 million daily users and is popular with Generation Z.
- Highly visual platform.
- Social media innovator (e.g. disappearing content, filters).
- Video stories, which originated on Snapchat.
- Millennial and Generation Z users.
- Ability to broadcast live events.
- One-way engagement, because brands don’t typically follow their followers.
- No call-to-action functionality, such as a website URL.
- The young audience leaves large segments of the population.
- Only usable on mobile.
- No ability to sponsor content.
- Business social networking platform.
- Can connect with other professionals.
- Can feature news updates.
- Groups to share best practice and ideas.
- Difficult to connect with supporters as opposed to other professionals.
- Too much content!
Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises. Among his various independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs, a social enterprise that helps nonprofits, schools, churches, civic groups, individuals and others raise funds, while helping to support micro-enterprise (small business) opportunities in developing nations and the environment.
You can learn more about Wayne and obtain free resources, including his books on his blog, Not Your Father’s Charity.