Should nonprofits change up their social media strategy?

Social media habits often influence nonprofit fundraising strategies.
Date Published

Recent research published by the Pew Internet and American Life project highlights some of the developments in social network use by adults in the U.S. These trends can influence the fundraising and outreach strategies nonprofit organizations use to connect and communicate their goals.

According to the September 2013 study, nearly three-quarters of all online adults in the U.S. regularly access a social media site, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. While Facebook and Twitter are generally regarded as the most heavily used by Internet users – and Facebook continues to be – other networking sites are actually more popular than Twitter in terms of total numbers of people accessing them. Accordingly, it might be a good idea for nonprofit management leaders to think about diversifying their social media strategies to expand beyond the “big two.”

One option that could gain traction among social media users is posting content on the photo-sharing site Pinterest. Outranking Twitter, 21 percent of adults use this resource to share pictures, ideas and communicate themes to large groups of people. Nonprofit organizations could readily use Pinterest to develop a pictorial representation of some of the projects to better show the impact they have on communities and individuals.

At the same time, 22 percent of social media surfers use LinkedIn to connect with colleagues and professional¬†partners. Because this business-minded networking site caters to a more professional crowd, nonprofit groups should take advantage of the format to establish an organizational page that allows users to learn more about data-heavy information that lends credence to a philanthropic enterprise. This doesn’t mean a LinkedIn page needs to be especially dry, but members of this social networking site are far more interested in making professional connections based on an infographic produced by Zoomsphere.¬†A page that incorporates clear and concise information, links to appropriate external sites and maintains a cohesive message will help expand prospect lists, as well as generate greater awareness.

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