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Nonprofits Drive the Message Through Social Conversations

Many nonprofits post on Twitter throughout the day to keep constituents up to date

February 20, 2013

Nonprofit organizations operating on tight budgets want to generate as much publicity and excitement as possible surrounding their initiatives—and at a low cost. To do so, a considerable percentage are turning their attention to social media to communicate with constituents and encourage sharing among fans supportive of their cause.

An October survey of US nonprofits by VerticalResponse, a self-service marketing platform for small businesses, found that more than three out of five nonprofit organizations reported spending more time on social media than they did a year ago. Only 4% of respondents said they spent less time.

And nearly two out of five nonprofits reported devoting 6 or more hours per week to social media. Respondents cited finding content to share as the most time-consuming aspect of social media engagement, a point of view that seems to cut across businesses.

Change in Time Spent on Social Media Among US Nonprofit Organizations, Oct 2012 (% of respondents)

Compared to other small businesses surveyed by VerticalResponse, nonprofits were even more likely to be present on social media channels, and also had a greater frequency of posting. Ninety-six percent of nonprofits said they were on Facebook vs. 90% of small businesses. And 80% of nonprofits on Facebook reported posting on the site multiple times per week, vs. 66% of small businesses.

Twitter also gets significant attention from nonprofits. The site was used by nearly three-quarters of nonprofits, and the organizations were more likely to post several times a day on Twitter (19.5%) vs. Facebook (13.8%).

Frequency with Which US Nonprofit Organizations Use Select Social Media Sites, Oct 2012 (% of respondents)

Looking at the nonprofit marketing budget overall, increased investment is largely going toward social media. About 20% of the organizations reported increasing their marketing budget overall and 10% reported increasing their social media budget in particular, suggesting that social media is a primary place where nonprofits are spending their time and money, and focusing their attention.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Mobile Ad Options Expand, Incorporating Unique Device Capabilities” and “Emerging Asia-Pacific Markets Gain Share of Online Travel Sales.”


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