Social media has become essential for nonprofits seeking to raise awareness, attract supporters, engage with donors and expand their reach beyond their website. In fact, nearly nine out of 10 nonprofits use social media today, while an estimated 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking action.
But now that everyone is on social platforms, how do you stand out? More importantly, how do you know your hard work is paying off?
When you’re ready to elevate your social media presence, it’s time to explore analytics. These data-driven insights often go unnoticed, but can propel your nonprofit to new heights of digital marketing success. Let’s dive in.
Analytics, metrics and KPIs
Let’s clarify a few terms so you can put them into practice:
- Analytics: Insights derived from social media data, such as the follower count on your Facebook page, indicating popularity and brand awareness.
- Metrics: Data points like followers, clicks, likes and shares, used to generate analytics. Metrics are usually available for free in easily understandable reports or dashboards. For help finding metrics on a specific platform like Facebook, a simple Google search will provide guidance.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Success measures aligned with your organizational goals. For example, your nonprofit might be interested in click-throughs from social posts to a donations landing page.
Why should you care about analytics?
In the age of Instagram vacation envy, it might seem as though pursuing likes, shares, followers, clicks and engagements is merely a popularity contest. This may partly explain why around 13% of nonprofits still aren’t on social media as of 2023. However, while others may dismiss social media, your nonprofit can excel because you understand its power as a marketing tool.
By leveraging social media to its fullest, you can expect improvements in various KPIs:
- Attract new stakeholders and donors: Social media enables you to reach a vast audience through digital storytelling tools designed to quickly capture attention.
- Turn supporters into human megaphones: Through social sharing (likes, retweets, etc.), social media turns strangers who support your message into advocates who help spread the word.
- Raise funds: Social platforms make giving to your organization as easy as clicking a button. Crowdfunding has seen significant growth, as exemplified by the popular card game Exploding Kittens, raising $8.7 million on Kickstarter.
- Drive traffic to your website or donor pages: Social media is highly effective at increasing web traffic. For instance, 50% of Instagram users report visiting a brand’s site after viewing its Stories. Additionally, social platforms are a common way for younger generations to learn about nonprofits and causes.
How can you use metrics to track KPI progress?
Now that you understand the purpose of social media analytics, let’s delve into metrics and discuss how to utilize them to enhance your digital marketing efforts.
Some of the most commonly tracked metrics include:
- Follower count: The number of users following your organization’s posts, reflecting your ability to build an engaged audience and community.
- Reach: The number of unique users who view your content, illustrating how effectively you’re reaching your audience.
- Impressions: How many times your content appears on screens, even if viewed multiple times by a single user. This offers insights into overall visibility.
- Likes: Demonstrates user support for your page or content, indicating audience connection and appreciation.
- Comments: The number of replies left by users under your content; signifies engagement and interaction.
- Shares: The number of times users share your content expands its reach and showcases audience appreciation.
- Clicks: How often users click on your posts to access additional content like your blog, website or donor page.
Putting metrics to use.
Once you have a basic understanding of metrics, you can gain powerful insights. For example, analytics can help you:
- Track audience engagement over time.
- Evaluate the performance of individual posts to identify what resonates the most with your viewers.
- Understand the demographics of your stakeholders, including age, gender and geographic location.
- Measure the amount of traffic to your website.
- And much more.
Take the first step by learning how to access your analytics. Most social platforms offer free, user-friendly dashboards where you can view your analytics data. For example, Facebook provides insights through their free Meta Business Suite account. Alternatively, you can explore third-party tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, which allow you to conveniently track metrics across multiple platforms and manage your posts.
How often should we check our analytics?
If you’re new to analytics, it’s okay to start slow. As you gain more experience, we recommend deep-diving into your metrics at least once a month. This will allow you to obtain valuable insights into your social media performance and identify areas for improvement. Over time, these insights can transform your digital marketing strategy.
Embracing social media analytics can be a game-changer for nonprofits. After a brief learning curve, you’ll have instant access to powerful data about your digital marketing performance. This provides impactful insights and tangible targets to broaden your reach, attract stakeholders and ultimately accomplish your mission. Once you grasp the basic concepts and terms, analytics will become second nature. Don’t wait to get started!