4 minute read

Ever wonder if you’re wasting your time on social media? Think about how you can get more people to respond to your posts? Is anyone even paying attention?

It’s important to know how your nonprofit is performing on social media. Without reviewing your social media analytics on the platforms you use, it’s almost impossible to effectively use social media. This is because social media analytics shows you what you’re doing well, what you’re doing wrong and how you can increase engagement and grow your audience.

Don’t question the value of your nonprofit’s use of social media any more. Don’t waste your time posting irrelevant content. Instead, keep reading to learn more about what social media analytics is and why it’s vital to the overall health of your nonprofit.

Social media analytics
First, what is social media analytics? Put simply, it refers to gathering data from your social media platforms, analyzing the data collected and using it when planning your nonprofit’s social media calendar.

You may be wondering: Why do I need to know this information? Monitoring and evaluating social media analytics will help you perform better on social media, gather insights on your constituents and make good business decisions for your nonprofit.

Know your audience
One of the first rules of communications is to know your audience. Who are you talking to? Everybody is the wrong answer. You need to specifically identify your audience so that you can effectively target your messages.

An easy way to learn a ton about your followers is through analytics tools already built into channels like Facebook and Twitter. With these tools, you will discover a host of information including age, gender, location, household size, education, interests and even more. Not only are these tools simple to use, but they’re free as well.

Know what works
Now that you have a more complete understanding of your audience, you can start focusing on providing them with relevant content. Social media analytics will help you recognize the type of content your followers engage with the most. Use this information to strategize around what will drive engagement and throw out content that doesn’t resonate with your audience.

Twitter Analytics, for example, will organize your tweets based on impressions, engagement and engagement rate. Pay attention to the tweets with the highest engagement rates, as that content is what your followers want to see. If you notice that tweets with a fun and energetic voice are performing considerably better than your tweets that contain a serious voice, make sure you use your fun voice more often.

Your analytics may be surprising. You might think you’re wasting your time creating beautiful infographics, but according to your analytics your most engaging tweets contain those beautiful images. Conversely, you may love posting weekly updates about your nonprofit’s need for more donations, but do your followers? If not, make sure to back down on that sort of content.

In addition to divulging your most engaging content, social media analytics tools can also tell you when the majority of your followers are online. Facebook Insights does a great job of revealing exactly when you should be posting content. Don’t let a perfect post go to waste because you sent it at a time when a small percentage of your audience is alert. Make sure to post it when the most eyeballs will see and engage with it!

Know your strategy
Now you’re golden. You know your followers better than anyone and you know what they like to see and when they want to see it. Finally, it’s time for you to identify what messages, channels and strategies work best in gaining their attention.

Take this situation as an example. An animal welfare nonprofit has two channels: Facebook and Instagram. They’ve been using the same content strategy for both (which is never a good idea btw), but engagement is lower on Instagram.

After drawing insights from built-in analytics tools, this nonprofit realizes the follower base they have on Facebook is much different than the one on Instagram. The average Facebook follower for this nonprofit is married, between 35 and 50 years of age and working in the management and professionals field. Conversely, the average Instagram follower for this nonprofit is single, between 18 and 25 years of age and either in college or working in entry level positions.

Obviously, the younger demographic is not going to respond to the same content that works for the older demographic. This nonprofit now realizes that they need to be more interactive, visual and playful in the way they post on Instagram, while keeping the more donation-related and serious content on Facebook.

A few months later, the nonprofit sees a significant rise in engagement on Instagram and an increase in volunteers in the 18–25 age range. All due to a shift in content strategy, which wouldn’t have been made without reviewing their social media analytics.

Now what?
We’ve finally reached a time where nearly everyone realizes that nonprofits need to be active on social media to achieve their goals. However, simply posting what your executive director wants is not going to cut it. It is vital to pay attention to your social media analytics because that’s what’s going to help you efficiently and effectively target your messages to your audience. Give your followers what they want and they will return the favor.

Still have questions? Want some expert advice? Learn more about Firespring’s social media solutions for nonprofits. We offer helpful materials, webinars and seminars on how your nonprofit can market itself to further its cause. Find out more by calling 877.447.8941 or email hello@firespring.org.