A few days ago, I reported some of the juicy details from the 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study that was just released showing data from 2012. There were 55 of the country’s leading nonprofits surveyed for this study, including the American Red Cross, Oceana, American Heart Association, AARP, and Human Rights Watch.
In my last blog post, I talked about the decline of email and fundraising response rates. Today I’m digging into the the social media and mobile portions of the study.
As social media continues to grow and develop, nonprofit organizations continue to attract more Fans and Followers—Twitter Followers in particular have increased at a remarkable rate, with a whopping 264% growth over the past year.
Despite this growth, email lists continue to dominate in size (no real surprise here), and Facebook remains the larger social media presence for most groups. For every 1,000 email subscribers, groups in the Benchmarks Study have 149 Facebook Fans, 53 Twitter Followers, and 29 Mobile Subscribers.
- You may be wondering, how often do other organizations post on Facebook? On average they’re posting about once per day, though large groups posted twice as frequently.
- Users were more than twice as likely to like, share, or comment on a Photo post than any other content.
- Though, when it comes to getting users to click on a link to a website, Link and Share posts were much more likely to result in click-through rates. Link, Share, and even Video posts were far more successful in encouraging users to visit a webpage even as they were less effective at generating comments, likes, and shares of their own.
- Facebook pages saw monthly growth rates of 2.6% overall.
- Rights groups trailed behind other sectors in expanding their Facebook audiences (as Rights groups also trailed in email growth), with just 1.5% monthly growth.
As rampant as Smartphones are, Mobile programs still account for a moderately small portion of overall supporter engagement. This isn’t surprising as most engagement still happens on the web – with mobile lists at a fraction of the size of email lists.
- Text messages were sent to Subscribers much less frequently than email messages or social media posts. The median number of texts sent in 2012 were 9.
- However, mobile lists are growing at about double the rate of email lists, with a median increase of 32% in 2012.
- Churn rates for text messages were at 8%.
And where are nonprofits getting those mobile subscribers, you wonder?
The vast majority of these new sign-ups were from web forms—users opting in as they complete a sign-up, advocacy, or donation form. So don’t be surprised if there’s extensive overlap between your mobile and email lists. And make sure to be capturing those phone numbers!
Just remember that the most important benchmarks are your own benchmarks. Establishing goals for your own nonprofit will help you see what’s working, what’s not, and where your biggest missed opportunities lie—and this will allow you to make more informed comparisons to the averages and trends in this latest Benchmarks Report.