Social media has changed how nonprofits communicate. It’s not surprising. The impact of social media on businesses and political campaigns has been well chronicled over the years. Social commentators have weighed in on how social media has affected how friends and families relate to each other, both good and bad.

Now there are several recent studies that quantify the impact (and opportunities) of social media on nonprofits.

1. 47% of Americans learn about causes via social media and online channels. (1)

70% of Americans learn about causes from traditional media – TV, newspapers, and magazines – but, with 47% of the touch points being online or on the social web, nonprofits ignore the power of social media at their own risk.

2. 56% of those that support nonprofits on the social web confirm that compelling storytelling is what motivates them to take action on behalf of nonprofits. (2)

41% said that they watched a video that made them want to do more 40% said that they saw a photo that made them want to do more. Making that emotional connection pays off, then, for nonprofits. And with the capability that social media offers to tell a story with not only words, but compelling videos and photos, making a connection with the public is actually easier via social media than via traditional media.

3.  43% of Facebook fans “Unlike” a charity on Facebook because they posted too often. (2)

Determining how often to post – and even what days and time of day to post – is one of the toughest thing for newcomers to social media to figure out. However, there are tried-and true ways to test what works for a specific organization and adjust the organizations communications strategy to hit that sweet spot.

4. 57% of Facebook fans “Like” a charity on Facebook because they want to publicly display their support of the nonprofit to their friends. (2)

Whether you are a for-profit or a nonprofit, the power of word-of-mouth marketing is the same. Referrals from a friend have the strongest influence and social media allows people to spread the word almost effortlessly. Just a click of a Like or Share button is all that is needed.

(1) Source: Avectra (2) Source: Waggener Edstrom

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