Non-Profit Social Trends to Watch in 2013

The recently released 4th Annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report examined the efforts of non-profit brands in the social sphere in 2012 and came away with three major trends they foresee continuing in 2013. Some present a challenge for non-profits, but all present an opportunity to grow and expand their presence and influence. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Monetization of FacebookDollar-Sign-Facebook1

Although Facebook has become the social hub for the vast majority of non-profits, it hasn’t translated into much more than awareness for the brands involved. The Report predicts that 2013 will be the year that nonprofits will begin to figure out how to how to turn this awareness into donations.

How this could be achieved: The Report found that, among brands using Facebook advertising, the majority of those ads are created with non-fundraising goals in mind. In fact, only 24% of brands are advertising with the goal of gaining donations or driving awareness to a fundraiser. To help solve the issue of monetizing Facebook, more non-profits should begin experimenting with ads with call to actions related to donation and fundraising. Optimization and small-scale testing will be crucial in determining how effective this type of advertising will be, but this could help solve the Facebook obstacle for these brands.

Success of Google Plus1359153921_google-plus--px

Google Plus is a tricky area. There’s no denying that it has proved to be a great resource for some industries, but it’s still fairly empty in terms of non-profit players. Only 23% of the surveyed brands said they have a Google Plus page, versus 98% who said they have a Facebook page. The challenge for brands is to find Plussers to connect with and give them a reason to add them to their circles.

How this could be achieved: We’ve seen brands from other industries use Google’s unique features to give fans the incentive to ‘circle’ them, and their tactics could easily translate to non-profits. Scheduling Hangouts and creating public fundraising events (and inviting followers to them) are two great ways to bring awareness, engage current fans and encourage newcomers to join the group and make a donation.

Twitter Evolution1359154040_twitterbot

The number of brands embracing Twitter continues to grow along with their follower bases. Once again, however, brands are having trouble translating that presence into donations.

How this could be achieved: In 2013, look for more brands to get involved in large-scale giving events as well as partnering with for-profit groups to build awareness and encourage donations. Just as small business have fought back against Black Friday with Small Business Saturday, look for more non-profits to fight against spending with giving in the form of #GivingTuesday promotions and posts. Stand Up To Cancer also saw success by partnering with Virgin America. This increased exposure resulted in an increase in awareness as well as an increase in donations.

What other tactics do you think non-profits will use to meet these trends in 2013. And if you want to see how non-profits are succeeding in the social sphere, check out our breakdown here.