2013 was certainly a banner year for Facebook.
Some mind-blowing statistics:
- There are over 1.19 billion users worldwide.
- 728 million of these users log in daily to the social network.
- While some teens in the UK and US are calling Facebook “dead and buried”, the often overlooked Gen X & Y-ers worldwide make up almost 30% of Facebook users. (This is a very desirable demographic for most nonprofits.)
The good news: Facebook power users are active and engaged on the network and are interested in receiving information from the friends, family members, brands and organizations that matter to them.
The bad news: It’s getting harder and harder to reach your Facebook Fans. Organic reach is down dramatically.
Remember the good old days when posts reached 16% of your Facebook Fans? Now it’s down to about 2.5%, according to an analysis done by Ignite Social Media. That means for every 100 fans your Page has, only about 2 or 3 of them will see your posts at any given time.
Pretty shocking news for nonprofit organizations, especially those with tiny budgets and small staff capacity, who were led to believe that Facebook represents the holy grail of nonprofit marketing.
So what’s a nonprofit to do? Here are 3 things that your organization can focus on in 2014 instead of Facebook.
3 Things Your Nonprofit Can Do Instead of Facebook Marketing
1) Diversify your online presence.
In marketing (and in life), never put all your eggs in one basket.
We always knew that Facebook sucks for collecting donations (yes, even with the newly launched Donate button). For small nonprofits in particular, posting on Facebook rarely translates into cash donations. (Note: That doesn’t mean it’s not good for other things.)
I don’t suggest leaving Facebook completely. By all means, if you have built a vibrant online community using Facebook don’t walk away.
With over a billion users, many people are still going to look for your nonprofit there. That said, if you are spending valuable time and resources working on posts that are going over like a lead balloon, it might be time to focus on other networks.
Why not try:
2) Build your email list.
For a nonprofit, email marketing consistently outperforms social media in terms of volunteer recruitment and fundraising.
An email list is your nonprofit’s most important marketing asset so build it, nurture it and treat it well.
Note: I’m not talking about lengthy, three column, image-laden email newsletters that nobody reads (especially on mobile devices).
I’m talking short, story-rich snippets that describe the impact of your organization, along with compelling calls-to-action.
3) Focus on your nonprofit blog.
You own your blog content. No matter what new and shiny social network pops up in the next year, having a steady and consistent blog is the best way to weather the social media storm.
Instead of focusing on creating witty Facebook posts that may elicit a few likes, spend time writing great blog articles.
Facebook can pull the rug out from under all of us, but if your organization has a good number of blog readers and a healthy email list, along with a multichannel marketing strategy, you will prosper in 2014.
What are you nonprofit’s marketing plans for 2014? Do they involve Facebook – or not?