5 Ways to Find Out Which Social Networks Are Right for You

Video Transcript:

Hello! I’m Julia McDowell, Chief Marketing & Advertising Strategist for Five Ones. Welcome to The High-Five Nonprofit Marketing Ideas, the video series dedicated to marketing strategies and tactics for the nonprofits and associations of the world. For our tenth episode, the focus is Five Ways to Find Out Which Social Networks Are Right for You. SO many social media platforms, SO little time, right?! Between the O.G. networks like Facebook and Twitter to newbies like Tik-Tok, the choices can be overwhelming. You might feel like your nonprofit or association has to have a presence everywhere. After all, social media networks can be killer for brand-building, inbound marketing, relationship-cultivation, and service recovery.

Whether your organization is just establishing its social media footprint, or you’ve long been in the social game and are doing a gut check, you’re thinking about what you need, right? Well … right and wrong. Yes, you’re weighing whether priority one is branding, lead generation or community-building, etc. And sure, you’re considering what content you’d share or would need to develop—Copy? Photos? Videos? All three?—and which social media are best for those.

But it’s not all about you. It’s about your audience. For a nonprofit: your beneficiaries, donors, volunteers and advocates. For association peeps, it’s about your membership. Consider this: the famed “gentleman-robber” of the 1920s and 30s, Willie Sutton, was once asked why he robbed banks. His answer? “Because that’s where the money is.” I’m not telling you to pull a heist; I’m telling you that the social media right for your organization are the ones where your target audience is.

Here are my Top Five Ways to Find Out Which Social Networks Are Right for You.  

Create a target-audience persona

Visualize a person representing your ideal audience and create a profile of them. After you’ve formulated your target audience member’s gender, age, household income and more, find an online guide to social media demographics; Khoros’ is one of many. It’ll tell you not just the age, gender and income breakouts of major social platforms’ audiences, but additional intel about their device usage and site behavior.

Ask your supporters or members where they congregate on social

Number Two falls into the category of Easy, Peasy Lemon-Squeezy: ask your supporters or members where they congregate on social. Send them a brief email survey, call your most loyal volunteers or just ask members when you see them in person. To keep your ask structured, request that they rate the top three social media platforms they use for business and what their top three are for personal use. If they can tell you approximately how much time they spend on each one daily, even better.

Use your social network share data

Number Three is right up your alley if your nonprofit or association is active in blogging. If so, use your social network share data. Check out an array of your posts to see which of them are getting shared most and – especially – to which social networks. If your blog’s share-counter shows that one or two social platforms get way more love from your readers than others do, consider mirroring your social media network priorities accordingly.

Search your competition

Number Four: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. In other words, find out what social media networks your competition’s content is being shared on. If people on Twitter are sharing a like-charity or association’s content like hotcakes, Twitter would likely be fertile ground for your content, too. You can study the competition efficiently by using a tool like Ahrefs or BuzzSumo that can tell you what content performs best for like-organizations, including average shares by social network—plus highest-performing content format, length and publication date. 

Do a straightforward keyword search

Number Five: The key could be keywords. Sticking with Ahrefs, BuzzSumo or a similar tool, do a straightforward keyword search; let’s say, “remote volunteering opportunities”. You’ll get a list of results of that topic’s most-shared content plus the number of shares it got on each social network. That should give you a good idea of where audiences who would engage with your content are on social, plus what flavor of content they like to share—videos, infographics and so on.

Speaking of audiences, thanks again for joining me for Five Ways to Find Out What Social Networks are right for you! Have a topic suggestion for a future High-Five Nonprofit Marketing Ideas episode? Please let me know in the comments below, on LinkedIn or at julia@fiveones.com. See you again soon!