Idealware Facebook research: what it’s best at

Idealware's webinar slide regarding its new Facebook research

See the sneak peek

I’m listening to Idealware’s free webinar, through which Andrea Berry and Kyle Andrei are walking participants through the highlights of their recent research survey of over 500 professionals who were using Facebook for their nonprofit organizations.  Here are a few findings that I found of particular interest:

  1. Organizations that are spending less than 2 1/2 hours a week monitoring and posting on Facebook don’t feel they’re having much success. (See screen shot of slide, below.)  On the other end of the spectrum, at some point there are diminishing returns for time spent, but more than 50% organizations spending 9 hours or more per week on Facebook rate their efforts as successful.  NTEN’s 2010 Nonprofit Social Network Survey of more than 11,000 professionals recently found that the majority (61%) allocate at least a quarter Full Time Equivalent to managing their social networks.
  2. One of the things Facebook does best is drive traffic to websites.  Those who reported success with their Facebook social networking efforts were most positive about FB’s ability to drive website traffic, and move people to action.  Kyle nudged listeners: are you giving constituents what they want to see on your website, or do you still have a website that’s been the same since the 90s?
  3. Facebook is best at generating lower level commitment, especially event attendance.  (See screen shot, below.) “It’s a very good entry point,” reminded Kyle, especially compared to its effectiveness at driving volunteering or donation behaviors.  Andrea chimed in, “They’re there to be social online but also offline,” so events are a good way to engage Facebook fans.
  4. While Facebook isn’t that great at generating donations, it’s a good place to let constituents know how your campaign is doing as another touchpoint.
  5. Facebook does help to raise awareness of an organization or its mission, in particular by enabling people to spread information more widely.  85% of respondents reported “some” or “substantial” success getting Facebook fans to spread information.
  6. Kyle and Andrea recommended Facebook Insights, the free, built-in administrators’ tool, as a starting point on a measurement program.  Unfortunately, they said, most of the respondents reported that they don’t have a formal measurement system for evaluating success.  Kyle also suggested measuring website visits from Facebook referrals through Google Analytics.  “Facebook is one of the biggest referrers to nonprofit web pages,” Andrea echoed.
  7. Surprising, a large number of respondents reported that they weren’t seeing a positive impact from their Facebook efforts.  Andrea speculated that organizations may have unrealistic goals, or they may be measuring the wrong things.  She reminded the group, “Social media is really uncharted territory.”

As you might expect, you can join Idealware on Facebook!

UPDATE:  Here is the link to the full set of slides from the seminar: http://seminars.idealware.org/social_media/Facebook_Research_1106.pdf

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One response to “Idealware Facebook research: what it’s best at

  1. Thanks for the great summary! Glad you enjoyed the session. I’ll pop back in and share the link to the recording of the class when it is available.