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What Is The Best Social Media Platform?

Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook… with all the social media platforms available and with new outlets constantly popping up, it’s hard to know which – if any — is right for your development department.

The best piece of advice for nonprofits is to periodically survey the people you want to reach to find out what types of social media they use on a regular basis.

When picking social media, consider these other key factors:

  • Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn still carry weight. They remain the most popular social media platforms because people use them. They are a safe choice, but keep in mind the age of those you want to reach. Millennials are turning away from Facebook. If your volunteers or alumni fall into a younger age category, consider adding another platform that is more age appropriate. If you are looking for a direct donation from your social media presence then you need a platform like Facebook that can accept donations.
  • Does your mission lend itself to a certain platform? If videos tell your story, then look into YouTube. Would your cause benefit from sharing tips or information? Pin it to Pinterest. If mentoring or the shared spirit of community helps spread your mission, the hangout feature of Google+ could be beneficial.
  • Revisit your social media choices often. Set up a timeframe to see if you are getting positive outcomes. If you’re not, it might be time put your efforts elsewhere.
  • Rely on volunteers to create, maintain and monitor your social media presence. Consider using an intern or volunteer who is tech-savvy and social media aware. College students are good candidates and are generally up-to-date on trends.

For additional information on social media, read 101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits, by Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman (John Wiley & Sons, 2012, $39.95 hardcover, $29.99 e-book).

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