7 facts your CEO needs to know about the work you do on social media

7 social media facts and figures you need to know about

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infographicEven though I manage social media for a living, when people ask me, “What’s the point?” I still freeze up a bit. It’s no secret that social media doesn’t drive donations like other, more mature channels.

For many nonprofits, the number 1 focus of their web activity is to raise money. So why spend time on social media at all? And why all the talk about revving up the social advertising budget and even hiring more dedicated social media professionals?

I still haven’t mastered my social media elevator pitch, but this should help. Below are seven astounding facts that should quell any hesitation you or your superiors may have about investing in social media.

1. Social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web.

Think about it this way. There are a little more than 7 billion people in the world. 1.8 billion of them are on social media. That’s more than 25% of the entire world. Nearly 6 times the population of the United States. And speaking of the United States, more than half of all Americans are on Facebook alone.

If 25% of the world is partaking in an activity whose purpose is to rapidly spread information, how can you afford not to do it?

 2. 39% of people say they would donate to a charity if a friend posted about it on social media

This is the bread and butter right here. In turn, 68% said they would take the time to learn more about the charity. This confirms that word-of-mouth marketing is the way of the future.

Before using a service or deciding where to send your money, wouldn’t you always rather have the recommendation of a friend? This is no different than it was 10, 20, even 100 years ago. We trust our friends, and if they trust a brand or nonprofit, we are more likely to do so ourselves. Social media has just made it easier to source and spread recommendations.

3. 59% of people said they donated to a charity after following them on a social network

This is even better than word-of-mouth marketing. It means that nonprofits are marketing themselves – and people are responding. The theory is that when someone connects with you on social media, they will have the opportunity to connect with your core mission on a personal level. This just proves it’s working.

4. BUT, 36% of people “unliked” a nonprofit on Facebook because it only posted donation asks

This is not bad news. Social media is a conversation. If people didn’t want to have one, they wouldn’t connect with you there. What kind of successful conversation consists of one party perpetually badgering the other?

So, when your boss, colleagues or just people on the street ask you why you’re spending your time asking people their opinions about important articles, sharing photos with inspirational quotes or really doing anything engaging that’s not asking for money, you can tell them that people on social media are likely to turn into donors – but only if you treat them like people and not dollar signs.

5.  23% of Facebook users check their account five or more times every single day

So I lied earlier. I do have an elevator pitch. Social media, at its core, is free, mass advertising. It’s like a billboard but better – because you can get in front of a more qualified audience.

When you drive by a billboard, either you see it or you don’t. Maybe you’re fiddling with the radio, or chatting with whoever’s sitting shot gun. But checking Facebook is an active, not a passive, behavior. People are choosing to see what their friends and the brands and causes they follow are talking about several times every day.

The U.S. alone spends 114 billion minutes on Facebook every month. That’s more than 216,000 years worth of time! And, it’s not just Facebook. 22% of Americans say they use social media networking sites multiple times daily.

 6. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18-44 can’t recall the last time their phone wasn’t at their side

And you bet they’re using them to check social media. 73% of smartphone owners use a social networking app on a daily basis. And, 65% of U.S. smartphone owners use push notifications (meaning a message will pop up on their phone even if they’re not using the app) for social alerts.

Back to the billboard example – now you’re not just driving past the billboard, it’s literally never leaving your side!

 7. Companies expect to double their social marketing budgets over the next 5 years.

Remember when your mom used to tell you that just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t meant that you have to? Well on social media, that is often not the case.

If everyone else is not only going to keep doing social media, but plans to double their efforts, it’s definitely something you need to stay on top of.


7 thoughts on “7 facts your CEO needs to know about the work you do on social media

  1. Very convincing argument for social media, especially as the techie generaton becomes the earners of the future, this is where they will get all of their information. Great article!

  2. Ummm … I think that 1/4 of 7 billion people would be about 1.75 billion people. How is this figure (or even the total world population of 7 billion) more than 564 times the population of the United States which I think is around 315 million? When I begin to multiply these vast sums it seems really far out somehow. Touches on the credibility of your enthusiasm … and it’s mentioned twice in this post. I was otherwise impressed.

  3. Hi Andre. You’re right that I was off – missed a couple decimals in my final calculations. The post has been updated to reflect.

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  5. Wonderful stuff. The world wide web and networking’s thereof – are STILL in their infancy. Neat to see this professionalism approach to the reality.

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