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Allison Gauss
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6 Facebook Statistics and What They Mean for Nonprofits

With the onslaught of new platforms and the constant updates and algorithm changes, social media marketing can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Even with the ever-changing landscape of social media, though, there is data and research to inform your strategy.

Unfortunately, statistics aren’t very helpful without insight and actionable takeaways. And taking action to improve your Facebook marketing requires knowledge about not only the platform, but about what the data means for your nonprofit.

These Facebook statistics from Pew Research and the New York Times Customer Insight Group can help nonprofits understand and effectively market to their audience. Use these tips and takeaways to make the most of your Facebook network.

1. 58 percent of American adults are Facebook users. The number rises to 87 percent for those ages 18 to 29.

Facebook is the most popular social network for all age groups. Even 56 percent of all internet users over 65 are on the platform. Whatever your audience, they are more than likely using Facebook. Moreover, nearly 9 in 10 young adults are there, meaning that if you want to engage with and recruit younger donors, you need to have a presence on Facebook.

Bottom Line: Your audience (especially young adults) ARE on Facebook. You should be too.

2. 64 percent of Facebook users visit the site daily.

Most Facebook users are checking in at least once a day and are used to seeing frequent updates from friends and brands they follow. Every day offers a new chance to engage your audience, which is why most marketing resources recommend posting once or twice a day to Facebook.

Bottom Line: Facebook, like all social media, moves quickly. Updating daily keeps you visible to your followers.

3. 84 percent of social media users share to show their support for a cause and highlight issues that are important to them.

Social media users have already shown their willingness to follow and engage with social causes and nonprofit organizations. So why not yours?

Being active on Facebook is not intruding on your followers’ social lives. People want to learn and talk about the causes nonprofits are championing.

Bottom Line: The nonprofit sector has an established presence on Facebook and other social media outlets. Supporting causes and highlighting important issues is one of the top ways people use these platforms. You need to be present and active, however, to give them the opportunity.

4. Half of Facebook users have over 200 friends. 27 percent of users aged 18 to 29 have over 500 friends.

This statistic exposes the gargantuan reach shared content can have. Your posts are not necessarily limited by the number of followers you have. When a supporter shares your post, their entire network gains access to it. Sharable content can easily turn one view into 100. Because they tend to have more friends, this potential is amplified among young supporters.

Bottom Line: Sharable content allows you to reach far beyond your existing followers. Every supporter who sees your post has the ability to share it with dozens, if not hundreds of others. This is why you must create posts that people want to share.

5. 68 percent of social media users surveyed said they share content on social media in order to show who they are and reflect their personal identity.

This may be the missing link when it comes to creating sharable content. It’s one thing to click the “Like” button on a post, but sharing it is a whole different animal. To share something with your social network is to make a statement about yourself. The user is incorporating the principles or interests in this post into their own online presence.

The key to shareability, then, may lie in how content connects to and represents your supporters. The Human Rights Campaign has had success in their Facebook campaigns by asking supporters to turn their profile picture to an image of equality. While not exactly the same as sharing content, this example shows how engaging with a cause is often about representing oneself.

Bottom Line: To get supporters to share your content on Facebook, look at things from their perspective. If they share, what does the post say about them?

6. 78 percent social media users surveyed said they shared in order to connect with people. 94 percent said they considered how useful the content is before sharing it.

Along with expressing their own identity, social media users also share content as a way to connect with friends and family. It can often lead to a conversation among friends, but people don’t need to be in the same physical space to engage.

This desire for connection causes users of Facebook and other platforms to think of what value a piece of content provides to their network before sharing it.

Bottom Line: To take the pursuit of shareability a step further, think about how your content can start conversations and provide value to your supporters’ disparate networks. After this content gets shared, what do you want to happen next?

Whatever your nonprofit’s audience, Facebook is an important social media outlet. The most popular platform among all ages, it’s also a hub for charitable causes and the discussion of social issues. The ease with which users can share content provides a huge opportunity for nonprofits who seek to expand their reach. To maximize your content’s shareability, keep in mind that Facebook users share in order to show their own identity and connect with others.

Every Campaign. Every Channel. #Winning

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