From the old blog.
Earlier this month, research consultancy NFP Synergy, published a social media league table for UK charities. This league table measures social media presence – the number of likes a charity has on Facebook, subscribers on YouTube, followers on Twitter and so on. You can download the report for free from the NFP Synergy website.
Of course, mere presence and even follower numbers, are far from being the only indicators of social media success. For some organisations, a small but loyal fanbase, keen to donate, volunteer or take other actions on behalf of the charity may be much more beneficial. As the researchers say, ‘It is not an easy thing to measure the social media engagement of an organisation, and even more difficult to compare it to that of another organisation.’
That said, there are some interesting findings here. Charities, it seems, may be quicker than businesses to adopt and use social media. According to the researchers:
Out of the top fifty fundraising charities, the Royal British Legion tops the social media league table. On their website, they have a Legion Interactive page which details ‘ways you can participate in online activities associated with the Legion or show your support in this digital age’. There’s also a separate website which brings all their online community-building work together. Interestingly, they’ve set up their Twitter account as a character named Poppy who acts as their official voice, rather than using the name of the charity or one of its staff members. It’s also interesting to see that while Poppy has almost 5,000 followers - people who think her updates are worth subscribing to – she’s only followed back less than a thousand.
There’s also a section in the report on those not-for-profits who don’t make the fundraising top 50 list, but who still have a high level of presence on social media: organisations such as the V&A Museum, Beatbullying Bullying UK and Greenpeace. The great thing about social media is that it does let charities with less fundraising income - and smaller businesses for that matter – punch above their weight. Indeed, it’s often those that manage to be nimble and responsive to their followers, rather than those with excessive set up and sign off processes which can make the most of these new media channels.
For anyone who wants to know how UK charities are using Facebook and Twitter, YouTube and blogs in 2011, the NFP Synergy report is definitely worth a look. I’d love to hear what others thought of the results. Were they as expected? Any suprises? Feel free to leave me a comment below.