Social Media Analytics for Nonprofits
Do you have a social media strategy for your nonprofit? If so, that’s awesome. But you probably don’t have an analytics strategy for your social media plan. Social media analytics is crucial for nonprofits because it informs you about what’s working and what’s not. Over 80% of nonprofit marketers agree that analytics are their top priority.
Social Media Analytics for Nonprofits
Sprout Social is a fantastic all-in-one social media management tool if you want to examine your social media metrics, schedule posts across platforms, and keep track of engagement. The platform gives you access to additional social media data analysis tools outside of those provided by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s built-in analytics. Additionally, you can find influencers, create unique dashboards, track interaction on hashtags and keywords, and more. All of the major social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+), as well as additional programs like Bitly and Google Analytics, are integrated with Sprout.
Pricing: Sprout Social starts at $99 per month, but they do offer a 30-day free trial period so you can give the platform a test run.
Hootsuite is a nice hat-trick if you’re trying to automate post scheduling, content curation, and social listening. The social media service provides features including multi-platform post scheduling, content cloud storage, tracking the digital results of your social media initiatives, and keyword, hashtag, and location-based social media conversation monitoring across several languages. It integrates with all of the major social media platforms, including WordPress, Salesforce, and MailChimp, as well as YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Pricing: Hootsuite subscriptions start at $19 per month, and they offer a 30-day free trial plus discounts for nonprofits.
Later, formerly known as Latergram, is made to assist you in organizing your visual content for social media campaigns. With Later, you can bulk-upload photographs and graphics, search for and repost content, schedule posts for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, and keep track of Instagram metrics.
Pricing: Later is free for basic use, which includes multi-platform posting and basic analytics. For access to more features, pricing ranges between $9 and $49 per month. They also provide a non-profit discount for 50% off an annual subscription to their Premium plan.
Buffer features an in-platform picture creation, video and gif uploader, analytics report exporting, and a helpful browser plugin to make access to all of the above simple and quick. This is in addition to its capability to schedule posts for all of your social media platforms. It works with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, among other popular social media sites.
Pricing: Buffer has a free option with limited capabilities, and pricing begins at $10 per month. Buffer also offers a 50% discount for nonprofit organizations.
Canva is a graphic design tool that makes it simple to create polished graphics and presentations without the need for graphic design expertise. Using your own photos or any of the millions of themes, pictures, icons, and fonts available on Canva, you can make a social media visual (of any size or dimension). If you want to create a recurring series with the same branding, you may also save your designs.
Pricing: While basic Canva is free to use, pricing for access to more features begins at $12.95 per user per month. Canva also offers nonprofit organizations free account subscriptions.
AgoraPulse might be the right choice for you if you’re seeking for a straightforward and user-friendly scheduling application. AgoraPulse is a social media management application for writing, editing, and scheduling posts as well as tracking interaction and post performance. Numerous popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube, are supported.
Pricing: Monthly and annual pricing starts at $39, but AgoraPulse offers a free trial and discounts for nonprofits.
BuzzSumo is a social media platform for finding content and influencers. It provides competitor analysis insights, content alerts, influencer identification, and insights into content performance. This tool is excellent for A/B testing content to determine the best content types, who is sharing and engaging with the content, and what is successful for other businesses.
Pricing: BuzzSumo starts at $79/month, but they also offer heavily discounted nonprofit subscriptions to BuzzSumo Pro.
Growing your nonprofit’s digital presence through social media is crucial. Utilize the free trials to test out these platforms and determine which would best suit the requirements of your nonprofit. We at Whole Whale use and adore these tools, and we sincerely hope that your nonprofit will be successful using them as well!
“The #1 social media marketing tool for distributing graphics,” claims ViralTag in its advertising. If your nonprofit is wanting to develop and distribute more visual content and has active profiles on Instagram and Pinterest, you should take a look at ViralTag.
You may manage several social networks, schedule an unlimited number of posts, reuse evergreen material, work with a team, and monitor performance, much like with many other social media scheduling applications. ViralTag’s “visual marketing calendar,” where you can make and schedule numerous Pinterest pins and Instagram posts, is unique.
Because of its low cost and ease of use for non-techies, SocialOomph was originally brought to my attention by John Haydon, a social media marketing expert. This is a huge advantage for many nonprofit social media managers.
If your nonprofit uses Twitter as its primary social media platform, SocialOomph features a number of capabilities that can boost your productivity and engagement, including the capacity to schedule an infinite number of tweets, track keywords, save and reuse draft posts, and check DMs on several accounts.
Pricing: All Twitter features can be used on their free plan. To sync more social media accounts, you need to sign up for their Professional plan, which is $17.97 every two weeks. Like ViralTag, I could not find specific information about nonprofit discounts on their website. However, since the majority of their competitors offer special nonprofit pricing, I recommend contacting them directly to see if you can get a discount.
PostPlanner is a terrific tool for discovering, curating, and sharing more content that your audience will enjoy in addition to scheduling and managing the content you make yourself.
The best PostPlanner feature is the ability to use their recommendations to find material and to change your publishing plan to accommodate both your own pieces and carefully chosen content. Reusing evergreen posts, making and sharing GIFs, and integrating Canva for infographics and photos are some further standout features.
Pricing: Starts at $3/month for 3 profiles and 30 posts per day. Check with them directly about nonprofit pricing.
Hootsuite Analytics helps you track and measure your results on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Whether you want to identify your most engaging posts, see how your campaigns are performing, or uncover opportunities to get your brand in front of more people, Analytics has you covered with insights and reports to help drive your social strategy.
How to get started with Analytics
Familiarize yourself with Analytics and how to get started reviewing your social results.
Review your most successful posts
Want to find out which of your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok got the most comments, reactions, likes, or clicks? Go to the Post performance view to see how your audience interacted with your social content.
Find out when to post
When, exactly, is the best time to post on social media? If you’ve spent time researching the topic, you already know there are some generic, suggested times to post for each industry and social network. But chances are you’ll be more successful if you base this decision on your own data—data that tells you exactly when your audience is online and more likely to notice and interact with your posts.
Luckily, you don’t need to do any advanced analysis yourself. Go to the Best time to publish view to get recommendations on the optimal times to post on every social network. We personalize recommendations for you based on your past post performance and when your audience is online.
Create a report
While the views in Organic reporting show you the overall performance of your posts, you can get better insights with reports.
Select New report and choose one of the following:
- Pre-built template reports. You can use pre-built template reports to track your performance by goal or by social network. These reports include the key metrics to help you track specific business goals like brand awareness or engagement. This is a good option if you’re a beginner and aren’t sure which metrics to monitor; or if you just want to save yourself the time and hassle of having to create custom reports from scratch.
- Custom report. You can create your own custom reports and decide which metrics you want to add and analyze in your reports. This is a good option if you’re familiar with metrics and know what results you want to track.
Compare results across time frames
You can analyze trends over time by comparing two time frames. For example, you may want to compare engagement on your Facebook posts from last week to the previous week. Create a Facebook engagement report, select a date range at the top, select Compare with another period, and then select the date range to compare it to.
Compare results across social networks
You can use reports to track and compare your performance across social networks. This helps you identify the social networks with the strongest engagement and results.
If you’re a beginner or want to save time, you can use pre-built template reports to analyze results for specific social networks or to compare results between all social networks.
For example, if you want to see how your audience received your Facebook videos, create a Facebook video report. If you want to compare video engagement results across social networks, create a Video engagement overview report.
Customize your Analytics navigation
Customize your Analytics navigation so you can quickly access the reports that you monitor often. For example, if you know you’re checking engagement results for your Facebook Pages once or several times a day, you can create a Facebook engagement report, and then pin it to your navigation.
Go to All reports, hover a report, and then select More actions. Select Pin, and then select which section in Analytics you want to pin it to.
Share a report or schedule an automatic export to your email
Share results with your team or schedule email exports to automatically email you and your team the latest report.
Check out Measure social media success with Hootsuite Analytics for guidance, examples, and tips on how to get more out of Analytics.
Free Social Media Management Tools for Nonprofits
With Hootsuite’s free edition, you can plan up to 5 messages at once and manage up to 3 social media accounts. You may write, schedule, and alter posts for each of your connected networks from the Hootsuite dashboard. Additionally, you may delegate the decision of when to post for the most engagement by using their AutoSchedule tool. You can also bulk upload your social media posts in.csv file all at once if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, and use their Bulk Composer to preview, edit, and add photographs before scheduling.
With Hootsuite, you’ll also be able to customize the feed on your dashboard to keep track of scheduled posts and see at-a-glance when people engage with your posts or mention your organization:
Buffer and Hootsuite are comparable in many ways; in the free version, you can link up to three profiles and simultaneously schedule up to 30 articles. Their UI is substantially simpler than Hootsuite’s and only allows you to schedule and monitor your posts (whereas Hootsuite gives you streams of all your content and engagements). They also lack an auto-schedule feature, despite the fact that their interface for adding and editing posts is far more user-friendly and intuitive.
When you want to schedule social media posts in advance that contain links to your scheduled (as in not yet published) blog pieces, Buffer really shines. In our opinion, Buffer outperforms all other scheduling applications.
You should consider using Airtable in addition to Hootsuite and Buffer because they enable you to schedule a significant volume of content at once. This will help you to organize your content and collaborate with others on posting.
It serves as your go-to location for all social media requirements, sort of like a magical interactive spreadsheet. You can arrange your content using their Social Media Planning and Design template before scheduling your posts. Even better, you might ask donors to submit their images so that only one person is in charge of scheduling for your nonprofit:
You can download your content as a.csv file and import it into the scheduling application of your choice after creating it in Airtable.
Importance of Social Media Analytics
They help you understand your audience
Taking steps to understand your audience using social data can help you in so many ways. For example, analyzing your past posts can help you find your unique best time to share.
Timing is an important part of social media marketing. If you post when your fans are online and at their highest level of alertness your posts will drive more engagement, traffic and sales.
Therefore, you should dissect your social data and find your unique best time to post on social media.
Some social networks let you do this easily through their built-in analytics.
On Facebook, you can find it by going to the ‘Post’ section in your insights.
You’ll then see two graphs at the top of the screen.
They will show you the days and times at which most of the page’s fans are online.
If you post content at these times, reach will be high.
They show you what your best social networks are
Not all social networks will work perfectly for you. Just because Facebook has over 2 billion users and Instagram has over 800 million users doesn’t mean they will drive the best results.
There might be smaller networks like Pinterest or Flickr that can help execute your strategy better.
The only way to confirm which social networks work best is through experimentation and using your analytics to measure how much engagement, traffic and sales you are getting.
This data can be utilized to focus more on social networks that are working for you and eliminating ones that aren’t.
You can also use the data to prioritize the amount of time you spend managing each social network. More time can be spent on the top performing networks and lesser on ones that bring in smaller results.
To figure out which social networks are driving the highest engagement, you should use a social media dashboard tool like Cyfe. It connects to several social networks and you can place data from all of them in one single dashboard to compare performance.
Here’s a screenshot of one of my dashboards containing data from different social networks.
Cyfe also has a feature known as mashups which can be used to mash data from different social networks to create one graph that compares performance.
Social data can help you create better content
When you track your social networks, you will understand what content drives the best results.
On networks like Facebook and Twitter you will be able to see whether images, links or videos do better. While on visual-centric networks like Pinterest and Instagram you can check what type of images perform best.
To figure out what content is performing best you can use your social media page’s analytics. Some social networks like Facebook have built-in analytics that shows what types of media perform best. You can view it in the ‘Posts’ section of your analytics on Facebook.
As you can see in the screenshot below, links are performing best on this page.
You can also use analytics to check how your blog performs. You can see which content is shared more, the number of visits each social network sends, how much time they spent and how many of those people converted to subscriptions and sales.
To check your content’s performance on social media, you can use a tool like Buzzsumo.
And to check the amount of traffic a social network is driving you can use Google Analytics. This tool will also display other metrics like the amount of time these people spent on your site, the number of pages they visited, the bounce rate, etc.
Help you Understand competitors
Your competitors are also creating content and running social media strategies. This will result in their own unique data.
If you analyze this data, you will be able to figure out what is working and what isn’t. It will help you avoid the mistakes they are making and only focus on techniques that bring results.
To figure out which social networks are working best for your competitors you can use Similar Web.
Just add the URL to any website and it will show you the percentage of the traffic your site receives from social media and the social networks driving it.
Then you can spy on your competitors’ top performing social media and content using Cyfe and Buzzsumo.
For example, on Cyfe you can create an Instagram widget and choose to track a competitors account instead of your own. You just add their username and select the metric.
Here I chose top posts by ‘Likes’ and I am able to view them.
I can click on each post and it will take me to the post on Instagram so that I can take a closer look.
Social metrics can help you create a better strategy
You will not create the best strategy in your first attempt. You are bound to make several mistakes and use tactics that don’t work.
But if you study your social media analytics regularly you will be able to figure out what these mistakes are. Hence, when you optimize your strategy you can eliminate them and fortify it.
To figure out these mistakes using any good social media analytics tool will do. But along with it you should use social media listening to check the impact your strategy is having on people.
Using social listening you can view in real-time what people are saying about your business online. This can help you modify your strategy to better connect with current and potential customers.
For executing social media listening you can use a tool like Sentione. Just sign up for an account and add in keywords like your product name, company name and other relevant keywords and the software will track all the mentions and list them out. It will also display the data in the form of graphs.
You can use this data to modify your strategy and create better content in the future.
Social media analytics shows you how a social media campaign is performing
Once you launch a social media campaign you should regularly track it. You can check if it is panning out the way you intended it to.
If things aren’t going according to plan you can make changes to your campaign and rectify it. And if results are very damaging you can nip it in the bud.
For this, you can use a tool like Sentione as it conducts a sentiment analysis of campaigns to show whether it is having a positive, negative or neutral effect.
Nonprofits, more than any other type of business, have the most to gain from effective use of social media. With a limited marketing budget, every bit counts and nonprofits need data that tells them what’s working best. Analytics provide these insights. Nonprofits have a few options when it comes to analytics but they should choose carefully.