Why NonProfits Need to Stop and Listen

(There’s more to social than engagement and publishing)

Nonprofits get how important social media is to promoting their cause and engaging with their communities (Engagement?  Check!  Publishing?  Double check!)  But even some of the biggest, brightest nonprofits aren’t stopping to listen to what social media has to say.
The NonProfit Quarterly highlighted a 2014 study by the Case Foundation which revealed that 74% of nonprofits engage with their communities through social media, specifically using social platforms as a “megaphone, announcing events and activities and sharing organization-centric info.”
But once you’ve shouted your message from the rooftops, what’s next?  How do you find out if that megaphone-message was heard?  Or well received?  Or effective?  (And how did you determine which audience to target?) 
Boston’s beloved inbound marketings gurus, Hubspot, also blogged on the topic, and showed that spreading the word (about their organization, cause, and brand) are the top three social media goals for nonprofits.  They also found that 53% of nonprofits aren’t measuring their social media at all and 67% have no social media strategy or goals.
So what does a nonprofit gain when it stops to listen?  They’ll find things like the most important topics of conversation among their supporters, the effectiveness of their campaigns, and can also gain invaluable insights into their audience’s interests, leading to better targeted fundraising campaigns.
It’s important to step away from tweet to tweet to understand the main topics of conversation that are driving engagement with your organization. Crimson Hexagon’s Topic Waves feature, available in our ForSight™ Platform, reveals that Charity Water’s three biggest conversation drivers from 2014 were song sales from ReverbNation, clean water (okay, not a surprise there), and videos Charity Water posted and people were sharing on social.
A topic wheel highlights the popularity of Nathan Fillion’s (@nathanfillion) birthday campaign when he turned 43 on March 27th, 2014 and set out to raise $150,000 for Charity Water (by the way, his campaign topped off at a cool $254,172).
And who is behind these conversation topics?  Crimson Hexagon’s Affinities analysis shows that compared to the general population on Twitter, the Charity Water crowd is 6x more interested in R&B, 10x more interested in Reggae, and a whopping 42x more interested in Nick Cannon.  Guess who I’d suggest they approach as a celebrity partner?
Affinities Charity Water
So if you’re a nonprofit that’s publishing great content, spreading the word about your cause, and engaging your donors and community through social, consider the importance of listening.  Not only does it give you insight into the effectiveness of your past campaigns and outreach, but it could also guide you to your next, great fundraising campaign.

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