Facebook is the most widely used social media platform by non-profit charitable organizations and trade associations, according to a recent survey.
Wakefield Mass. based Virtual, Inc. an association management company, recently commissioned an online survey to examine characteristics and practices of non-profit organizations.
Responses were received from 266 non-profit organizations of varying sizes. Charitable groups and trade associations were surveyed between September 21st and October 21st, 2013.
Non-profits have embraced to social media widely to communicate with their members. For non-profits, using Facebook makes a lot of sense. It is relatively easy to build relationships and build followers and fans without investing in expensive marketing campaigns.
But Facebook is only one of the social tools used by the non-profits.
YouTube is almost as popular as LinkedIn when it comes to associations' social media usage. Eighty-two percent of responding associations said they use Facebook. Twitter is used by 54 percent, LinkedIn 49 percent and YouTube is used by 42 percent of respondents.
Google+, used by 22 percent of respondents is not yet showing any traction, whilst Salesforce Chatter is used by just two percent of those surveyed.
Very few have implemented private social networks, leveraging such solutions as Avectra MemberFuse, Higher Logic or Socius.
Traditional digital media is used extensively to deliver member and public communications. 95 percent of respondents reported that their organizations use email, and 86 percent said that they distribute email newsletters to members.
48 percent run online discussion forums, 38 percent hold webcasts or webinars but only 32 percent publish blogs.
For web conferences and webcasts, the leading solution is GoToMeeting, which is used by 31percent of respondents; WebEx was second with 11 percent. 21 percent of respondents are not sure which webinar software they use which falls behind "Other" at 29 percent.
Only three percent of respondents use Microsoft Live Meeting and six percent use Adobe Connect.
According to the survey, association websites are largely managed by internal staff. Disaster recovery procedures for websites and critical systems are spotty. Only 39 percent of the respondents provide a private web area for members, separate from a public-facing website.
The majority of respondents (73 percent) update their websites using the services of in-house employees, rather than outside professionals, and only slightly more than half (56 percent) said they could quickly restore their sites from backups in case of disaster.
Only 56 percent? I wonder what percentage of profit generating companies could claim the same.