A new report delves into the Facebook activity of 37 large and medium-size nonprofits, including Earthjustice, Easter Seals, and Oxfam America. The organizations in the study had a median of 31,473 Facebook fans, which represented 103 fan-page users for every 1,000 people on their e-mail lists.
The report, which is a follow-up to the 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, was published by M+R Strategic Services, a fundraising consulting company, and the Nonprofit Technology Network.
In 2011, the number of Facebook fans at the charities grew by a median rate of 70 percent from 2010. Growth was highest for wildlife and animal-welfare groups, which had a median growth rate of 129 percent. And only 0.5 percent of fans opted out of receiving the organizations’ messages—either by “unliking” the groups’ pages or by choosing to hide the groups’ posts in their news feed.
The nonprofits reached an average of 197 unique Facebook users daily for every 1,000 fans they had. Those figures include both fans who follow the organization’s posts and people who saw the information because one of their friends shared, “liked,” or commented on the material.
On average, such viral activity accounted for 32 percent of a fan page’s overall daily reach.
Nonprofits need to focus on more than just their total number of Facebook fans, write the researchers. Even more important, they say, is tracking information about their fans’ activity.
“It’s not about the number of likes your page has but rather what you do with them,” write the report’s authors. “If your fan page is one-third the size of another group’s page but has three times the reach percentage, your message is reaching just as many people.”