It’s been just over a decade since Facebook started recruiting college kids to write on virtual walls and poke one another.
Since then, the company has changed a lot: It has gained billions of dollars in value as well as a hefty increase in active users. However, dozens of other competitors have come on the scene. Facebook has certainly evolved over the years, so is it still the best place for nonprofits to reach potential audiences or should organizations concentrate on other forms of media to reach people?
Looking at the numbers, Facebook still has an impressive lead on its competition with 1.01 billion daily active users (DAU) and 1.55 billion monthly active users (MAU) according to the company’s own reporting as of Sept. 2015.
Instagram (owned by Facebook) says it has 400 million MAU and Twitter reports it has about 320 million MAU. And it is reported back in May that upstart Snapchat has 100 million DAU.
Though Facebook has certainly gained popularity among users, that means it has also become a popular space for advertisers. People’s Facebook feeds have certainly gotten crowded, and sponsored content is now common: Facebook reported $4.3 billion in ad revenue for Q3 of 2015.
Despite the crowded marketplace, Facebook is still a great place to connect with possible supporters. According to a Marketing Land study, Facebook desktop ads have an 8.1x higher click-through rate on desktop and 9.1x better mobile CTR than normal Web ads.
Facebook also offers a very open platform for serving your messages. Unlike more closed-off networks such as Instagram and Snapchat, it’s easy for Web or mobile surfers to follow links on and off Facebook. That makes it easier to convert potential supporters and channel them onto your website to get them to sign up for newsletters or follow donation funnels. Facebook also plays nice with other social networks, making it easy to push messages to or from other platforms.
Out of all the social media networks, Facebook has carved out a place for businesses to exist. Pages allow for nonprofits and organizations to share much information about themselves and point users outside of the social network. Though other networks have given businesses a voice on their platforms, they are still much more geared toward private citizens.
Facebook also has a good amount of reach among different audiences and devices and allows organizations to have a lot of control when it comes to who they want to reach. Facebook also boasts 1.39 billion mobile MAU compared to its total 1.55 billion MAU. This allows organizations to have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to reaching potential supporters either on mobile and desktop.
Facebook gives organizations a large amount of control in the demographics and geography of their audience. Twitter is great for having a more national or global conversation, and Snapchat has become the one of newest places for friends to privately connect. But Facebook is great for building local or national support and letting organizations concentrate on what they want to build.
Though it is getting crowded, Facebook is still one of the best platforms for nonprofits to connect with potential supporters and other organizations. It still has the largest user base of all the social media networks, and its flexibility allows organizations the ability to use communications strategies that work for them. Facebook’s openness also allows it to be the focusing point for your online advertising efforts while drive traffic to other sites to help you convert potential supporters.
For more on making the most out of Facebook see the session “Taking the Next Step: Using Facebook to Drive Conversions.”
This article is brought to you by the DMA. Click here to register for Nonprofit Federation Conference, Feb. 18-19, 2016, in Washington, D.C.