Publication Date
Publication Date: 
April 1, 2014

"Social media experts are quick to agree that the quality of followers matters considerably more than the raw quantity of followers. This is an especially important point in for nonprofits seeking to advocate for their cause."

This is one insight shared in the third and final book in a series from the Nonprofit Network, an online resource centre for nonprofit organisations, particularly those based in South Africa. Aiming to assist nonprofits make more effective use of online media, the series finishes with this ebook, which is designed to help nonprofits understand how to measure their online media work by not simply looking at the numbers, but instead by going beyond the numbers to assess whether the messages being disseminated via social media are actually helping to achieve communications goals.

One model shown on page 4, developed by blogger Nichole Kelly, breaks down social media outcomes into 5 categories of ascending importance to an organisation. This model follows a message from wide exposure down to the select few in the audience who are moved to contribute directly to an organisation's core goals. The levels range from: exposure (numbers of views, visits, likes, followers, etc.) to influence (the strength of an organisation's voice, as reported by Klout, Google Analytics) to engagement (audience participation measured by replies, shares, re-tweets, comments, pins) to action (responses to the organisation's calls to action, which could include event attendance, signed petitions, clicking on links, etc.) to conversion (contribution to tangible organisational assets).

For example, the first substantive section of the resource explores "how to evaluate the success of your website". Using the example of a South African nonprofit, The Children's Hospital Trust, it looks at elements of the communication strategy such as design and branding, content, navigation and usability, technology, site objectives, and the intended audience.

This ebook has been made possible with the support of the Open Society Foundation's Public Health Programme: Health Media Initiative. It is the third in a series of three (see "Related Summaries", below) for access.

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Email from Ruen Govinder to The Communication Initiative on April 25 2014.