News from the Forest

The Upside of social media for Nonprofits

When one explores social media for Nonprofits, it is easy to see how audiences can connect with an organisation.  Telling stories in your voice is a massive advantage that social media platforms offer.  Through storytelling, one can inspire, inform, educate and influence – all necessary communication outcomes to “get your story out there”.   Here are five reasons why it is essential:  

Increased access to audiences  

According to the latest Ornico South African Social Media Landscape Report, by January 2021, 42%  (or 25.8 million)  of all South Africans will be using social media.  It means one can reach audiences on specific issues with targeted messaging.  Audiences are not restricted to a geographical area and can be reached beyond physical borders.  It is an exciting prospect indeed.   

Making a difference  

To make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, organisations need to focus on education, showcasing successes, creating awareness, mobilising communities and running online fundraising campaigns.  It is, however, not only a communication platform for supporters but is equally essential for beneficiary communication.


Budget is always top of mind for the development sector.  Apart from some paid online advertisements and boosting posts, social media platforms remain an affordable and cost-effective activity that will not break the marketing budget. 

Reducing dependence on traditional media channels  

As an nonprofit, you control your narrative and message.  You are creating  new relationships between the organisation and the media.  As the fourth estate, the media still set the agenda for public debate. Still, as print readership statistics keep falling, online versions compensate for declining print numbers.   Audiences receive their information directly from you  and through the media houses.  It, therefore, would be beneficial if the organisation’s and media’s messages dovetail. 

Keeping track of communication efforts  

In the social media world, measurements like Engagement Rate, Social Listening and Social Monitoring are essential to determine the success of your communication efforts.

Real-time engagement.      The platforms allow you to engage with your audience in real time and increase your Engagement Rate (ER).  The ER measures the success rate of your conversations with audiences.  It leads to the opportunity to showcase your work, listen to your audience, create awareness or increase your donor base.

Social listening enables an organisation to “read the room”.  What is being said about an organisation, and what industry trends will guide future planning?  Social monitoring focuses on your organisation as a brand by keeping an eye on the mentions of your organisation.   It also measures the success of specific campaigns.   

The Last Word

It comes down to telling stories and connecting with your audience.  It is the upside of social media, and the effective management of the platforms allows you to use  #socialmediaforgood and increase your organisation’s support base.

Read about the social media management process here: