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ASU Lodestar Center Blog

The Five Most Important Metrics To Measure for Nonprofit Online Communication

For any nonprofit organization to succeed in its cause, it’s essential that they have a strong, engaging online presence. Social media is one of the best platforms to spread your organization's message and get to achieve your goals.

To succeed in social media communication, you have to use a robust strategy and put significant efforts so that you can convince your target audience to support your organization. But how do you know if your social media strategy is working or if it’s time to rethink your strategy?

The best way to answer this question is to measure the impact of your social media campaign. But how do you do it? Read on to find out five crucial metrics that can help nonprofits measure the success of their online communication efforts. 

1. Sentiment

The first metric your nonprofit organization can use to gauge the success of your online communication is to take a holistic view of the sentiment that your audience has for your organization. Though it’s an intangible metric, sentiment can help you know how your target audience perceives your nonprofit organization and how positively they view your brand.

If your target audience holds a negative perception of your nonprofit organization, odds are you are not likely to receive more support. But there are some things you can do to cause a shift in sentiment such as participating in conversations, educating new groups of people, and answering questions.

These not only show that your organization is engaged with your audience, but you are also actively building a relationship.

You can also use free online business marketing tools to think about your nonprofit organization like to set up Twitter alerts for Twitter mentions of your name. Keep track of the tone of the comments and see how many praises and complaints you receive so that you can paint an overall picture of your brand sentiment. 

2. Engagement

This is another social media metric that is easy to track and report. Engagement refers to the response that your social media content is receiving from your online audience, and this metric is important because it shows how relevant your content is to the needs of your audience. Some of the engagement metrics you should watch are the number of shares, comments, retweets, and likes.

You can track your social media engagement metrics daily, weekly or monthly to evaluate how your page is growing your time. There are some tools like Sprout and Hootsuite that can help you track social media engagement and adjust your content accordingly to fit your growing audience. 

3. Conversions

Every nonprofit organization has a set of goals they intend to meet in their social media campaign. These goals could be to create more advocates, generate more donations or enlist more volunteers.

When you reach one of these goals, you have achieved a conversion. When writing your social media report, it should be based on when and how often your page activity helps in creating a conversion.

There are great free tools you can use to track conversions. One of them is Google Analytics. This tool can help you measure how many visitors visited your donation page, how they reached, and how many converted.

If you get an increase in advocates, donations or volunteer hours, you will know that you have communicated efficiently your message and your target markets are receiving it positively. Just remember this many not measurable after a week or month of implementation. It usually takes some time, and after a few months, you should be able to see an uptick in conversions. 

4. Website Traffic

Many nonprofit organizations overlook this metric, but it’s a great measure of your website communication efforts. Tracking the number of visitors you get to your organization's website is as vital as monitoring your engagement. It helps you know whether your website’s content is conveying your message efficiently and whether your audience is engaging with your content.

Your website’s content needs to be convincing enough to make people take action. Once again, Google Analytics is an excellent tool to track visitors to your site. If you see your site isn’t doing well, it’s time you change your strategies. 

5. Participation Rate

Participation Rate helps you measure how many donors give donations to you and how they do it. This vital metric for P2P or Peer to Peer fundraising determines how much each donor raised. Also, it notes when and how often they took steps to support your campaign.

To calculate Participation Rate, you can use software like P2P software. This tool automatically monitors donors and their actions.

Unfortunately, there is no single approach for measuring the effectiveness of your organization’s online communication. You need to use a combination of metrics to measure your success. Remember that if your online communication doesn’t result in conversions, then you may want to rethink your strategies.

Chris is a Digital Media Strategy Consultant in Orlando, FL where he helps national brands and nonprofits reach their goals. He focuses on helping organizations drive qualified traffic and build a strong online brand through Internet marketing and conversion optimization. 


ASU Lodestar Center Blog