Digital Outreach

Nonprofit social media report – best practices before you present to your Board of Directors


Many nonprofit marketers see the value in social media as it builds your community in the digital sphere. However, many nonprofit Board of Directors may not see the value. A possible solution: A quick report that effectively shows the power of social media.

A two part post by Raissa Mendes on Medium illustrates how we can make this social media report happen.

To start your social media report:

1. Establish the criteria with which you’re reporting

First, focus on your goals on social media. Are they more big picture, such as gaining more followers and more traffic to your nonprofit website? Or, are they aimed at driving people to your donation page or engaging with a specific influencer or cause? Map out which numbers matter to you.

2. Determine how often you’ll report on your nonprofit’s social media

Don’t just say you’ll start more reporting and then do it when you find a spare moment every few months. Set a date on your Google Calendar that notifies you bi-weekly or monthly. Some ideas from Mendes includes weekly, every 28 days, every 90 days or every time you launch a new campaign. If your nonprofit is often sporadic in how often you allocate time for social media, you may want to stick with this last option as you will see the most in a targeted campaign.

As you continue building your report…

3. Figure out how you want to phrase your reporting to your Board of Directors

You can use comparative reporting = How something has changed from this month versus last month or the like. This is best for if your nonprofit is trying something new.

Actuality reporting = Look at one specific point in time. How much traffic is coming to your site from a specific post?

Campaign-based reporting = Determine if your campaign has performed well. Has it impacted donations or volunteer sign ups? Have you reached your goals?

Specific numbers your nonprofit can point to:

4. Volume of posts

Monitor how frequently you’re able to update your social media channels and website blog. Is there a positive correlation to this number and overall website traffic?

5. Clicks

The number of times a piece of content gets clicked on could indicate your audience’s interest in the content or the success of a factor like the title or image you chose. There are a few ways Mendes breaks down clicks:

a) Total clicks = “Sum the clicks from each post in a specific date range”

b) Clicks / post = “Total clicks / # of posts”

c) Clicks / followers = “Click per post / total # of followers”

6. Impressions

This is valuable to point out to your Board as it shows them how many sets of eyes are viewing your content. This may include people who haven’t even followed you on social media as many platforms reach beyond existing followers.

7. Engagement

This is one that may get foggy for any Board member who likes specific proof of your social media account’s effectiveness. Engagement includes clicks, shares, likes and comments; to any digital marketer, we know this means our audience is interacting with us, which eventually could lead to a donation or more involvement with your nonprofit down the funnel. However, you may need to explain how this correlates when you report to your Board.

Some interesting ways to track engagement numbers include engagement per post and engagement per follower. This can highlight if your effort to increase post frequency or number of followers directly correlates with how much interaction you get on your accounts.

8. Social Referral Traffic

It doesn’t take a Google Analytics expert to take a look at how much traffic is coming from social media to your website. Once you have this number, you can see how well your social media accounts are performing. If you are analytics-savvy enough to track how social media leads are moving through your site, and you see an increase in donation page visits or sign up forms, you know your social media accounts are taking flight.

What to do with all these numbers:

Now that you have a beautiful amount of numbers, take time each reporting period to draw some conclusions. When you put X amount of time into social media you get X amount of donations. When you invest X amount of your marketing budget into social media, you get X amount of traffic to your website. The more time you take to reflect, the more targeted and efficient you can be with your social media efforts down the road. Eventually, you can show your Board of Directors that the initial investment in social media means you can decrease spend down the road.

Need help setting yourself up with a healthy social media report? Contact ArcStone to speak with our digital strategists.