Big wins for social media
According to the 2021 Edition of Social Media Statistics published on Broadband Search, social media app usage grew by 4 percent from January to June 2020.
Social media kept us sane
Hardly surprising, given that most of us were stuck at home waiting out Covid lockdowns, with only our phones for company! Social media might well have been what kept us sane, allowing us to share photos and keep in touch with friends and family we weren’t able to see for weeks on end. Apart from reading, gaming and binge watching on Netflix, social media was also pretty much our only source of entertainment.
No wonder YouTube and TikTok report a surge in usage. Even if we don’t personally go onto these platforms, we are exposed to the content because friends share it on Whats App and Facebook. This sharing aspect makes it difficult to accurately measure individual social media platforms’ reach.
But TikTok was definitely the rising star of social media, with users up from 28 million in January 2020 to more than 600 million now. With no other fun activities or entertainment, it seems that younger people, in particular, just can’t get enough of this app.
And they spend a lot of time on it! An average of 52 minutes. YouTube (the closest in terms of average session time) records an average of 40 minutes. But before you go rushing off to dream up a strategy for capturing this audience, remember that Facebook still rules the social media world. On average, users spend 35 minutes on Facebook, and access the site as many as 15 times a day.
Facebook still rules
Facebook still leads the pack in terms of usage, closely followed by YouTube. Twitter and SnapChat have lost ground, the latter to Instagram, which now offers many of the SnapChat features.
So, if you have only a limited amount of time to spend promoting your cause on social media, you should still be spending most of it trying to boost reach and engagement on Facebook and Instagram. Because Facebook owns both platforms, it’s easy to share fundraising campaigns across the two with very little extra effort.
If your organisation is able to produce really engaging video content, think about joining the YouTube Partner Programme and monetizing your content. You need at least 1 000 subscribers to be eligible for the programme. But when your videos start attracting large numbers of views (4000 public watch hours in the last 12 months), you can earn a useful revenue from advertising.
The one thing you can’t afford to do is ignore social media.
As of January this year, there are more than 3.96 billion users globally. Considering that there are around 7 billion people in the world, that represents over more than half the population. In first world countries, the percentage is much higher – 79% of Americans have a social media profile. Closer to home, South Africa has 38 million active internet users, an overwhelming majority (over 36 million) of whom access the Internet via mobile devices.
Social causes that have invested time and money growing their brands on social media are reaping the rewards. If you are new to all this, the good news is that you can start small and grow your fundraising efforts as you establish what works best for your organisation.