Social media has become a major cornerstone of digitization without discussion. We all spend about one third of our online time in social networks and like to be influenced there to purchase decisions and opinions.
For companies, not only in the NGO/NPO sector, social media is therefore a huge opportunity to grow, to identify new potentials, to get to know their target groups better and to improve their business in the long term.
To what extent has digitalization arrived or already been implemented in Swiss nonprofit organizations?
With the evaluation of the social media presence of the top 12 Swiss non-profit organizations, a first superficial assessment can be made.
The size of the social media community should be taken with a grain of salt: Fake accounts, follow bots and major clean-up campaigns by Instagram and Twitter make us sit up and take notice.
At the latest since the adjustment of the Facebook algorithm at the beginning of 2018, the number of followers and fans no longer has a direct influence on the reach and is therefore obsolete as the sole measure of success.
"We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions," Mark Zuckerberg said in November 2017.
Since then, companies have had to rethink how to attract the attention of their customers, or even just to reach them at all.
What really matters on social media
"Social media is a strategic challenge that affects the entire company," explains UX designer Dirk Unger from the Campfire agency. "The goals to be achieved with social media must be derived from the corporate strategy. However, this also requires a change in thinking within the company, which has not yet happened for many."
And so many Swiss companies, not only in the NGO sector, continue to measure the success of social media by the number of followers.
|NPO||Rank 2019||Community Total||Rank 2018||Community Total||Change|
|Terre des hommes||3||104'408||3||81'268||+28.5%|
|Amnesty International Switzerland||4||79'742||5||72'292||+10.3%|
|Save the Children Switzerland||5||76'831||4||78'376||-2.0%|
|Swiss Paraplegics Foundation||9||30'231||9||24'584||+23.0%|
|World Vision Switzerland||11||20'755||11||20'393||+1.8%|
Among the top 3 NPOs in terms of community size on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are, as last year, WWF Switzerland, Greenpeace Switzerland and Terre des Hommes, each with a total of over 100,000 followers.
The winners in terms of community growth compared to the previous year, on the other hand, include SRC (+44.8%), Unicef Switzerland (+35.7%) and Terre des Hommes (+28.5%). These NPOs achieved the greatest community growth last year - a good indicator of inspiring content and the implementation of a user-centric strategy.
Losers year-on-year 2018/2019 in terms of community growth include Save the Children (-2%), World Vision Switzerland (+1.8%) and Swissaid (+2.9%).
In order to determine the actual success of their activity on social media, companies must set strategic business goals and measure them both quantitatively and qualitatively. On social media, sales and traffic can therefore be useful indicators of success in addition to customer engagement and loyalty, which of course go beyond social media alone and for which a professional tracking and measurement system is required. Many companies already see social media as far more than just a marketing tool that helps them sustainably realize a customer-centric brand, in customer dialogue, innovation management and company growth.
Dirk Unger is a UX designer, co-founder and partner of the digital agency Campfire. He advises large and small companies on the topics of user experience, social media and content marketing as well as marketing automation. Since 2017, campfire has been supporting UNICEF Switzerland with strategy and campaign work on social media.