Using Data for Your Nonprofit Social Media Strategy: 5 Tips


If you’re a nonprofit professional, your specialties likely lie in building relationships with donors, managing volunteers, and developing programming for your beneficiaries. You are an expert in how to uphold your organization’s mission and make a tremendous impact on your community.


However, there are other activities, like nonprofit marketing, that your organization must engage in to reach new supporters and create a sense of community online. Social media, in particular, is the ideal platform for sharing information about your nonprofit and inviting others to join.


With current and potential supporter data on hand, you can reach your audience more effectively and cater to their needs. In this guide, we’ll provide five tips for how you can upgrade your nonprofit social media strategy with data.


Alt Text: Five tips for using data for your nonprofit social media strategy, as discussed in the text below.

1. Enrich your supporter database.

The more information you have about your supporters, the better you can reach them. NXUnite by Nexus Marketing recommends collecting demographic data—such as supporters’ names, ages, and contact information—as well as giving data, which can tell you more about supporters’ involvement in your organization.


However, not all the supporter data you’re looking for will be readily available to you. That’s where data enrichment comes in. 


Deep Sync defines data enrichment as the process of supplementing the information you’ve collected with third-party data to round out your database. This process confirms that your database is accurate, updated, and comprehensive. Typically, you’ll work with a data provider to identify the data you’re looking for and add it to your records.


For instance, you may enrich your database with lifestyle information—such as what other charitable causes supporters contribute to—so you can cater your social media content to their interests and preferences. You can also append social media profiles to your database to ensure you engage with top supporters online.

2. Segment your supporters.

Using the third-party data you’ve obtained, segment your supporters into groups based on shared characteristics. Then, you can tailor your social media content to these different segments to provide personalized experiences for each of your supporters.


The factors you may choose to group supporters by include:


  • Giving history
  • Engagement level
  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests


Let’s say that you have an upcoming gala that you’d like to promote on social media. Upon analyzing your supporter data, you calculate that about 25% of your supporters have attended one of your events before while 75% haven’t. 


Based on this information, you create two segments: past event attendees and potential first-time event attendees. While it’s important to post content that caters to past event attendees—such as footage from last year’s gala that reminds them they’d like to attend this year’s—it’s also crucial to develop posts that convince the large majority of your supporter base that they should attend one of your events for the first time.


To engage potential first-time event attendees, you may share behind-the-scenes content leading up to the event and video interviews with past attendees about what makes your annual gala so fulfilling. 

3. Identify lookalike audiences.

You can also use third-party data to gain information about potential supporters and develop lookalike audiences that allow you to expand your social media reach. A lookalike audience is a group of prospective supporters that mirrors your current supporters’ demographics and interests.


While you can leverage the data obtained from your data enrichment to develop a lookalike audience on your own, we recommend working with a data provider. The right data provider has the expertise needed to create a detailed lookalike audience model based on key demographic and psychographic attributes and can weigh these factors with your input.


Then, you can activate the resulting lookalike audience across a variety of channels—such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Although you may have used audience targeting tools offered on these individual platforms, this single model approach allows a data provider to unify your lookalike audience so you can reach the same potential supporters across channels, increasing the chance they’ll engage with your content.

4. Track engagement.

Once you’ve created posts that align with different supporter segments, it’s time to measure your success. In the realm of social media, success is often defined by engagement levels.


Whether you use the analytics tools available in the platforms themselves or an external software solution, track key social media metrics, such as:


  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • New followers
  • Account mentions


Besides monitoring individual post performance and the overall engagement of your social media followers, you can also identify your most active supporters on social media. These supporters are great candidates for additional engagement opportunities, so make sure to thank them for their support and follow up with customized nonprofit offerings they would be interested in.

5. Send surveys.

Inspire dialogue about your social media presence with surveys. That way, you can collect qualitative data about your supporters’ experience with your social media that you can apply to future campaigns.


When developing the survey, ask your supporters open-ended questions that allow you to gain insight into their preferences. These questions may include:


  • Which social media channels do you use most often?
  • What type of content would you like to see on our social media?
  • What times of day are you most likely to be online?
  • What content have you enjoyed from our accounts in the past?
  • What could be improved to make our content more engaging?


In addition to designing surveys specifically about your social media presence, you can also survey supporters after they participate in different initiatives to gauge the success of your social media promotional efforts.


For example, at the end of a peer-to-peer campaign, you may ask donors whether they found the campaign through your newsletter, your website, social media, word of mouth, or some other channel. If you heavily promoted the campaign on social media, but only a small percentage found it using that method, brainstorm and conduct additional research to identify areas of improvement for next time.


Ultimately, when it comes to fueling your nonprofit social media strategy with data, play into the “social” aspect. Use information about your supporters’ behavior and preferences to build community across your pages and inspire others to join together in support of your cause.