Guest Post: Measuring Social Media with Multichannel Integration and Meaningful Metrics | npENGAGE

Guest Post: Measuring Social Media with Multichannel Integration and Meaningful Metrics

By on Apr 22, 2010


It’s no secret by now that social media is hot topic with nonprofit organizations, and quickly the topic of social media measurement is becoming a common conversation thread across the community. Presentations like NTC’s “The Real Housewives of Social Media” and the heavy emphasis on social media at conferences like AFP show the real need for strategy around measuring the success of these programs.

Recently, Shabbir Imber Safdar, author of the TruthyPR blog and Shayna Englin of Englin Consulting LLC published an eBook entitled “Is Your Nonprofit Facebook Page Worth It? Analytics and Measurement Techniques” (free to download) that’s chock full of Facebook-specific nonprofit examples, measurement techniques and recommendations on the types of measurement programs organizations should have in place.  Studying real-world examples of Facebook pages and campaigns, Shabbir and Shayna found many interesting nuggets of guidance to share with the nonprofit community.

Guest Post: Measuring Social Media with Multichannel Integration and Meaningful Metrics

By Shabbir Imber Safdar and Shayna Englin

Nonprofits everywhere are drowning in opportunity.  There’s all the new social media channels, plus all the channels they already were working on (like email).  And then there’s the stuff that seems to work for some people that seems out of fashion, like “MySpace“.   Most every nonprofit staffer I talk to is craving some guidance both about what’s working in their online mix, as well as what’s underperforming.

The call to “go multichannel” isn’t enough, either.  How do you know if your Facebook work is underperforming in its contribution to the entire multichannel campaign?

Late last year Shayna and I spoke to our friends and Convio client US Fund for UNICEF, to talk to them about how they measured social media, in particular their Facebook work.  What arose out of that conversation was an opportunity to study the last year’s worth of performance by combining their Facebook page Insights data and their Google Analytics data into a single data set that we could track from Facebook post all the way through to conversion.  Our goal was to answer the following questions:

1. How effective is their work on Facebook in producing bottom line results for US Fund for UNICEF?
2. What is working?
3. What should they be doing differently on Facebook to improve their results?

What we found directly impacted on their execution going forward:

The number of daily postings to your Facebook page strongly affects your resulting donations and fan base size

We found a clear correlation between daily frequency of Facebook posts and both clickthru rates and the rates at which Facebook fans unsubscribe.  We found a sweet spot that shows that unsubscribe rates rise precipitously when they post more than 3 items in a day to their Facebook page.

Your best performance comes during high profile disasters

We also studied the Facebook page’s performance for both clickthrus to the website and donations in the wake of a high profile disaster, like the earthquake in Haiti.  We found that as expected in every channel, the rates of clickthrough and conversion spike amazingly in the wake of the disaster.

The real insight came when we examined the actual postings during that timeframe though.  At a time when clickthroughs and conversions should be at their highest, UNICEF staff posted several items to their Facebook page that didn’t click through to the website, or went somewhere else entirely.

When your audience is likely to click thru and donate to almost anything you post because of a high profile disaster, it’s a waste to send them to  The conversion rate of donations for US Fund for UNICEF on is 0%, and it always will be.  It would be better to repost the content or embed the CNN video on a web page, and then post that link to Facebook.

Likes and comments don’t have a strong impact on clickthrough rate

We had a hypothesis about this, but were surprised to find our suspicion confirmed: there isn’t a strong correlation between Facebook posts that get comments/likes and clickthrough rates and those that don’t.  However the linkage was borderline enough that we felt it deserved attention in a future experiment we hope to run.

Facebook is a powerful tool and nonprofit use of it is in its infancy.  Remember what your email house list was like the first year?  That’s your nonprofit Facebook Page.  The payoff is there, but it’s going to take real attention to learn what works to get the most out of it.

Take first step and start measuring your results.


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