3 Lessons Learned About Social Media in 2013

Before I attempt to predict the future in 2014 in my next post, let’s savor the lessons learned about social media in 2013.

1. More Mobile, More Social

Think about this: 63 percent of Americans say they check their smartphone hourly. Nine percent check their phone every FIVE MINUTES!

Another study shows that people check Facebook on their smartphones 14 times a day. About 51 percent of people say their phone is the most important piece of technology in their daily life.

Whether texting, tweeting or talking, we’ve rapidly been conditioned for hyper-connectivity. Mobile and social have changed the way we think and behave—a digitized sphere of our brains.

The takeaway: Nonprofits that debate social ROI at this point, might want to think about where people are spending all their time.

Charity: water, 2013.

2. Simplicity = Power

It’s amazing what an Instagram photo can do for a nonprofit that is struggling to communicate its impact. Charity: water, for example, uses Instagram to show the direct impact of donations: providing people with access to clean water. No matter your mission, simple images can have significant impact.

The takeaway: Nonprofits can bring a fresh perspective to donor communication by using amateur photos in its marketing.

3.  Second-Screen Expectations

Google Insights, 2012.

Do people really watch TV anymore? Or do they absorb it by osmosis as they glide through imagery on their tablets or smart phones?

Google has found that 77 percent of Americans use a laptop, tablet or smart phone when watching TV. This includes surfing the Web during commercials, researching a product seen on TV and following the online conversation via a related hashtag.

The takeaway: Nonprofits need to think about real-time marketing in this era, whether it’s during the Super Bowl or at a live donor event. People expect live interaction.


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