There is a direct correlation between having a staff member dedicated to managing social media, and the highest levels of reported social media success. A dedicated staff member means that the person is more likely to have some social media expertise, and can invest the necessary time to effectively manage social media.

Since having a dedicated staff member for social media is a luxury that few NPOs can afford, a good alternative is having multiple staff contributing to social media. This is the second most successful method of managing social media. A diverse group of people curating content based on their areas of expertise can result in a more interesting and balanced newsfeed. Note that this method refers to active and on-going contributions from multiple staff, and not the occasional contributions of “ad-hoc management” approach. Ad-hoc social media management happens without a content plan or clear objectives, and, not surprisingly, showed the lowest reported levels of success. Without a specific person driving the content, managing social media on an ad-hoc basis means that there will likely be days or weeks where nothing is posted at all, while at other times there could be multiple posts on the same day. This makes it difficult to build an engaged community around your social networks.

Outsourcing social media management, while fairly successful for Marketing/Branding and Curating useful news, is less successful for Community building/networking. Clearly, it is difficult for someone outside of the organisation to fully engage with a community on behalf of the organisation. While outsourcing to someone well versed in the NPO’s area of work can be beneficial to growing and developing social networks, this method is most effective when combined with ongoing input and strong support from within the organisation.

A graph showing the impacts of social media management on fundraising, promoting events, communicating with clients, marketing/branding, community building/networking and curating useful news

IMAGE: Social media management and its impact on fundraising, promoting events, communicating with clients, marketing/branding, community building/networking, curating useful news. Via South African Nonprofits and Social Media Survey 2015-2016 (pg.10).

How social media is managed impacts on the results of your NPO’s social media work, however, consider the following as well:


Extract from South African Nonprofits and Social Media Survey 2015-2016. Click here to download your free copy of the report.