Search blog

New year, new social media plan: Using data to inform our strategy 

A collage of posts from Candid's social media.

It’s that time when we reflect on our work over the past year and set goals for the new one. And it’s no different for social media managers. As Candid’s manager of digital communications, I’ve been digging through our social media analytics, researching broader trends, and determining our strategy and tactics for 2024.  

Here is a peek behind the scenes into how Candid assesses our social media annually. I’ll share what I’ve learned from the big-picture analytics, insights from my deep dive into content, and how they inform my approach to our social media plan (which you’re welcome to borrow for your nonprofit).  

The top-level analytics

The first thing I do is look at the big picture. You can see here how each platform is doing, comparing numbers and averages from 2023 with the previous year. 

2023 analytics and year-over-year (YOY) change 

(December 2023)
LinkedIn 42,509 +29% 441 +30% N/A N/A
Instagram 7,615 +48% 946 +51% 95,979 +289%
Facebook 67,701 +0.6% 550 +36% 162,288 +282%
X (Twitter) 141,815 -2% 472 -73% N/A N/A
Youtube 10,657 +24% 357 +52% 621,579 +184%
TikTok 1,853 +437% 658 +30% 221,994 +526%

*Engagement includes reactions, comments, and shares. Link clicks are not included. 

Here are my takeaways for the new year: 

  1. LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube have growing audiences, and those audiences are increasingly engaging with our content. I see what we’re doing is working and plan to build on that momentum this year. 
  1. Facebook is an interesting one for us. There’s a stable audience, but historically they didn’t engage much. In 2023, we experimented with different types of content like open-ended questions and graphics. It worked, so we’ll want to keep this new approach. 
  1. X (Twitter) is not doing so hot. Since October 2022, we’ve been seeing a steady loss in followers and a steep decline in engagement. Given that our audience no longer seems to be present on X, it makes sense to shift our efforts and time to other platforms.  

A deep dive into social media posts

To dive deeper into the actual content, I pull the top 10 and bottom 10 posts from every platform by engagement and link clicks. I selected those metrics because our goals for social media are to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to our articles and resources.  

For each of the top and bottom 10 posts, I assess the type of post, the content included, and the tone. It gives me a glimpse into what is working and what we need to improve upon.  

Your most favorite 2023 Candid social media posts included: 

  • Educational content with clear takeaways 
  • Videos and pictures featuring staff 
  • Opportunities to add your opinion and insights 
  • Data, particularly with a chart or graph 

Your least favorite 2023 Candid social media posts included: 

  • Graphics that feel like ads 
  • Webinar reminders 
  • Videos that don’t feature people but are created with text and images only 

What I’m seeing here is that you prefer real people, giving you real practical advice. You also love a nice chart. We get it, who doesn’t love data presented in a nice visual format?  

What we’re planning for 2024 (and you can steal for your strategy)

Our results follow broader trends in social media. Hootsuite’s 2024 Trends for Nonprofits on Social Media report found that 34% of audiences dislike it when a nonprofit promotes the organization too much. More than half (53%) think organizations should be more relatable on social media. That translates to fewer posts that feel like ads and more that feel authentic and engaging. 

Given the data and broader trends, here is how we’re approaching social media in 2024: 

  1. Invest in the platforms that work: Unless you’ve got a large social media team, chances are you’ll need to pick which platforms to invest time in. This year we’re no longer using X (Twitter). Instead, we’ll focus on creating great content for LinkedIn and Instagram, which we’ll repurpose on Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. 
  1. Posts will be an extension of our mission, not a promotion of our organization: We mostly use our social media to inform and educate; the data shows that is what our audience loves. We’re also going to get creative with how we share promotional content like reminders about webinars so it’s more authentic and natural (thanks to Jacob Shipley for the inspiration behind this one).
  1. Do what works for our audience, even if it isn’t trendy: We create quite a few educational carousels. Current trends would say those aren’t really “in.” But our data doesn’t lie—you love them! So, we’re going to keep making, expanding, and enhancing them. 
  1. Be more human and authentic: You like seeing the people who work at Candid, so we’ll continue to create videos that feature staff members, share behind-the-scenes photos of us at work (and play), and write in a tone that feels like a human (not a professional robot) is speaking to you.  

If you want to learn more about building out a social media strategy, check out my 2023 article on the topic. You’ll find even more tips for creating a unique social media plan for your nonprofit.  


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.