January 17, 2013, 3:10 PM

Nonprofits tackle social media with more gusto than do small merchants

More than a fifth of nonprofits spend money on social analytics, a report says.

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When it comes to social media, nonprofits put in more effort than do small businesses, suggest survey findings today from VerticalResponse Inc. The online marketing services provider, which focuses on small business and organizations, based its findings on online surveys between Sept. 17 and Oct. 5 of 123 nonprofits and 399 merchants.

The survey found that 96% of nonprofit respondents have a presence on Facebook, compared with 90% of the small business respondents. Of those nonprofits on Facebook, 80% say they make multiple posts each week, compared with 66% of small businesses. For Twitter, 72% of nonprofits report using the social network, compared with 70% of small businesses, VerticalResponse says.

Nonprofits also are increasing their social media efforts, the results suggest. 61% of nonprofit respondents say they are spending more time on social media than they did a year ago. Just less than 40% of nonprofits report spending six or more hours each week on social media marketing. Of that total, about 30% spend between six and 10 hours per week; about 6% between 11 and 20 hours; and 2% at least 21 hours.

For the coming year, some 10% of nonprofits report having a larger social media budget than in 2012, the report adds. 22% of nonprofit respondents say they pay for technology that helps them analyze their social media efforts; of those, 37% spend at least $26 per month on those tools.

"Non-profits have to be extremely careful about how they spend their resources, and our survey confirms that they believe an active social media presence is a valuable asset that's worth their investment," says Janine Popick, VerticalResponse founder and CEO. "Social media is playing a larger and larger role when it comes to promoting a worthy cause and generating support, financial and otherwise, and we expect it to grow even more as we head into 2013."

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