With so many social media platforms out there, you may be wondering where you should focus your marketing communication efforts. That is one of the questions Social Media Examiner recently posed to marketers in North America, United Kingdom and Australia in their 5th annual survey, and the answers can be found in the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Business.

Even though this study is aimed at for profit companies, as a nonprofit communicator it is important to recognize that your message is competing to be heard in a world of thousands of marketing messages from other nonprofits and from companies whose only goal is generating profit. And marketing messages from these companies tend to be louder, flashier, and more ubiquitous. Understanding how these companies are marketing their products and services can only help your nonprofit develop better marketing communications strategies.

Blogging is #1

The study surveyed more than 3,000 marketers with the purpose of understanding how they are using social media to promote their businesses. No surprise, the vast majority surveyed (86%) placed a very high value on social media but marketers today are evaluating which social tactics offer the most effective ways to engage their audiences. And with the changing landscape of social media, they are focusing on where they should be in the near future rather than where they are today.

In the report, marketers indicated they wanted to learn most about blogging, displacing Google+, the leader from the 2012 report. While 58% of marketers are blogging, 62% want to learn more about it and 66% plan on increasing blogging activities in 2013. Before you think it is just the big companies that are blogging, the survey showed that 70% of small businesses are looking to increase blogging compared to 58% of large businesses.

Why your nonprofit should be blogging

The data out there substantiates that blogging is good for business. According to HubSpot, an increased frequency of blogging correlates with increased customer acquisition. Social Media B2B agrees and has measured that companies with blogs generated 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms.

For nonprofits, blogging can achieve similar results. In Taylor Corrado’s blog post How Your Nonprofit Should Be Using Content to Emphasize Donor Impact over at HubSpot, he writes: “To be an inbound-focused nonprofit organization, you must be using content to spread awareness of your cause, attract new constituents, and bring back past supporters. This content should help you connect with your audience on a personal level, encourage them to support your organization, and spread your mission within their own network of friends, family, and colleagues.”

The best of the nonprofit bloggers

Some of the best organization-based blogs come from the nonprofit world. Here are a few examples of what your peers are doing and why they are leading the way in blogging:


 World Vision blog

world vision

Why this blog is great:

  • Big, bright photos that show impact
  • Profiles of the guest bloggers
  • Daily posts with a comprehensive archives of older posts


Boston Children’s Hospital blogs

boston children's hospital blogs

Why these blogs are great:

  • Several blogs each with their own focus: pediatric care, research and innovation, issues facing teens written by teens
  • A sidebar that promotes the most popular blog posts
  • A search engine feature enabling easy access to archived posts


Our Bodies Ourselves blog

our bodies blog

Why this blog is great:

  • Blog posts that address current news items
  • A sidebar highlighting recent comments to all blog posts
  • A list of other blogs that they read and recommend


With the growing sophistication of corporate and nonprofit blogs, it is no wonder the Social Media Industry Report identified blogging as the focus for marketers in 2013. Take the time to see how your peers are using this social media platform and get inspired to take your organization’s blog to the next level.

Suzanne Hallsworth

Suzanne Hallsworth

VP, Development & Communications at Oakville Hospital Foundation
Suzanne Hallsworth is the VP, Development & Communications for the Oakville Hospital Foundation. In her role, she leads the annual giving, community fundraising, and special events teams and develops marketing communication strategies to help the Foundation reach its fundraising goals. Suzanne has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade following an earlier career in the book publishing industry.
Suzanne Hallsworth
Suzanne Hallsworth