How Do Your Social Media Efforts Stack Up?

A new study highlights what social networks associations are adopting and the amount of activity various associations are engaging in on these sites.

Curious how your social media efforts measure up to other associations? The new Association TRENDS2013 Association Social Media Report” provides a look into which platforms associations are using most and how active they are on various social networks.

For example, if you’re using social media, and most (95 percent) of the 347 surveyed associations are, then you’re probably using LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Twitter, which had adoption rates of 86 percent, 85 percent, and 83 percent, respectively.

Twitter was also the fastest growing social media site among associations in 2013 with an increase in adoption rate of about 6 percentage points; if it continues to grow at the same level, it will outpace Facebook adoption this year. This isn’t too surprising given Facebook’s relative stagnation in popularity and the rise of other social sites.

With recently added features, allowing users to share more visual content, LinkedIn could continue to grow in popularity, as well, especially with the ability to create more dynamic discussions with attached documents and visuals.

Meanwhile, about 75 percent of associations are using YouTube, but far fewer associations are using Pinterest—less than 20 percent, most likely because many associations aren’t particularly image-driven.

The study also looked into Google+ but found very few associations with an official account, said the report’s senior editor Kathleen Anders, who suspects associations are hesitant to adopt this particular site because of the ambiguity around the number of its active users.

Google+ is growing quickly, though. As of May, the social network was outpacing Twitter as the number-two social site behind Facebook, and Anders said TRENDS is keeping an eye on the social network and its potential to grow in popularity among associations.

In terms of activity, the survey broke down respondents into five different levels, ranging from highest to lowest, and measured activity levels based on publicly available metrics such as Facebook “likes,” tweets, and LinkedIn discussions. Here’s what the highest and lowest levels of social media activity among associations looked like:

Highest (top 20 percent):

  • 77,600 “likes” on Facebook
  • 173,355 views on their YouTube channels
  • 5,500 tweets
  • 226 pins on Pinterest
  • 19 discussions on LinkedIn.

Lowest (bottom 20 percent):

  • 93 “likes” on Facebook
  • 29 YouTube channel views
  • 181 tweets
  • zero pins (because none of these associations have adopted Pinterest)
  • zero discussions on LinkedIn.

No matter where your adoption or activity levels rank, though, having an organizational strategy behind your social media efforts can help you from getting lost in the sea of possible networks and users.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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