Winning the Internet

How folks are using Facebook: Stats & take-aways for nonprofits

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

As Facebook engagement continues to decline, some of us have been wondering how many people are still using the platform regularly. Well, a report from the Pew Research Center published last week sheds a little light on the subject. Here are a few highlights from the report and key take-aways for causes and nonprofits.

Facebook’s user base is no longer growing.

20% of the online adults who do not currently use Facebook say they once used the site but no longer do so.

8% of online adults who do not currently use Facebook are interested in becoming Facebook users in the future.

Take-away: People who aren’t already using Facebook aren’t really interested in becoming users. It’s okay to ask your supporters to Like your organization’s page on Facebook, but don’t spend time trying to convert folks that aren’t already users. If you’re interested in getting as many of your supporters following you on Facebook as possible, consider using a tool like to figure out which of your email subscribers are on Facebook.

Your fans aren’t always logging on.

61% of current Facebook users say that at one time or another in the past they have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for a period of several weeks or more.

27% of Facebook users say they plan to spend less time on the site in the coming year.

Take-away: It might be worth posting on important topics more than once, to maximize the number of fans that see your message. However, keep in mind that what you post must be compelling, and preferably visual in order for Facebook’s algorithm to actually show it to your fans.

Lots of people are still using Facebook, and they’re doing so regularly.

Today 69% of online adults — representing more than half of the entire adult population in the United States — use an online social network of some kind. On a typical day nearly half of all adult internet users access a social networking site.

41% of social networking site users said that they access these sites several times a day — a statistically significant increase from the 33% of users who said that they accessed social networking sites with that level of frequency in August 2011.

Take-away: Don’t give up on Facebook yet! Facebook is still one of the best tools we have available to us for connecting with supporters. Just be sure to make posts compelling and shareable so your fans have the opportunity to see them.

About Melissa Foley

Melissa is the Director of Training and Mentoring for Netroots Foundation and New Media Mentors. She aims to use her MBA + nonprofit background to teach organizations to use new media tools strategically.


  1. e.politics: online advocacy tools & tactics » Quick Hits — February 18, 2013 - February 19, 2013

    […] Ramp Up Fundraising & Monthly Giving with Social Media. C.f. How to put peer pressure to work for your cause and How folks are using Facebook: Stats & take-aways for nonprofits. […]