PETA, Animal Rights Groups Lead Nonprofits on Facebook During Q3 as Video Engagement Soars

PETA, Associate Director of Online and Social Media, Helena Soh
Helena Soh,
Director of Online and Social Media, PETA

Earlier in the month we were surprised when consumer engagement with B2C brands on Facebook during the 3rd quarter (July 1-Sept. 30) was down year over year (PRN, Nov. 7). The trend continued with nonprofits, this week’s focus. Consumer engagement with nonprofits’ posts on Facebook declined 42% year over year (B2C brands were off just 20%), according to data provided exclusively to PR News Pro by Shareablee. On the upside, video engagement rose 61% vs. the same quarter in 2015. Engagement, or actions, is defined here as the total of likes, comments and shares.

Looking at the chart, PETA, a perennial social media leader, was the most-engaged nonprofit, with 4.5 million consumer actions. That figure was up 15% from its Q3 ’15 total, says Shareablee’s Nathalie Nuta, who adds animal-rights groups took 4 of 5 top spots this quarter. PETA’s director of online and social media Helena Soh says, “Sharing content that people would otherwise never see” is critical to how the group “advances animal rights and gets people to take action.” PETA’s most-engaged post was about a monkey named Britches, who was rescued from a lab. There also was content about how fish feel pain.

National Audubon Society, Social Media Manager, Elizabeth Sorrell
Elizabeth Sorrell, Social Media Manager,
Audubon Society

Similar to PETA’s strategy, the #4 group on the list, National Audubon Society, “creates posts that work toward moving people from awareness to affinity to activation,” says Elizabeth Sorrell, senior manager, social media. Sorrell minds analytics regularly “to determine what’s working both on platform as well as toward our larger organizational goals. For example, what’s bringing new voices to Audubon? What’s motivating action? What’s deepening existing relationships?” She points to an adorable 22-second video, posted during the quarter, about a baby bird that “looks like pure engagement candy.” In fact, “we purposefully chose a bird species that is a priority for Audubon and selected a depiction of it on a beach to remind people of the wildlife that they share the shore with during the summer.”