Social Media Analysis and Strategic Recommendations for a Non-Profit Organization in Germany


  • Franziska Giersemehl German
  • Daniel Michelis
  • Stefan Stumpp



Social Media Strategy, NPO, Non-profit Organizations, NGO, Fundraising, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok


Nowadays it is impossible to imagine life without social media - Facebook, Instagram and Co. have become important platforms for public discourse, political communication and opinion-forming.

Not only for companies, but also for nonprofit organizations (NPO), networking via social media creates potential. On the one hand, they offer a cost-effective dialog opportunity to address many interested parties and new target groups. On the other hand, the interaction of high-quality content and strategically planned social media posts not only gains reach, but also members and donations for the organization. At the same time, social media opens up space for hate speech, discrimination and racism, which is why a strategy to steadfastly counter negative reactions online is becoming increasingly important for nonprofit organizations as well.

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the regional nonprofit organization in the welfare sector – German Red Cross district association in Leipzig and the surrounding region – is targeting social media communications to achieve its established goals of recruitment and fundraising.

Unlike previous studies that focus on single social media platforms, this study examines the use of multiple social media platforms. This study included a qualitative analysis. We used qualitative content analysis (Mayring, 2015) to gain in-depth findings into the social media work of the NPO and its competitors.

In the first step, competitors of the NPO were selected for the analysis based on their activities on the social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. For the selection of the competitors, own selection measures were chosen in order to make a suitable sample selection. Content categorization was used to interpret information within the social media profiles. The focus was on the textual and visual design of the social media accounts and individual posts of the competitors. For this purpose, the period of data collection included the months of June and September 2020. In summary, posts from 17 social media profiles were considered in the analysis, and we analyzed 21 Facebook posts, 12 Instagram posts, 15 tweets, and 20 YouTube videos.

Based on the results, a strategic approach for the social media work of the non-profit organization could be developed in the form of recommendations for action. In addition, more donation campaigns are to be included in social media. Emotional storytelling leads to more interactions, which can generate a higher willingness to donate.