In January the Pew Research Center published 2014 demographics for the key social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Knowing the most recent demographics for your social media channels is important for any nonprofit invested in being strategic about its social media efforts. This knowledge should inform planning, messaging and implementation.

Here are some things to consider when researching current social media demographics:

Target Audiences are Important

Target audiences are the folks your messages are intended to reach, and the people you want to act on behalf of your work. These individuals are the ones most likely to donate, volunteer and spread your mission.

Your social media efforts should align with the audiences you’re targeting, so keeping up with the latest demographics for the tools you use is very important.

Demographics Change

As you can see from the Pew study, demographics can change dramatically year to year. For example, in 2014 Facebook saw a continued increase of seniors and Pinterest saw a significant rise in the number of men using the site over 2013.

Paying attention to the change in demographics will assure that your old social media strategy is still current or it will indicate that it’s time for a shift. Evaluate your plan every year to assure it’s targeting the right people.

New Platforms Become More Important

Look at LinkedIn for example; this social media tool, once only used by networkers and jobseekers, is now a great content marketing platform.

And even though Tumblr wasn’t featured in the Pew study, it still might be a platform worth your time. Forty-six percent of users are between the ages of 16 and 24, so if your nonprofit is targeting younger audiences, then this might be a great investment.

It All Comes Down to Your Goals 

If you’re in charge of your nonprofit’s communications, it is important that you re-evaluate your social media strategy every year. Not only do the platforms you’ve grown accustomed to change – Facebook, for example – but your goals can change too.

Maybe this year you’re more interested in retaining your donor base than acquiring new donors?

Is this the year you invest in reaching younger audiences to expand your volunteer support?

Whatever you decide, re-assessing your goals and re-aligning your social media channels to fit your target audiences is important. Do this year after year to assure a strategic investment in your nonprofits resources and budget.

What social media platforms are you considering using this year?