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March 1, 2018

Shiny & New vs. Tried & True: What Nonprofits Can Learn from Vero

It seems like every week, you read articles about the next big social media platform. These platforms get labeled as "the anti-Facebook" or "the next Instagram." They rise in popularity overnight, only to come crashing down a week later.

Recently, the social networking app Vero exploded in popularity. Vero has been around since 2015, but the stars recently aligned for the company as they moved up to the #1 spot on the App Store. We decided to check it out.

We downloaded the app, created an account, and started to explore the features. Within hours, how the tides had changed! By the end of that day, stories were breaking about people ready to leave the app for a lot of different reasons. Articles were still coming out about Vero being the next big thing. But others are following right behind, detailing all the reasons its time in the spotlight is over.

We can’t tell you how many times people ask us if they should be spending time on the next new platform. Our answer is always the same: Do you have a consistent content strategy for each of the platforms you’re already on? No? Focus on those building blocks first. Yes? Great. You’re ready to start adding newer platforms.

We're not saying you should never try out new networks or test your content strategies. You should do both, just in the right way. Making sure you’ve mastered the basics is the first step, but you need to be ready for trying new things as well.

At one point, Facebook and Instagram were both new. They never would have grown to where they are now if people and organizations hadn’t given them a chance. Someday a new network will come along that will grow to the level of Facebook, and you have to be ready for it when it comes. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself a step behind the rest of the industry.

If you are ready to add in a new network, make sure you’re focusing your energy on the right one. Before you choose your next network, here is the #1 thing you should think about:

Who are you trying to reach?

Before creating a new profile, spend some time thinking about your ideal audiences, including donors, prospects, volunteers, etc. When you have limited time and resources to spend on social media, you want to make sure you’re utilizing the right platforms. Here are some questions you should ask to help inform your next choices:

  • Who am I currently reaching?
    Look through the analytics and audience reports of your existing profiles. Facebook Analytics is a great place to start. See what demographics your current audiences fall into.
  • Who do I want to start reaching?
    Once you know who your current audience is, are there any demographics you’re not reaching that are valuable to you? Or an audience that you used to reach that has moved on to a new platform?
  • What platform is that new audience on?
    Now that you know what audience you want to reach, let that inform the platforms you consider. Research the demographics of other social networks and see where they line up with your target audience. If you’re looking to reach an audience of 35- to 55-year-olds, Snapchat might not be the best bet. You’d be better off spending your time on Instagram, which has a wider age range.
  • What kind of content does that platform need?
    You’ve selected the new platform that you want to focus on. Congratulations! But the work doesn’t end here. Now that you know what platform you want to launch, look through popular accounts. See the type of content they share and what does well. On Instagram, you’ll see beautiful photography, lots of filters, and authentic moments. Create a plan for what your profile is going to look like and how youre going to create the content. You can be true to your charity's brand and produce content appropriate to the platform.
  • How am I going to test my strategies?
    You created your profile and you’ve posted some content and started to build a following. Now what? Now you test. Think about different types of content that you could try out. Maybe a different type of imagery would work better. Does your audience respond better to long, heartfelt stories or short, witty content? Once you’ve gone through your test, analyze the results and adjust your strategies.


Trying new things and testing is a constant in the world of social media. It’s how you learn about your audience and find the best performing content. There will always be a shiny new app, and at some point, one of them will be the real deal. To make sure you’re ready for it when it comes, start with the basics. Make sure you’re utilizing Facebook and Instagram to the best of your ability. Then let your audience guide you to where you spend the rest of your time.

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