2022 has been a great year from the online communications perspective. We would like to present you with a short review of some of the key milestones and data from our online channels.
YMCA Europe's Facebook page has been one of the main avenues for connecting with groups and national movement pages. We experienced an increase in all levels of interaction, from engagement, page followers, video views and people reached.
We recorded a number of 2,272 posts on the Facebook page (more than 6 posts / day), with more than 515,000 people reached, 187,586 people engaged, and 47,917 video views (four times the views recorded in 2021), with a gender distribution of 52% female audience and 48% male, over 2022.
Due to the active engagement with the community, merging community pages, and focusing on the collective appeal due to the circumstances of the war in Ukraine, the page has increased the following 10 fold since 2021 from 12,458 followers to 113,924!
The extra 100k followers we added and engaged on our page with zero ads budget was made possible with the support of the extra staff, daily interaction with pages and communities, having additional staff members in communications enabled more time for comments, stories, collection of information from national and local movements, campaigns and more.
According to the statistics, our followers on Facebook are under 34 years – 66% meaning that our movement is addressing and engaging a majority of young people as a main audience.
In the YMCA Roots for Peace Project, we noticed an increase in the Facebook page's following and video views – with 3,121 followers (107 more since 2021) and 11,689 video views. The gender balance recorded is slightly different from the main Facebook page, with 44% female and 55% male followers.
At the end of the year, our page's main community group – YMCA Connects recorded a number of 484 posts, 4,442 overall reactions, 165 comments, and an 8% increase in total and active members.
In 2022, there has been an accelerated shift of attention, from long-form written content to short-form messaging, fast-paced video content, and stories. Although we come to the conclusion that in 2022 the website has become more of a database for information, articles, and in-depth pieces of content reached 34,098 users, 87,035 page views and 131 posts (including articles, events, and blogs).
The organic reach was up to 49.6 %. But overall we still observed a growth in comparison to our data from 2021. What truly expanded our reach is also the calls for Ukraine and the collective donation campaign – which also were the most popular reads.
When we consider the monthly long-form communication – our YMCA Newsletter – we noticed an increase in the average open throughout the year, 24,5% growth in comparison with the statistics from 2021.
The number of subscribers has also increased during 2022, reaching 5,214, a 24% growth since 2021. Additional team support in communication and attention to article selection, and promotion within community groups – coupled with engagement with various national and local YMCAs made a difference in the subscription and open rates.
On Instagram, our following rate increased to 600 people in 2022, having 2,836, with a reach of 65k, and 600k impressions. 55% of our audience is female and the overall audience is composed majorly of young people under 34.
Our YouTube channel reached 9,700 views and a watch time of 17,418 minutes, a slight increase considering 2021.
Just like on our Facebook page, our growth of the social media channels is due to the interaction, time, and engagement of the additional staff responsible for the digital community. In 2022 we started utilizing LinkedIn as one of our core platforms for sharing our programs and interacting with other professionals within and outside of the YMCA, to reach out to this category of audience.
Our key take-away from 2022 is the importance of having a well-established team because nowadays having a clear online communication avenue is a necessity. The majority of our target audience is online and digital outreach is here to stay, as we also found out in our #AlwaysON for Youth research on "Shaping digital inclusion, safety, and wellbeing in a post-pandemic world."