The relationship between charity and social media

Since the astronomical growth of social media the relationship between charity and social media has been a fascinating one - long may it continue. Despite its successes though every new campaign come the cries of ‘armchair activist’ and ‘slacktivism’, ‘what good will participating do’ and ‘how many people actually donate’. With that in mind here are some of the successes:

END7: How to Shock a Celebrity This campaign, started by a charity that aims to end the plight of tropical diseases, started with a key problem for charity engagement. With charity advertising that shows images or video of the plight of those involved, it can make the viewer uncomfortable and a lot of people will turn away before the real message can hit home - it’s something all have been guilty of at some point. So END7 recorded the reactions of six celebrities watching an ad created by them, and then released it accompanied by the advert itself. The ad was a massive successapproximately tripling its production cost and making a smaller charity the talking point of the moment. This was in no small part due to the enticement to watch the whole video, nearly 75% (up from 20%) of people did not click away and it subsequently got into the Youtube top ten for ‘Most Popular on the Web’. #nomakeupselfie The #nomakeupselfie encouraged UK women to take pictures without makeup and post them on social media along with a donation, subsequently nominating people to do the same. It received huge celebrity endorsement and raised £8 million having capitalised masterfully on the social media denizens love of humor, narcissism and community. This unique brand of motivation led to some criticisms, once a campaign is popular enough it will always be scrutinised, however the community quickly shut these down. The #nomakeupselfie campaign also gave a masterclass in managing your social media campaign, which played into engaging the community to rally in support against scrutiny- the story goes- a campaign that was not originally attributed to anyone was picked up by their team, who quickly associated it to them using SEO and after their donations page crashed redirected funds through justgiving and text message. Clever social network manipulation and posting of FAQ style content dealing with negativity or enquiries around the clock kept the donations flooding in. KONY 2012 Another campaign that requires no introduction, KONY 2012 carries an example of how massive success can be horrendously mismanaged. The success came in the form of the original video, watched 100 million times, carrying the hashtag #stopKony with the overall intention of raising money and motivating world leaders to act. While awareness was raised unprecedentedly quickly cracks soon began to show. The scrutiny that accompanied their meteoric rise to fame was intense and the original video as well as the charities tactics and money management were criticised- and most importantly to the message of this piece- in stark contrast to Cancer Research UK, these concerns were not addressed or managed quickly enough. The rising tide of anti- campaign message eventually severely hampered the future progress of the charity and its subsequent campaigns. What makes it a success? Emotive real topics accompanied with eye catching well produced creative media and the chance for people to get involved and get their friends involved. And regardless of the mistakes made by some, the joining of charity marketing strategy and social media campaigns is here to stay, Facebook has already added a donate button to registered charity Facebook pages- an acknowledgement of the success of the pairing. So what’s to lose, the best parts of other campaign strategies- the scope of consumers associated with TV and radio, the involvement and community associated with events, the targeted personalisation of letters and email can all be carried out for the price of one social media manager and a few creative ideas. Take the lesson of how social media can build or destroy a charity campaign and think about how you engage consumers and their networks in your business, within these campaigns the cornerstones of every successful digital marketing campaign- SEO optimisation, celebrity endorsement, campaign management, virality and understanding how your demographic interacts on the internet. This post was created for our client Colour Me Social

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