social media for charity case studies

5 Top Social Media For Charity Case Studies Including #icebucketchallenge

We all know social media is great for getting a message out there. And for charities, spreading the word can be a key part of what you’re all about.

As a not-for-profit, though, you have special needs when it comes to your social media campaigns. Sure, in an ideal world, raising funds from your followers online would be a dream come true. But charities also have something else, something much bigger, driving their digital campaigns: hope for a better world. And their message for change is key to who they are and what they represent. Feeding more people, cleaning up the environment, war, illness – whatever the topic, people need to hear it, and hear it now.

All pretty complex stuff. And all important. But social-media friendly?

On the surface, probably not. Overburdening your supporters with bad news stories and policy papers is not going to grab their attention; not in a world where concentration spans online diminish quicker than you can type ‘YouTube cute cats’.

Sometimes you need to get above the noise by doing something different. There are great success stories out there of not for profit’s using social media to really grab and engage supporters that we can learn from:

 

1. The ALS Ice-bucket challenge

The ALS Ice-bucket challenge

The ALS Association has to be mentioned for its incredibly successful campaign with the Ice Bucket Challenge (even my Granny’s heard about it).  The ‘challenge’ gave grown adults a chance to regress to childhood by playing with water, and then getting their friends to play too. All in the name of charity. Better still, it cost the ALS Association basically nothing to run the campaign #icebucketchallenge, and has brought in over €100 million in funds (yes that’s One Zero Zero million), along with thousands of new Facebook and Twitter fans for the charity.

2. Macmillan Cancer Support  

Macmillan Cancer Support

The Macmillan organisation offers support for people with cancer, and they provide lots of really useful information through their website. On social media, though, they are really rocking it, with loads of support videos on YouTube and very active Facebook and Twitter pages. The true key to their success, however, lies in how they connect day in day out with supporters. For example, a comment from any one of their whopping 500,000 Facebook fans on how cancer has affected them personally will almost always get a personal reply online, along with an encouraging message and options for a next step. Instead of being just about engagement and raising funds, Macmillan goes one further and uses social media as an extension of their support services. Unsurprisingly, they’ve garnered several awards for digital engagement as a result.

 

3. Greenpeace International

Greenpeace International

 

Greenpeace International has the digital world really working for them. Their social media activity spans all platforms including Facebook and Twitter but also Vimeo and Instagram. Regular mixed postings are made up of hard-hitting news items, new Greenpeace campaigns, and feel-good motivational quotes (very share-friendly). But their real strength lies in their use of videos and photos to draw the reader in – who doesn’t like watching Lego videos even when they are talking about the evils of petrol-producing companies? Pulling together some photos with a good soundtrack and a clear, inspiring message can brighten up any social media account and increase shares and new followers.

 

4. Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch

Human right violations are a difficult topic to talk about, and certainly not one that lends itself to the vagaries and whims of social media. And yet, Human Rights Watch do one really great thing with their social media – almost all of their staff seem to be active and representing the organisation online. Their personal accounts, glimpses into what a day in the HRW office looks like, and interesting news articles all shared on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube really help to humanise the brand and add a real, personal connection to their cause – social media gold dust.

 

5. Oxfam

Oxfam

 

Oxfam are active on all the mainstream social media platforms. But they get extra-special mention for their engagement with Pinterest, where to date they have over 1,600 pins and close to 5,000 followers. By developing visual material around food, one of the most popular topics on Pinterest, they are engaging supporters one of their key issues whilst reflecting the light informative tone typical to Pinterest feeds. They’ve also offered space on their Pinterest account for followers to include their own ‘Pins’, further strengthening engagement and increasing content with less effort.

 

Social media offers great opportunities for charities to reach people and spread a message – take note above. Who else in the charity world inspires you with their social media campaigns?

Written by: Aine Rickard

How top brands are using Instagram

How Top Brands Are Using Instagram

More and more, Instagram is illuminating our social media lives with eye catching content and captivating illustrations of the world around us.

Figures released by Instagram in November 2014 show registered accounts at more than 200 million monthly actives, with 65% of whom are based outside of the United States showing its global penetration.

In an Irish context, 18% of Irish adults have an Instagram account, with trends showing growth of 1% per quarter since November 2013, according to the latest Social Networking Quarterly from IPSOS MRBI. Of these Instagram users, 41% claim to visit the network at least once per day.

From Instagrams humble beginnings in 2010, top brands quickly identified the platform as a powerful and creative means of reinforcing their identity and increasing their exposure to customers. Instagram has empowered companies to experiment with different ways of visually expressing themselves by embracing the mantra “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Brands are telling stories to their followers with images, combining light-hearted content with business related postings.

Major global companies such as BMW, Adidas and Starbucks feature in the top 20 most successful brands on Instagram. Companies are using Instagram, in conjunction with other social media networks, to run exciting, visually stunning campaigns to launch new products.

Nike

Sitting pretty on top of the list for most successful brands on Instagram with 8.4 million followers, Nike has firmly established itself as the undisputed blue-ribbon brand on the platform. The key to their success lies in their understanding of the psychology behind Instagram. Upon visiting the Nike Instagram page, Instagrammers are hit with a blend of awe-inspiring landscapes with people in situ using their products.

Nike also reaches out and engages with their Instagram devotees and created arguably the most successful ever Instagram campaign, Nike PHOTOiD. The campaign centred around encouraging fans to design a colour scheme for their shoes and then upload them with a background image of their choosing. Nike integrated the competition across other social networks also, with many entrants sharing their compositions with friends. The best submissions were collated and published on Nike’s Instagram feed.

Nissan Europe

A household name in the car industry, the European operation for this leading Japanese car manufacturer launched an innovative campaign to promote their “Juke” range of cars. This was Nissan’s first foray in to the world of Instagram campaigns and has proved a launchpad for the success of their brand on the platform.

Instagrammers were able to take a picture of themselves, upload the photo to Instagram using the hashtag #JukeDNA and in return Nissan Europe would retweet a custom image of the uploader with the new Nissan Juke.

This was a very fun project which allowed fans of the car to have their “15 minutes of fame” by being retweeted by a huge brand like Nissan, and of course Nissan received a huge volume of exposure from people sharing their custom Juke image with their friends.

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Even on our own shores, traditional Irish brands are using Instagram to project their image and promote their products to both the Irish and global market. A company established in 1780 embracing Instagram, is a true indicator of the importance in innovation to remain relevant in today’s world.

When people think of whiskey, they can often conjure up the image of old men imbibing the spirit. Jameson’s Instagram page does a fantastic job at challenging this preconception. Their gallery contains many posts featuring young people enjoying Jameson. Content showing photos from Jameson sponsored music events and posts celebrating the arrival of the weekend resonate with a younger demographic than traditionally associated with whiskey drinking.

Jameson’s hugely popular annual “First Shot” competition which showcases the talent of emerging filmmakers is also given promotion on Instagram. Hollywood A-list actor and director Kevin Spacey is an ardent and continued supporter of the event. Using the hashtag #jamesonfirstshot, Jameson’s Instagram page highlighted Spacey’s association with the First Shot initiative by showing an image of the star attending the awards event. By aligning themselves with a celebrity of this calibre, and supported with a visual evidence, Jameson were able to bring some gloss, validation and Hollywood feel to their filmmaker awards.

Join the party!

We are only scratching the surface of what can be achieved through the magic and potential held within Instagram. Some of the world’s leading brands are taking advantage of this untapped digital marketing resource, isn’t it about time your business got in on the action?

Contact us today to enquire about our Instagram Masterclass which is aimed at educating businesses large and small on how to utilise Instagram to its fullest as part of your digital marketing strategy.

Written by Martin Gaffney.

Martin currently lives, studies and works for a large multinational in Cork City. He holds a Higher Certificate in Business and is currently studying a Bachelor of Business in Management at Cork Institute of Technology. Martin is an avid technophile and his interests range from engaging digital content to market research. Electronic music and Cork City FC are Martin’s other love interests. You can find him on Twitter @GaffKiiid.

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Leveraging Social Media for Jobseekers

We all know how difficult it is to find a job and in the current climate it’s even more challenging. It’s easy to get disenchanted with the whole process and get distracted by social media. But did you know that these days, social media might be one of the keys to getting your next job? 

In this case study, we’ll show you how you can leverage social media to your advantage, helping you stand out from the crowd.

Read on to learn the tips and tricks to improve your social media network. Read more

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Digital Donations #12Days of Christmas App

Christmas is fast approaching and our elves have been busy in the workshop creating something extra special for this year’s holiday season. We have created an app to harness the power of social media that will enable 12 Irish charities to spread their messages further and faster this Christmas.

We are inviting you to help lead the movement for a really important campaign. Christmas is a time of joy and happiness, or so says all of the advertisements that started in October (yikes), but let’s not forget that Christmas can also be a hard time for so many and we want to give a helping hand. Will you join us?

We are starting a digital donations campaign urging the online community to give a helping hand this Christmas. We are asking Facebook and Twitter users to donate their online influence to help spread the important messages of various Irish charities over the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

Coming together as a community is more important the ever at this time of year and we want to encourage the gift of giving through a simple Facebook post or Tweet. We have created an app that posts a different charity’s message each day to your Facebook or Twitter feed for the 12 days running up to Christmas. By banding together through our social networks we can ensure that important messages from charities are heard and spread quickly throughout the online community, encouraging others to reach out and show a bit of Christmas spirit this holiday season.

So how can you help us? With your influence of course! We are encouraging you to sign up and join the cause. It’s the time of year for sharing and caring and we want to get as many people as possible to donate their online space through using the app and helping those in need the Christmas.

Charities we are supporting are all worthy of support and are the Irish Youth Foundation, Irish Cancer Society, UNICEF, Goal, Barnardos, Jack & Jill Foundation, WALK, ARC Cancer Support Centre, Gay Switchboard, Irish Kidney Association, PAWS & Console.

Please support the #12days Digital Donation Campaign here

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

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Engaging Nonprofit Volunteers through Social Media

Volunteer Ireland are hosting the National Volunteer Management Conference today so naturally our interest spiked when they asked a member of our team to give a workshop on engaging volunteers through social media. We jumped at the chance, as here at connector360 we have a special place in our heart for nonprofit organizations and the great work they do.

Our whiz kid project manager Sarah was chosen for the task due to her background working with The Irish Cancer Society. She got the head down and immersed herself in research on how nonprofits use social channels successfully. What did she find? They are pretty darn good at it!

She packaged up her findings into a lovely presentation which you can find on Slideshare below:

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Some of the major insights she uncovered was the volunteers today are young, they’re generous and they are your online influencers. They share, share and keep on sharing the good work of the organizations they are involved with.
So, connector360 is sending a call out to all young people out there to get involved with a charity that is close to their heart. There’s no comparison to how rewarding the work is but more importantly you are helping others.

The Social Media Screw-Ups Collection

 

Social media can prove an evil mistress at times. More of a frenemy then a best pal. One minute you are reaping the rewards of the online movement, the next you’ve got every damage control procedure underway. A simple term-of-phase or accidentally using your business account instead of your personal one can backfire causing a serious negative impact on your business.

You can find yesterdays presentation from the Cork Chamber of Commerce  below which outlines some of the ultimate ‘oopsies’ that have occurred through businesses using their social media channels. Enjoy!

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Image credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

SocialMedia - Infographic - Longitude Battle of Bands

Longitude Festival – The Social Media Battle of the Bands!

MCD’s Longitude Festival throws open its gates today for three days of music and fun with some of the world’s top acts performing.  The music, the weather, the people, the whole weekend is made for sharing!  Social media will be in overdrive with discussion, opinion, pictures and videos of fan’s experiences.

The common thread to most of this sharing will be the bands.  We have drawn up battle lines and pitted the acts performing against each other by their popularity and fan engagement through social media.  We have created this infographic to highlight the social media superstars that will have their fans tweeting and sharing their experiences well into the night and beyond!

Feel free to share your experiences with our team too, you can tweet any stories or pictures to us @socialmedia_ie  or post to our Facebook wall.

We’ll see you in the front row, enjoy #Longitudefest!

The Death of HMV – Why social media killed the music store

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There are many reasons why a business can fail but the majority of them are due to a failure to change the business to changing consumer needs.

It’s affects can be seen in businesses of any size, be it a startup or a large corporation, like HMV or Kodak, that just failed to innovate and change with their consumers. These failures could have been avoided had they been prepared to capture and act on the market intelligence.

The Death of HMV – Why social media killed the music store

HMV is an organisation that chose to ignore the disruptors. Despite their huge customer base and access to a treasure trove of content, they failed to innovate and accept that their product range was ideal for online distribution and marketing via social media and digital channels.  They were destroyed by changing consumer behaviours and the emergence of many new music players like iTunes, Spotifty and Last FM.

kodak-logoThe Death of Kodak – Gone in a flash

A series of bad decisions sealed the fate of Kodak. Despite knowing that change was coming down the line they failed to respond. While their competitors were grappling with disruptive technologies, they chose to ignore them, despite being the ones who had developed the technology in the first place. From a company who had coined the phrase ‘Kodak moments’ they had indeed missed theirs. The irony of Kodak’s sorry tale was the fact that the company’s initial success had come about as a result of their founder George Eastman’s ability to respond and innovate. He had the foresight to move away from the company’s core product and take a short-term hit for the long-term gain.

The evolution of Toyota – From strength to strength

Fortunately for the business world not every organisation chooses to take this ‘head in sand’ approach. Toyota, for example, ensured their continued success by listening and responding to the demand for products that were kinder to the environment and the US Government’s call for better fuel efficiency. In the face of breakthrough technology they were prepared to make the switch from one culture to another. 

engagement-smListen to your target market – Adapt and survive

Reinvention and diversity came too late for companies such as Kodak and HMV. Their inability to be flexible and respond to change ensured that they were overtaken by the march of technology. The good news for organisations who have taken their businesses online is that this doesn’t have to be the outcome. The real strength of social media channels and digital marketing lies in it’s data and our ability to monitor & measure everything happening online.

By gathering and analysing global data from blogs, social media channels and websites you are able to:

  • identify areas for improvement
  • devise appropriate strategies based on your findings
  • gives us an insight into the needs and problems of your customers
  • anticipate a shift in the market and respond accordingly in a timely fashion
  • make better business decisions based on data, not intuition

In addition to this, by examining your metrics we can determine the level of awareness, influence and engagement your brand is having on the target market. By utilising free and paid tools such as Google Alerts and Social Mention we can manage your brand in realtime.

If you would like some help to understand what your target consumers are talking about and how you can listen and act fast, we are happy to help you. Contact team@socialmedia.ie today to discuss how we can help you avoid the same fate as HMV.

Irish Political Parties – Social Media Analysis #BOTB

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Continuing our SocialMedia.ie ‘Battle of the Brands’ social media analysis series, this week we’re looking at the Irish Political Parties. We’ve analysed their data and their communication styles, seeing if we could spot trends, patterns or differences. Have a read below to see what our data analysts found out.

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What we discovered

  • Fine Gael and Labour use Facebook as a promotional tool for the party, often posting press material relating to the party and Ireland’s economy
  • Fine Gael and Labour often get negative comments on posts, which they ignore
  • Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein use Facebook to comment negatively on the current state of the country/government
  • Sinn Fein is the clear winner in terms of engagement
  • Sinn Fein is the only party to mention the death of Margaret Thatcher, which strikes a chord with their fans

Key Insights

A lot of people are unhappy with the current political and economic situation in Ireland. They know we’re in trouble and they are wondering what our leaders are doing about it. This is further reinforced by the media, with the news and newspapers frequently telling us about all the problems that the country currently faces.

This is why the least effective accounts are those that project a positive image. Their posts are always positive, which followers seem to view this as misleading, causing annoyance and negative comments. Conversely, people react positively to the accounts that criticize the current government. Both Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail use Facebook to complain about the current state of the country, which seems to resonate strongly with their fans. Fans feel like they are being told the truth, or at least part of it.

Of all the parties, only Sinn Fein is actively talking about the death of Margaret Thatcher. Her death strikes a chord with their members, leading to a significant increase in their fans. Sinn Fein are the clear winners on Facebook, consistently posting engaging content. They frequently post images and videos, with very few  plain text status updates. Other parties could learn from this.

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What we discovered

  • Parties are consistent in their tweeting, with regular tweets put out every day.
  • Fine Gael and Labour use Twitter the exact same way as they do Facebook, all their messages are positive
  • Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein tweet about problems and issues with the current state of the country/government
  • Limited engagement with followers, Twitter is used as an information source, not an engagement tool
  • Limited use of Hashtags across all parties 
  • Margaret Thatcher’s death is a hot button at the moment, Sinn Fein are using it effectively to drive engagement

Key Insights

Irish political parties use Twitter and Facebook in the exact same way. They have clear messaging strategies which they broadcast across both channels.

There is a clear pattern emerging. If the party is in power, they will post mainly positive material. We believe this is  because they want to project a positive image and don’t want to say anything that could paint them in a bad light. Those not in power will post mostly negative material which  comments on how those in power are doing a terrible job. They will occasionally tweet positive content about themselves. This is used to reinforce the idea that the current government is incompetent, while they are competent and would do a better job.

Yet again, Sinn Fein wins hands down. They have the most followers, they have the most retweeted content and they are the most consistent in their tweeting.

More to come soon!

That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll be looking at cosmetics sector in Ireland, looking at who’s doing the best and who needs some work.

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