Social media has become quite negative. But it wasn’t always like this. We want to #ReclaimSocial for good and focus on the positive side of social media.
There are many inspiring stories coming from nonprofit organisations, of all sizes, and we’d like to share three fantastic campaigns with you.
#AGrandCause, Age UK Hertfordshire
By Aoife O’Driscoll-Leung, digital marketing lead
In celebration of Older People’s Day 2017 (also known as Grandparents Day), we asked our followers to take a photograph with a grandparent, grandchild or older/younger loved one for a chance to win a family photo shoot donated by a local studio.
The purpose of #AGrandCause was to celebrate inter-generational relationships, as well as raising funds toward our services for lonely older people through a text-to-donate code.
Though we are a charity focused on the needs of older people, we realised that a lot of the people connecting with us online were of a younger generation. We were thrilled to see that a wider audience were interested in the wellbeing of local older people, and saw an opportunity to highlight the intergenerational relationships in our community, through a competition.
— Age UK Herts ???? (@AgeUKHerts) September 15, 2017
My top tip is to really get to know your followers if you want to connect with your communities online. You’ll be surprised to find that you may have a wider network of support for your cause than you imagined!
By Mike Bromfield, communications officer
Using our network of YMCAs across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland (and around the world) we launched the #IAMWHOLE campaign along with NHS mental health in October 2016 nationally, and internationally in 2017.
The campaign aims to challenge the negative language and harmful stereotypes that surround mental health difficulties and encourages people to speak out and seek help.
— Carrickfergus YMCA (@CarrickYMCA) January 25, 2018
We activated a series of influencers, with celebrity campaign leads Jordan Stephens (Rizzle Kicks) and UK-band Nothing But Thieves across two campaign films. They, in turn, recruited other influencers from the world of sport, comedy, music and TV to support us in taking an #IAMWHOLE selfie and posting it on their social media channels.
In terms of impact, more than 50 countries have participated in posting an #IAMWHOLE selfie, with a social reach of 52 million on Twitter and Instagram. There have been 750,000 views of campaign video materials and 26 MPs put their backing to the campaign on social media. In addition, a further 23 Irish and Welsh Assembly Members / Members of the Legislative Assembly have supported the campaign and it has been talked about in Parliament, too. A further 125 million people have seen press relating to the campaign.
My top tip is to figure out what it is you want to achieve for social good, or change even! Partnership working, an evidence base, tackling relevant issues and utilising influencers all contributed to what worked for us. For YMCA, using our existing networks was one of the strongest assets we had – with YMCAs in 700 communities across the country, mobilising our young people and staff to advocate for the campaign was essential. Think about the stakeholders and audience, and the preparatory work that has to be done. Using offline engagement strategies (like our launch event at the top of BT Tower, engaging MPs in Parliament, localised events, press activity and sharing young people’s stories) are equally important.
#MyBestGift, Blind Veterans UK
By Mariana Mendes, communications officer
The Christmas period offers a great opportunity to share ‘feel-good’ stories. We launched our campaign #MyBestGift with the goal of raising awareness of the charity and the support we offer to vision-impaired ex-Service personnel. We also wanted to show how our beneficiaries discover life beyond sight loss.
With #MyBestGift we asked beneficiaries and staff members what was the best gift they had received from the charity that year and then wrote their answers on board and took photos of them holding it. We posted the photos daily on Twitter for 12 days until Christmas Eve as well as other tweets linking to our Christmas landing page. In addition, we also produced a video with 15 veteran’s photos to our Facebook and Instagram page and published it on Christmas Eve.
Our Christmas video reached 70,964 people and was viewed 30,023 times. This makes it Blind Veterans UK’s most successful post over the Christmas/New Year period. The total of 30 tweets also reached more than 62,000 impressions.
My top tip is to be authentic. Don’t be afraid of putting unpolished stuff out there. Being real with people, having fun, showing emotion, is more important than a slick video. Use video content because it engages more people organically. Video is also a good solution for charities who don’t have a large budget to play with.
On 6th of February, we’re asking everyone to support our campaign and #ReclaimSocial by posing positive stories about your charity and the difference it makes. Find out more about our campaign to #ReclaimSocial and sign up to our Thunderclap.