3 Ways Social Media Storytelling Can Help Your Charity

19th August 2016

Social Media gives charities the opportunity to have a two way conversation with their audiences. In essence, when you know what works and what your supporters respond to, you can do more of it and social media has the analytics behind it to help you measure your most effective posts.

1. Use It To Demonstrate Your Impact

Big Issue Infographic

Social media offers lots of opportunities for you to communicate WHY your charity exists and the real difference it makes in the most tangible ways possible. Human interest stories are a great way to link your work with people’s core emotions.

Further reading:

  • Charities need to remember why they exist – and shout about it – Guardian Article
  • See how to measure and communicate your impact by viewing this helpful infographic by Poached Creative which forms part of their #Ampyourimpact campaign.
  • Example post showing impact by the Big Issue. Create your own using free software like Canva or Pictograph.
  • Using images to bring your data to life – Blog by Madeleine Sugden.

2. Help Achieve Your Charity’s Goals

Charity Water

What is your charity’s mission? Do you: Help people become healthier and happier? Do you conduct research? Run a support service for a specific groups? Campaign on behalf of vulnerable to create policy change?  Whatever your cause, you can use social media to help contribute to those big goals.

Pictured at the launch of the 'Killing me softly with his words' verbal abuse awareness campaign was Rachel Mullen, Chairperson of Sonas Housing. Sonas Housing and Meath Women’s Refuge launched the poster and postcard campaign to highlight the impact of verbal abuse. The launch coincides with St Valentine’s Day, which is a difficult day for women experiencing domestic abuse with the focus on perfect romantic love. The ‘Killing me Softly with his Words’ campaign raises awareness of verbal abuse which entails name-calling, insults, humiliation, intimidation, threatening comments and mind-games. The Sonas poster campaign aims to highlight the damage and the continual ‘chipping away’ of a person that results from receiving constant negative messages. The posters and postcards will feature in women’s washrooms in shopping centres, pubs and community centres. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
‘Killing me softly with his words’ verbal abuse awareness campaign was Rachel Mullen, Chairperson of Sonas Housing. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Raise awareness of an important issue and ask people to sign a petition
  • Invite people to a community event
  • Promote your volunteering opportunities or job roles
  • Give people ideas and information about getting healthier

Don’t forget fundraising:

“Social media was found to be a big influence among younger people who donated to charity: 42 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 24 said it had a positive effect on their decisions to donate, a 14 percentage-point increase on the survey run in the first quarter of 2016.” – Third Sector Magazine Article

Further reading:

  • Give a Voice to the People You Support – The Power of Storytelling – Blog by Jude Habib
  • Charities must embrace technology to win younger supporters, says CAF research – UK Fundraising Article
  • Kirsty Marrins: How to use Facebook Live for your charity – Article
Moving Dementia UK Film by Magneto Films
Moving Dementia UK Film by Magneto Films has hit 110,726 views

3. The Ripple Effect

Children's Society
Children’s Society

Using Social Media to link something fun and engaging to a charitable cause brings out the best in people.  YouTube is a great example of how a simple video (the more authentic, the better) can have massive impact and it can be achieved at virtually no cost.   Ultimately, people love human interest stories and indeed, things that they can easily relate to and imagine.

Further reading:

  • Five charities using authentic storytelling – JustGiving blog by Jude Habib
  • 8 practical tips for your charity storytelling strategy – ElectricPutty

We are all aware of the wildly successful ice bucket challenge, it demonstrates the power of Social Media, sometimes things go viral, often when we least expect it. The ice bucket challenge has raised over 100 million pounds for the ALS association. CNN Article.

Smear for Smear Campaign - Mess Up Your Makeup Good Cause
Smear for Smear Campaign – Mess Up Your Makeup Good Cause

Of course, creating a viral campaign that generates millions of pounds is not an easy task.  Smaller charities can however be more creative with their communications and inject fun and inspiration into what they do.  Part of the reason this campaign was so successful was that it invited people to take part, with a simple and clear call to action.

Further reading:

Morello Training

Morello Training has extensive experience in training over 300 charities in live workshops around the UK. Book a place on the online Intermediate Social Media for Charities course. Including a free bonus storytelling unit that you can sample.

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dsc_1798_24724945051_oCharity Meetup

Dawn, the co-founder of Morello Training and social media trainer, also runs the popular, quarterly Charity Meetup for charities in London. The next event is in October.

Being the story

Jude Habib of Sounddelivery is running a truly inspirational event in London called Being the Story, where you will hear from a diverse group of speakers who will share their story, highly recommended.

Peer Support

If you are looking for peer support, join the Third Sector PR and Comms Facebook group and get answers to your burning questions.

Dawn Newton Profile Pic Small 2015_SSC_12Thank you for reading

I hope you found my blog helpful, please do share your thoughts in the comments area below and share this post if you think others might find it useful. If you would like to get in touch with me you can drop me an email.