Social media can prove to be an invaluable tool for charities and not-for-profits, thanks to the vast network of potential supporters these organisations can gain access to. Twitter is a particularly powerful tool, and garnering people power and creating the next #nomakeupselfie is, ultimately, the dream for many charities. However, it’s not just viral phenomena that can greatly benefit your organisation. Take a look at our pick of five charity Twitter campaigns from recent months.
WWF UK/Whiskas – #TinyTiger
Whiskas have partnered with the World Wildlife Foundation in order to help protect the world’s tigers. Following their ‘Big Cat Little Cat’ linkup back in 2013, the two organisations have joined forces once again to help raise awareness about the plight of tigers worldwide. By using everyone’s favourite internet pastime – hilarious cat videos – Whiskas have brought the issue to the public’s attention. In their ‘Epic Cat Fails’ video on YouTube, they follow footage of cats doing ridiculous things with the phrase ‘Not all cats have nine lives’, before displaying harrowing footage of poached tigers. There are less than 3200 tigers left in the wild due to illegal hunting, and Whiskas urge the public to help double this figure within their own cats’ lifetimes. Twitter users are also encouraged to share images of their own #TinyTiger and donate five pounds to the cause via text.
The Salvation Army South Africa – #TheDress
The mass hysteria that followed the opinion-splitting #TheDress couldn’t have been scripted, and its overwhelming popularity caused many brands and not-for-profits to newsjack the debate. It was The Salvation Army South Africa who outshone its peers however, hitting the headlines with a powerful women’s abuse campaign. The campaign depicts a woman covered in cuts and bruises, wearing the white and gold dress. The slogan to the right reads ‘Why is it so hard to see black and blue’. A statistic below states that one in six women are victims of abuse. The charity’s contact details are listed underneath the poignant image. The campaign immediately received a deluge of positive feedback on social media, especially in the lead up to International Women’s Day. Quick thinking helped The Salvation Army turned a frivolous debate into a powerful message, and demonstrated perfectly how to utilise social media.
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group – #GayTM
ANZ celebrated their second year as main sponsor of Sydney’s Mardi Gras by repeating their #GayTM campaign that was so successful in 2014. By transforming seven of the city’s ATMS into colourful celebrations of gay culture, they promoted their company’s values of diversity and inclusion. The once-dull machines were fabulously decorated, played music when used, gave customers uplifting onscreen messages and even printed out rainbow receipts. ANZ asked users to take selfies of them with the machines and upload them to social media using the hashtag #GayTM. By creating a social buzz, non-ANZ customers were encouraged to use the ATMs, and their operator fees were in turn donated to the Twenty10 charity which promotes sexual and gender diversity. They also hosted an ‘Only GayTM in the village’ contest for communities outside of Sydney to win their very own GayTM. This saw 20,000 votes and over six million social media impressions. Proceeds from this machine’s fees went to a local charity. Although some critics felt like the banking group were jumping on a cause for their own good, the campaign received overwhelming support.
Jo’s Trust – #smearforsmear
This year’s #nomakeupselfie, the trend set up by Jo’s Trust helps to raise awareness of cervical cancer by encouraging women to #smearforsmear. Women (and men) upload pictures of themselves with smeared lipstick in order to promote the importance of getting regular smear tests to check for cervical cancer and other cervical abnormalities. This is a campaign that could really make a big difference, both for the charity and for the awareness of the issue in the UK. Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented, yet one in three women between 25-29 years old ignored their invitation to take the test, and the cancer remains the most common form of cancer in women under 35. With eight UK women diagnosed every day, a change really needs to happen. By uploading their #smearforsmear selfies and encouraging their friends to do the same, women can help each other understand the importance of getting tested.
Follow @JoTrust. Text CCPW01 £3 to 70070 to donate.
Age UK – #notbymyselfie
Age UK launched #notbymyselfie as part of their No One Should Have No One campaign, which aims to raise awareness of loneliness in the elderly. A recent survey found that one in four people aged 65 and over felt they had no one to turn to for help and support, proving that it is a universal issue that needs to be addressed. The idea of the campaign is for people to upload pictures of them with an older person in their lives, whether that be their grandma, elderly friend or neighbour. The heart-warming images do make you feel all fuzzy, but they also play a serious part in helping our society question the quality of life of our elders. Refreshingly, this selfie campaign avoids the smug vanity that can latch onto other trends, remaining instead touching and emotional. It’s not all about the feels though – there may very well be a clever political undertone here with the UK general election just around the corner. If the charity is hoping to raise issues surrounding our ageing population, they’ve done it in a smart yet endearing manner.