Five free multimedia tools to help engage supporters

Unicef Instagram

Social media has opened up a host of new opportunities to engage with your existing audience and to reach out to potential new supporters too. With a range of digital tools to help you cut through the noise, here’s our pick of five of the best free tools, plus examples of charities using them in interesting and unusual ways. 

1. Vine

Vine is a six second video app that plays on a loop and is super easy to use. Here’s a great example from Diabetes UK who used Vine to educate people on the four symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes.

All that was needed was some fridge magnets, a Diabetes UK sticker and a bit of imagination.

Welsh charity Tenovus  took to Vine to engage with their Goodnight Walk fundraising event participants on Twitter.

Want the stats on Vine? Here’s a really handy infographic from Mashable: Vine statistics

2. Audioboom

Whizz-kidz asked supporter Alex Brooker, from Channel 4’s The Last Leg, to give some words of encouragement and well wishes to three of their intrepid fundraisers using Audioboom. This app lets you record up to three minutes on the free plan as well as uploading a photo, adding a title, description and even a location.

Christian Aid uses Audioboom to highlight the work that they do internationally. Like YouTube, if you are signed up to Audioboom, you get your own channel where all your podcasts are stored.

3. Instagram

Instagram lets you share photos and 15 second videos with your followers. Like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are widely used on Instagram – helping new audiences find your content. Unicef UK used Instagram to campaign for an end to female genital mutilation using lots of popular hashtags, such as #marriage, #girls and #instagood during the Girl Summit in July.

Unicef UK Instagram

4. Pinterest

Since Pinterest first launched back in 2011, they’ve added lots of new features including map boards, secret boards (particularly useful for campaigns as you can add pins over time prior to making the board public) and collaborative boards where you can invite other users to pin on your board. You can also now pin YouTube videos to boards.

Pinterest is very popular for crafts, DIY and cooking so this is the perfect platform for Macmillan to host their Recipes for people affected by cancer:

Macmillan Pinterest

Pink Hope Australia, a breast and ovarian cancer charity, uses Pinterest to provide inspiration to their supporters to hold a Pink Hope fundraising event:

Pink Hope Australia Pinteres

Here’s a great example of a collaborative board from the National Trust:

National Trust Pinterest

5. Storify

If you have a campaign with lots of content across different channels, where better to pull it all together than on Storify? Storify is a platform that allows you to keep content from different channels in one place. It’s great for showcasing events, pulling tweets from a Twitter Q&A or just telling a story. This is a wonderful Storify from Child’s i Foundation which explains their #mumsrock campaign for Mother’s Day:

What are your favourite multimedia tools and how have you been using them? Let us know in the comments below.

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Passionate about using digital channels to communicate with and for charities, Kirsty is a freelance digital communications specialist and accredited trainer. A regular blogger for Third Sector and other sector publications, she is always keen to share her experiences and knowledge with others and help them achieve their goals. She has helped hundreds of charity staff hone their social media and digital marketing skills over the years and understand the importance of good content. She is a trustee of the Small Charities Coalition and in 2016 won a CharityComms Inspiring Communicator Award.