What can charities learn from the social media superstars?


As part of Fundraising Week 2017, I’ll be presenting with Zoe Amar and Kirsty Marrins about Social Media Superstars.

We’re going to take you through examples of people in the sector, charities’ brand accounts and people outside of the sector who are really nailing it on social media.

Here’s a taster of what we’ll be talking about on 24 May.

Why it matters

Why does being a social media superstar even matter? Surely the really important things are raising money for your charity’s cause and delivering its life changing service?

That’s definitely true. But if certain people in charities have a strong social media presence, they can have even greater impact.

Fundraising disciplines like corporate, challenge events and even trusts and foundations perform better and raise more money when they’re being done by people with strong personalities. People with the outgoing personalities to represent their charity’s brand with confidence.

And given its potential for targeted reach, social media could be seen as the ultimate room to work, full of people ready to be inspired by the right person and taken on a journey.

And in 2017, the average person follows 208 Twitter accounts and likes 70 brands pages on Facebook. So you have to be a superstar to even show up on their radar.

Superstar examples

Take John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. John is an eccentric CEO on social media, as in real life.

John had a field day on Twitter when T-Mobile’s rivals, Verizon, reported an earnings miss. He spent the day posting graphics mocking their entire existence, essentially trolling his rivals.

In fact, trolling Verizon is one of his favourite activities on Twitter.

 John Legere trolls Verizon

Then there’s Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. He’s a man on a mission to colonise Mars, and make electric cars affordable for everyone.

He was stuck in traffic in LA recently, and declared that he was just going to start digging a tunnel through the city instead. This was actually a clever announcement of his latest big project.

Elon Musk social media post

What charities could learn

Of course, I’m not suggesting you open Canva and create insulting images of your charity’s rivals, or troll anyone at all.

But what if you took even small steps towards big posts like these in your work? What if you made big announcements on Twitter instead via boring old press releases? Maybe your charity would seem more like a digital first brand.

What if you injected a dose of angry, inspiring or even zany personality into your feeds, instead of the rounded tone least likely to earn a reprimand from bosses who know what Twitter is?

Maybe you could just do what Elon Musk does on most other days, and tell a few more stories from the front line of your work?

If you need to up your game, learn how to develop your personal brand or just need some inspiration, then this session is for you. Join us at Fundraising Week.

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Matt Collins is managing director at digital marketing agency, Platypus Digital, and tweets @charitychap