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Last week I looked at 10 charities that are using Pinterest as a way of promoting their causes and raising awareness of the work they do.
To continue the theme, this post looks at 10 charities and how they use Facebook for the same purposes.
One of the tricky issues for charities is that they often deal with difficult or upsetting issues, so it’s hard to find content that people will want to ‘like’.
The way round this is to focus on the positive side of what they do, such as fundraising and helping those in need.
If there are any charities that have successful or interesting Facebook pages that I haven't mentioned, please point them out in the comments section...
ActionAid has almost 19,000 fans and posts daily updates including images of fundraisers, details of its campaigns and good deeds, and general facts about the charity.
A majority of the posts include decent imagery or videos, which predictably gets a better response than simply posting a text update.
Each post gets tens of ‘likes’ and a handful of comments, which the social team do a good job of responding to.
Overall ActionAid maintains an active, attractive Facebook page that ticks most of the boxes for best practice.
Beatbulling has an incredibly active Facebook page and frequently posts two or three updates in a day.
The content includes images of its fundraising, the office spaniel, high profile bullying cases, and interviews with its celebrity backers.
A lot of the posts are links to news stories and articles so it’s not the most visually appealing page, but then the charity’s cause doesn’t lend itself to pretty imagery.
Even so, I think the page would benefit from having a greater range of visual content, whether that be photos of fundraising events, celebrities, or just more of the office dog.
The Red Cross UK page has just over 100,000 fans, but then it does benefit from being one of the most recognisable charities in the world.
As with most charities the updates mainly focus on its volunteers, fundraisers, ongoing campaigns and the work it carries out.
The page is updated on an almost daily basis and nearly every post includes at least one image, which means it’s among the most engaging charity pages on this list.
The British Red Cross also gets a high level of engagement on its page, with more than 1,000 ‘likes’ on its most popular posts.
In fact, one update asking whether first aid should be on the national curriculum actual received 26,000 ‘likes’ and more than 1,000 comments.
Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has an active page and more than 30,000 fans but personally feel it would benefit from posting more visual content.
At the moment most of its updates are links to news articles and petitions so it’s very text heavy.
The charity’s aim is to raise awareness of bad farming practices and help protect animals, and to be fair people aren’t going to want to ‘like’ and share a load of picture of suffering farm animals.
However it could still find pictures of healthy, happy animals to highlight the results of its fundraising activities.
That said, CIWF still gets a decent amount of interaction with its posts, so what do I know?
Fairtrade is close to breaching the 100,000 fans barrier, yet engagement levels on its page are relatively low.
The page is updated on an almost daily basis and nearly all posts include an image of some sort, yet its number of interactions are nowhere near the same level as the Red Cross.
It could be that people are more passionate about other human rights charities, but it’s still interesting to note the disparity between the two.
Also, I think Fairtrade could improve its page by posting more images of the farmers it helps from the developing world. It would help to highlight the work it does and also give it some interesting photos that people might be more willing to share.
Macmillan has attracted more than 200,000 fans to its Facebook page and keeps them engaged with several posts per day.
The posts are the usual mix of fundraising appeals and links to relevant news articles, but Macmillan has also recently hosted a Q&A with its interns through Facebook and advertised for new staff members.
Unfortunately the page suffers from a distinct lack of visual content, as images of cancer sufferers aren’t necessarily the sort of thing that people will want to post or share on Facebook. As a result the level of engagement with its posts is quite low considering its number of fans.
But looking at its website, Macmillan has a decent number of fundraising schemes running this year that should help it capture photos worth sharing through social.
The national Autistic Society does a good job of keeping its page updated on a daily basis and I like the fact that it adopts a friendly tone by wishing people “good morning” and “good afternoon” at the start of its posts.
Much of the content focuses on people living with autism and their experiences, but the social team also organise events, give out free tickets and highlight important issues.
It has the feel more of a forum or community site, which makes it stasnd out from the usual Facebook marketing pages.
The RSPCA has a whopping 396,000 fans and posts new content on a daily basis.
Animal charities are perfectly suited for social as people love to share images of cute pets, and the RSPCA makes the most of the animals in its care with recent updates including images of badgers, ducklings, rabbit and dogs.
The posts frequently get thousands of ‘likes’ and hundreds of comments which the social team do a great job of responding to.
Furthermore, to reward its community the RSPCA asks people to submit pictures of their pets via Twitter then gets its Facebook fans to vote for their favourite. The winner is then used as the page’s official avatar.
The WWF is streaks ahead of the others on this list in terms of fan count, clocking up a massive 1.1 million ‘likes’.
But obviously it’s quite frivolous to judge an organisations on that one metric alone, particularly when comparing UK charities with those that have global appeal.
The WWF benefits from the fact that it protects exotic animals, and it’s not particularly hard to find photos of elephants and tigers that people will want to ‘like’ and share.
As such its posts tend to get a number of interactions, particularly when they feature elephants.
And aside from images of wildlife, the WWF posts the usual mix of petitions, links to articles and promotions for its various campaigns.
As far as I can tell though, the social team don’t tend to respond to the huge number of user comments they receive, but instead just use Facebook to push out messages rather than engaging with fans.
War Child holds several high profile fundraising concerts throughout the year and many of its updates refer to gigs featuring artists such as Friendly Fires and Muse.
These include ticket information, promos for YouTube live streams, and photos from the concerts.
This is a major benefit for War Child and allows it to mix up entertaining content with serious images portraying the charity work it does in warzones.
However the level of interaction on the page is still quite low, and it has only 30,000 fans despite the fact that it joined Facebook back in 2007.