The Samaritans Radar is a wonderful case study for social media use by charities.

Not only is the technology simple and useful (sending you an email when someone in your Twitter network uses a potentially concerning phrase), the campaign is equally as important in raising the profile of the charity and reminding people of its cause.

Radar has been covered widely in the news, but I’ve included some screenshots of the campaign (which is lovely from a UX viewpoint) and added some other social media campaigns from charities that have also caught my eye.

With social media becoming so important for charities, both for scale and influence, we’re set to see many more innovative campaigns across networks.

Samaritans Radar

Invited to share at every opportunity

The nicely designed scrolling website for Samaritans Radar is fairly simple but it looks good and includes a piece of video.

A hallmark of the campaign is the overall encouragement to talk about it. The website urges:

By sharing you will encourage more people to activate Samaritans Radar and in turn they will help support more people who may be struggling.

And even when I confirm my email address using a link in the signup confirmation email, I get a page with a big sharing call to action. It’s the whole point of the charity and the whole point of the campaign.

samaritan's radar

Donations sensitively encouraged

The email confirmation is nicely formatted for mobile and also includes a number for text donations and a suggested amount of £4.

Whilst donations aren’t pushed on the campaign page itself, it makes sense to do so within the more personal commnication channel of email and of course on the Samaritans main website.

samaritans radar email

N.B.

As an insignificant addendum, I have to include a gif of the checkbox used in the signup process.

It’s sublime.

Four more charity social media campaigns

drinkaware.co.uk – Excuses

Drinkaware encouraged people to share their excuses for drinking too much, on Facebook. This generated some 15,000 posts.

The current Facebook page runs a memory game and a unit calculator.

drinkaware

The Department of Health – Awkward Conversations Project

The DH used vloggers to target 11-16 year olds with messages about smoking, drugs and sex.

The ten videos created were watched almost four million times on YouTube and achieved:

  • 135,707 YouTube likes
  • 7.4% click-through-rate for a pre-roll campaign
  • 19 unprompted video responses (attracting 4,500 views) 

Save Our Sons – Facebook app petiton

Save Our Sons is an Australian charity supporting fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Jacob Lancaster, a sufferer of the disease, was the face of the campaign and a Facebook app allowed people to sign a petition in Jacob’s handwriting, urging the Australian government to do more.

A simple but powerfully emotive use of the platform. More than 32,000 signatures were collected for the petition (from 85,000 visitors who visited the website).

 

Cancer Research UK – #nomakeupselfie

This needs no introduction really, such was the scale of the response to this hashtag that Cancer Research cleverly managed to adopt in order to raise money.

Read more about the campaign.