In this penultimate episode in our series of articles from our Report and Accounts, we hear from Jed, our digital and social media expert.
He talks about the growing requirement for charities to stay up to speed with the ever changing technologies and platforms for social media.
Jed also discusses how we try to stay ahead of the trends when it comes to communicating our critical messages to our supporter base, as well as reaching new audiences to spread our vital message.
Don’t forget, you can catch up with all the episodes in this insightful series by visiting WordForest.org/news.
Social media is a complex and often difficult world to manage, especially as a charity or non-profit organisation. To us, it serves several functions that must all be balanced by the team that creates our content and schedules it to go out on each of our platforms. We currently use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, each of which must be managed in a slightly different way. From the short, punchy 280 characters of Twitter to the visual focus of Instagram, the minutiæ are many but we try to cater for all, however they absorb their media.
Firstly, it acts as a way to keep our wonderful supporters informed on the work we do through articles, updates and links to our various resources such as training courses and videos. It’s our main point of contact with the world beyond our walls and so it is imperative that it remains as active as we are, a true reflection of the sheer amount of work we do. In addition, we can keep the severity of climate chaos on the front lines in the forefront of people’s minds through our reporting.
Secondly, it acts as a form of portfolio. To corporate donors, individuals looking for a charity to support or potential volunteers, social media shows the best version of us to those who want to give. Not only that, it also provides all the links and information necessary for a quick and easy donation process.
Thirdly, it allows us to celebrate specific supporters, without whom we wouldn’t be able to do the things we do. We have many corporate partners and are happy to provide a bit of promotion in return for their help.
We currently operate our social media channels without a marketing budget, which is getting increasingly harder as the platforms push paid promotion more and more. This is mostly due to our commitment to direct as much of our income as possible to direct action on the ground in Kenya (more than 80% this year). However, we are currently conducting research into how paid promotion has helped other charities. If trends show that paid promotion creates a net positive in earnings then it will be something we pursue, albeit trepidatiously.
In conclusion, social media is a fantastic tool to reach a wider audience, but it is not without its challenges. As the algorithms and rules constantly mutate, we will try to move with them and bring you the best news feed we can.