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5 Things charities should be saying on social media

21 June 2012

Running social media feeds for charities ain't easy. Each morning, you sit down at your desk, wait for the coffee to kick in, and rack your brain for witty, inspiring and engaging content. Tweets and posts that will keep your followers and fans coming back for more.

Here's what you should cover for starters:

1. Your website content

Your website is probably a veritable treasure chest of content. How-to guides, resources for service users, useful links… all just sitting there, gathering digital dust. Just because you know about them, doesn't mean your followers do! Push them out there.

2. What you believe

Dig deeper than what's happening – tell us why you do it. What gets everyone into work in the morning? What does your charity believe at its very core?

"All children have the right to a happy childhood – we have a responsibility to provide it."

"Nobody should die from a lack of clean water."

Find ways of declaring your beliefs. Make your supporters feel they've nailed their colours to the right mast, and they'll spread your message for you.

3. Little nuggets

People probably follow your charity because they need the support you give. Can you compress your advice into 140 character nuggets? It could feel like the basics to you, but if you can do it, you'll be achieving your mission one tweet at a time, creating hugely shareable content for your supporters.

4. Links to great stories

With hundreds of thousands of charities out there, it's important that you're seen as the expert in your field, the shining light that all others look to. Set up Google Alerts to search for terms relevant to your cause (e.g. "children's rights", "animal welfare uk") and have them automatically emailed to you. Then share the best of these with your followers.


I've always found that content that leads with a quote from a real person gets more attention than a mere descriptive headline. Take the most attention grabbing quote in the story you're linking to, and send it out with a link. Your followers will instantly feel a human connection with the person whose words they read, and want to read more of their story.

Don't forget handy tools like Buffer that allow you to focus all this creativity without overloading your supporters.

Matt Collins

managing director, Platypus Digital

Matt is a digital marketer who helps charities use digital channels to raise more money and reach more people. He spent 10 years working for charities large and small, trained with General Assembly and delivers campaigns and training for charities who want to use digital better.