Two organizations which I have discovered that have really impressive social media campaigns are Oxfam Canada and the Canadian Red Cross. Both of these organizations are very active on twitter, You Tube, Facebook and provide lots of information regarding their campaigns on their landing campaigns.
The Canadian Red Cross is particularly effective in terms of tweeting out pictures of their latest aide campaign which over the Christmas holiday was helping those in need affected by the ice storm.
In addition to these images appearing on their tweets, they also appeared on their daily blogs and video versions were posted to youtube with duplications and links on their Facebook page as well at to their main page at: www. redcross.ca.
Oxfam Canada has a very similar strategy in their approach to social media. Their main page consists of an overall look at the goals of their operation as well as links to their various social media platforms including likes for Facebook and the opportunity to follow this organization on Facebook. Their blogs and links are all interconnected including a number of video postings to youtube as well as assessments with news links that can be found on LinkedIn. The landing page for Oxfam, like that of the Red Cross, is very easy to find: http://www.oxfam.ca.
Given how difficult it is for aide organizations to stay front and centre and receive donations while providing information, their social media campaigns are a critical component of fundraising and communicating during disasters. The first big example of this was during the appeal for donations to help immediately after the earthquake in Haiti. Many larger aide organizations, ie. the Red Cross, were set up to allow twitter and facebook followers to donate money directly to their sites. And many news organizations were following these agency twitter accounts to get updates on their developments on the ground. It seems organizations such at the Red Cross and Oxfam discovered early on the importance of a strong social media campaign, and they are continuing to engage and connect to audience members in as many platforms that seem to have a good cross section of viewers that will participate in their activity or at least share with others what these organizations are posting.
By comparison, a relatively large organization that has much more work to do in terms of its social media strategy campaign is the Conservative Party of Canada. Although the federal party has about 27,000 followers on Facebook, very little daily activity exists in terms of updating its followers to what is happening on a federal level on a consistent basis. Here the party should be adding speeches and statements the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers are making in terms of funding announcements or policy statements which the party in turn could use to show how their party in power is working to improve lives of Canadians. (Of course this may be viewed as propaganda but to the party loyal, this will help ensure party loyalty). As well there is very little activity for the party on YouTube. A search on You Tube for the Conservative Party of Canada consists mostly of attacks and again very little that is tied to the party in power or MP’s announcements. There are very few tweets and not a lot that seems to engage a younger audience which is what the party should be trying to engage well before the next federal election. (U.S. President Obama won the social media campaign for his last two presidential elections and he proved that if you can engage a younger audience through social media, you can build a strong base that can be a very difficult movement to contain or stop). I think think the Conservative Party should use its numbers on Facebook and engage its audience with questions or encourage them to check out other platforms (ie YouTube and Facebook), to cross promote itself as well as containing ‘it’s spin”, particurlarly as we get closer to a federal election. If the party does not do this, and other federal parties step into this arena and take the lead, the price of not enough engagement for the conservatives, may be seen on Election Day.