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Published August 5th 2013

How Social Media Intelligence is Adding Value in the Third Sector

There is little reason why non-profit organizations should look at online research differently to brands whose primary goal is making money. No matter how noble the cause, charities have a challenging message to convey and can use social media platforms as a valuable means to communicate their cause.

But social media allows for much more than inspiring donations. Charities, often with limited resources and tight budgets, are also using social platforms to grow their volunteer bases, raise awareness, drive behaviour around key issues, attract new donors and promote current events and campaigns.

You can read how 3 non-profits did some really clever things using social media to connect with supporters and donors. You can also watch the RSPCA talk about how social media is affecting charities and how they use Brandwatch to help.


When it comes to communication strategies, many non-profits tend to rely on community fundraising, static websites, mailings and printed newsletters.

However, the explosive growth of social media monitoring tools offers a cost-effective, interactive way for these non-profits to build strong communities.

A great example of a company who took it to the next level is global non-profit World Vision, which we’re very pleased to announce that we’re now working with.

The international aid & children’s charity, which focuses on combating the global issues of poverty and injustice, recently switched platforms to perform its own social analysis.

Its leaders plan to use SMM to develop competitive benchmarks in the areas of catalog purchases, donations and brand awareness by region.

Loren Skaggs, Internet Marketing Director for World Vision said:

“Their platform will help us better track the success of our campaigns, allowing us to be more efficient with our resources while raising more money to help children in need.”

Monitoring other not-for-profit bodies is essential to get a greater insight into a brand’s own data and messages that have proved successful elsewhere.

The results will help World Vision optimize strategies across its numerous departments as it continues to expand in more than 100 countries.

World Vision

As with any outreach tool, it is increasingly important that social media strategies are supported by solid, real time data.

Listening to conversations as they happen, on all platforms, allows for a more tailored and strategic approach to engagement.

If there’s one non-profit example where engagement on social media cannot be ignored, it’s humanitarian emergencies, the core business of the American Red Cross.

This is especially the case during natural disasters, when mobile networks are overloaded and many people search for help and information through networks like Facebook and Twitter.

With social media monitoring, companies can be email alerted to emerging issues and trends.

When the 2010 earthquake erupted in Haiti, the Red Cross call for aid was retweeted 2.3 million times.

In less than 48 hours, the campaign raised more than $35m in donations of which 42% came from people under age 34.

Tracking online visibility and trends more longitudinally is also valuable, as it gives greater detail on the type of content that resonates more with potential donors.

It helps them understand their audience; not every donor appeals to the same charity, and vice versa.

Social media monitoring platforms can aid the study of the networks and sites on which a charity’s voice is most meaningful, its brand ambassadors and critics, and the varying needs across certain demographics, as well as the overall tone of conversation about the brand.

Red Cross Dashboard
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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.