Tag Archives: social media

Social Media Audit: Oxfam Australia

I’m not sure if I’ve announced it via my blog or not, but I’ve decided to move back to Australia. After 10+ years of living abroad it’s time for me to return to the motherland.

I’ve spent the past few weeks researching and applying for digital marketing positions in Australia. I’ve always kept an eye on the non-profit scene in Australia, so I knew from the get go that there would be plenty of job opportunities for me at one. Luckily for me, one of the non-profits that I am most interested in, Oxfam Australia, is currently hiring for a social media position. As a part of my research for the job application I conducted a mini social media audit to get a better idea of their online presence. I find it’s always best to walk into a job interview with an extensive knowledge of the clients business and their needs.

Here are my findings.

Website (Grade: A-)

Oxfam Australia Website

Current footer of Oxfam Australia

Overview: I’m a firm believer that social media links should be in the top right hand corner of every website. As a customer, that’s the first place that I look. Oxfam currently has their social media links in the footer of their website. It’s important that Oxfam Australia takes steps to leverage the power of social media on their website. There are several thousand articles on the internet that detail the importance of social media integration, but I’ll leave that decision up to the digital team at Oxfam. I will say that the Oxfam Australia website is a lot cleaner than the Oxfam International website, so kudos to the web development team for keeping it simple. There’s nothing worse than a website with too much going on!

Oxfam Australia Blog Screenshot

“Social Share” buttons on Oxfam blogs

Content: The content on their website is fresh and up-to-date, although I imagine an international brand like Oxfam doesn’t have much trouble with their SEO efforts. There are blogs posted every second day, but there are no social share buttons on the posts. There is a hyperlink that says “tweet” which just shares the link (no text, title, or twitter handle) to Twitter. They do, however, have Disqus installed, which is a great platform for engagement.

Oxfam Australia Petition Screenshot

Current “sharing” option on Oxfam Petition

Twitter Petition Screenshot

Example of “I just signed a petition” tweets

Suggestions: I would change the location of the social sharing buttons to the top of the website, and if possible add floating social sharing links. This would help promote the sharing of their website and help with their SEO. I would also add social sharing links to all the blog posts (this is just a simple WordPress plugin) to increase the user experience, help with brand exposure, and is honestly just “best practice” at this point. Something else that might be cool is a “Share This” link after signing an Oxfam petition.
This could be an option to share a message to either Facebook or Twitter that says, “I just signed XXX petition on @OxfamAus to XXX the XXX. Join me in the fight http://xyz.com #OXFAM.” This is a great way to tap into peoples innate desire to make a difference (and to tell everyone that they’re doing it!), but also an easy and organic way to spread the news of Oxfam’s latest petitions.

Facebook (Grade: A-)

Screenshot of Oxfam Australia Facebook

Overview: The first thing I noticed is that the Oxfam Australia Facebook page is not verified. I know from previous research that the America and Great Britain pages are. The second thing I noticed is that it’s “OxfamAustralia” (one word) vs “Oxfam Australia.” Not sure if that’s a conscious decision or not, but it’s peculiar. All I have to say about that is that consistency across all platforms is really important. The cover photo that’s currently selected is brilliant – Oxfam puts a high focus on people and the international community. The current cover photo really reflects that. It’s also high quality, properly cropped, and has the logo in the bottom right hand corner. I would say that the logo should be a little bit higher as it’s currently blocked by the interaction buttons. I will say that the Oxfam Australia Facebook page is doing a fantastic job at curating (and creating) engaging images. The images that they use on their page are definitely powerful and engaging, and always relevant to their messaging.

Content: The first thing to note is that the page is updated daily and regularly with high-quality pictures, links, and videos. The posts attract a decent amount of likes, comments, and shares which the current social media team is doing a good job responding to. It is clear that the Oxfam Australia team sees value in engaging with its Facebook audience. However, the “About” section of Oxfam Australia could do with some work. In terms of brand consistency, the ‘short description’ is not consistent with Oxfam GB or Oxfam USA. The overview, location, and products sections are filled out properly. I would suggest adding life events, like the British and American Oxfam pages have done, as well as possibly adding some “house rules” (the British page does this) about deleting comments and/or banning users. The Facebook content being used is a good mix between links, photos, and videos. That’s always good practice! I would, however, suggest uploading more videos directly to Facebook, especially since they auto-play in the mobile feed, and test how the audience engages with them. This shouldn’t be an issue since Oxfam Australia has a large library of high quality videos on their YouTube channel.

Screenshot of Oxfam GB post

Oxfam GB puts a positive spin on their Facebook posts

I do fear that the Oxfam Australia page posts too many “negative” things, and should try and mix in a few more achievements. The Oxfam GB page does a really good job of this (see right), and you can see that is pays off in social shares/likes. Oxfam deals with some very heavy material (poverty, income inequality, land grabs, etc), which makes it difficult to decide what content to share on Facebook. It’s important to know and understand your audience, and to remember that Facebook is a platform that people visit to take their minds off things. In that sense, it might make more sense for Oxfam Australia to start focusing more on their successes as an organisation vs. their challenges. It might be time to start experimenting with a “80-20” rule, where only 20% of the content is “heavy stuff” and the other 80% focuses on Oxfam’s success and thanking its donors. Again, it’s really important that you listen to your audience and adjust your content according to what’s working and what isn’t. Hubspot wrote a fantastic article on how non-profits can use Facebook to drive engagement, and it talks about understanding your audience. In the case of Oxfam Australia, their most successful Facebook posts have been positive news, thanking their audience, or success stories. While I fully understand both the significance and importance of Oxfam’s efforts, there is no harm in experimenting with different content and giving your audience what it wants. It’s about re-working your content and making it “social” friendly. For example, the Charity: Water Facebook page is filled with pictures of how their organisation has positively effected people. Their posts receive consistently high engagement and they well-known for having a successful social media strategy.

Oxfam Community Manager Facebook Response

Oxfam Australia responds to negative feedback

Suggestions: Apart from the suggestions that are outlined in the content section, I would say that Oxfam Australia should start experimenting more with promoted posts. Recently, Facebook made a change to the newsfeed algorithm which resulted in a significant decrease in the organic reach of company’s posts. One of the best ways to get back onto your fans timelines is to boost Facebook posts. Also, I would be more careful with responses to Facebook fans.  It’s very common to receive negative feedback on Facebook, and it’s very important that a community manager handles these comments with grace. It’s also important that negative feedback be handled diplomatically. I’m not sure that the response (pictured to the right) was the correct way to respond. Unless, of course, this is the correct response outlined in their social media strategy. To me, this response doesn’t seem consistent with the voice and personality that Oxfam Australia has displayed across it’s other platforms. It’s important to adopt a voice that is consistent with your brand values, and although this response is consistent I’m not sure that the tone is.

Twitter (Grade: B+)

Oxfam Australia Twitter Account

Overview: The first thing I noticed is that Oxfam Australia has a space between the words (unlike their Facebook). I cannot stress the importance of consistency enough. This is definitely something that the social media team should look into. Again, the cover photo is brilliant and reflects the voice and personality of Oxfam. Oxfam International has always placed a high importance of people, and this cover photo shows just that. I’m immediately pleased to see that the Oxfam Twitter account is posting different content than the Facebook page. It’s really important to understand that there are different audiences (and therefore different needs) on each social media platform. Again, Oxfam International and America are verified but Australia is not.

Oxfam International Twitter Screenshot

Oxfam International shares Huffington Post article

Content: Oxfam Australia actively tweets, and retweets, relevant articles. Occasionally they interact with the other Oxfam groups (in both a serious and comical manner) and respond to @mentions. You can tell that they’ve started to experiment more with pictures (huge plus!) and that they have a grasp of basic Twitter etiquette. Right now, @OxfamAustralia tweets about 4 times a day and it’s mostly just Oxfam Australia content. It might be useful to start tweeting content from other reputable sources (like Oxfam International does). It’s generally considered “best practice” to follow the 80/20 rule. That is that 80% of your social media activity should be about helping your community, and 20% should be about promoting yourself.

Suggestions: I would definitely suggest that Oxfam Australia invest in Twitter scheduling software. I can tell that @OxfamAmerica is using Hootsuite to schedule their posts and that (via Twitonomy) @Oxfam is using a mix of Hootsuite and Sprout Social. According to Twitonomy, @OxfamAustralia is tweeting from the Hootsuite account but that’s not always obvious. Second, I would suggest that @OxfamAustralia define their purpose for being on Twitter. Is it to promote their cause? To engage with their audience and in conversation? Or something else? Tweets mentioning @OxfamAustralia Third, I would suggest that @OxfamAustralia start to “listen” on Twitter. Listening is one of the most important things your brand can do on social media. You can tell almost instantly that @OxfamAustralia isn’t actively engaging with their community because of their low favourite count and out-going @mentions. This is such a missed opportunity! There is some fantastic conversation surrounding @OxfamAustralia on Twitter, and it would be to their advantage to join in. Plus, listening and participating in relevant conversations is definitely “best practice” on Twitter. Fourth, and this is just something really minor, I would interact more with the other @Oxfam Twitter accounts. The international @Oxfam account does a brilliant job at this. It just makes Oxfam seem like more of a family, and makes it obvious that you’re listening and participating in conversations.

YouTube (Grade: A)

Oxfam Australia YouTube

Overview: The first thing to note is that the general appearance of their YouTube page is up to date. All of their platforms are properly linked, the banner picture is high quality and relevant, and description is properly filled out. Oxfam Australia is killing it with their banners! They’re always of faces, laughing and/or smiling, and really exemplify the company’s strategy to “mobilise the power of people against poverty.”

Content: The account is updated with videos almost bi-weekly (anywhere between 5-9 videos monthly) and are all of high quality. The descriptions are filled out properly, but there is little interaction. Although they only have 580 subscribers (as of July 17th) their videos often reach thousands of people. Of particular interest to me was a video about Working at Oxfam Australia. Videos are consistent with their branding. In 2011, Oxfam announced an international re-brand. The goal was to create a single global brand identity across its 14 affiliates to create a consistent brand personality and strengthen campaigning. There’s a high focus on children,

Suggestions: They’re currently utilising playlists to sort their videos, which is great, but don’t have any featured channels listed. This would be a great opportunity for them to link to other Oxfam locations, which would help highlight their global efforts. Adding clickable links to their videos might help to drive some traffic back to their website (or other social platforms) as well.  They have a lot of great content on their YouTube channel, but I feel like they aren’t promoting it enough! Oxfam Australia should definitely start sharing these videos on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.


All in all, I think that the current community manager at Oxfam Australia is doing a decent job. Being a community manager is a tough gig – representing a brand and being a part of an online community 24/7 is hard. All they need to do now is make a few (minor) adjustments to their social media strategy, and they’ll be on their way.

Oh, and they could hire me too.

P.S. The Facebook post about the Community Manager position is hilarious. Bravo!

Oxfam Australia post about community manager position.

Oxfam Australia post about community manager position.


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#GivingTuesday Essentials: Thunderclap.it

Have you ever posted a funny and informative tweet that you thought deserved more attention? As a marketer, there’s nothing more frustrating than creating great content but nobody seeing it. Thunderclap aims to change that.

Screenshot of Thunderclap.it website

Screenshot of Thunderclap.it website

I’m sorry… Thunder what?

Thunderclap.it is a new crowd-sourcing website that lets supporters of a cause pledge to share a message at a certain time, thereby boosting the audience of the message by substantially. Users can opt to share the predetermined message on their personal Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr accounts.  It’s been described as an “online flash mob” as it allows you to reach users that you wouldn’t usually be able to. It’s important to note that when you sign up to use Thunderclap, you’re authorising the app to share a single message on your behalf. After the campaign is over, Thunderclap promises that they won’t post again from your account.

Thunderclap is open to use for non profits, government agencies, individuals, and anything in between. The British Labour Party has already taken advantage of it, and reported that thanks to Thunderclap their message reached the feed of 4.5 million people. And they’re not the only ones taking advantage of this awesome new tool.

How do I use Thunderclap.it?

Set up Thunderclap CampaignIn order to create a Thunderclap account you need a Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account to connect it with. When you log in, you’ll be directed to a dashboard that will give you an overview of your scheduled Thunderclaps. To start a new Thunderclap go to the top right hand corner of the screen and click “Start a new Thunderclap.” That will direct you to the next screen where you’ll be able to fill out a name, category, message, and photo. The “message” is what your followers are going to tweet out, so I would suggest using a few hashtags and keeping it short incase anyone wants to add a message before the tweet. You can see what your message looks like in the top right hand corner (red circle) and personalise it to make sure it looks just right.

Thunderclap.it Set Up

You also might want to personalise the picture you use, the way that #AIDSFreeGen did on their Thunderclap.it profile, and share the same picture across multiple social media platforms to add some consistency to your campaign. To get an idea of what sort of message you should use, take a look at some of these successful campaigns that are running right now:

Campaigns are typically authorised between 1-3 days, the entire website is free (unless you want to use Thunderclap.it Pro for $500 per campaign) and it’s really easy to use. If you haven’t already set up a campaign for #GivingTuesday, I would highly suggest doing so.

Update Your Cause

Taken from Thunderclap.it blog

Another really cool part of Thunderclap is the option to create updates for your followers. You can do in the “Project Update” tab under the “My Thunderclaps” section of your admin page. Supporters love staying up to date and to see how they’re making a difference in your campaign, every before it’s over. Also, saying “thank you” never hurt anyone! Thank your supporters for their support up until this point, or thank them after the campaign is over.

How do I market Thunderclap?

You’re in luck: Thunderclap.it has a guide on how to promote and run a successful Thunderclap campaign. The guide includes how to optimise your campaign, marketing templates, and much more. Here’s a quick summary of the guide:

  • Keep your message short and sweet (I support meaningful volunteer experiences #teamunitedplanet)
  • Set a deadline of 2-3 weeks.
  • Thunderclap suggest promoting through email, embedded website, twitter, Facebook, tumblr, and youtube.
    • Make sure to have a clear call to action and to specify that you want them to join through Thunderclap (not just “like” your Facebook status)
  • Use “Updates” to rally support for your campaign and/or to update supporters on your campaign’s progress.

If I had some suggestions it would be to advertise on Pinterest, possibly have a countdown going on your Instagram, and to blog about what Thunderclap is so that your supporters know what’s going on. I know the Thunderclap guide mentioned that in your email marketing you should include a brief paragraph about what the website is, but I would personally link to a blog post that goes into detail about the site. It generally makes people uncomfortable to “link” their personal accounts to outside sources, and the idea of a new website posting on “their behalf” is a bit scary. I’m always terrified that a service is going to take advantage of my Twitter account and post crazy spam messages!


Honestly, I think this is a fantastic idea. I’m not surprised at how many companies have already sign on to this, but I am surprised that I’ve yet to see a Thunderclap message on my Twitter feed. The United Nations Beyonce campaign reached 1 billion people and yet I don’t remember seeing anything about it. But maybe I’m just getting old and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be!

It’s simple, and I think it’s largely symbolic of the what the modern political activist is turning into. This is a “lazy” but powerful way to spread a message. All I have to do is sign up, authorise my accounts, and Thunderclap does the rest. It makes me feel like I’ve contributed to something, and it gives your campaign the coverage that it needs. What more could I want?

More Articles on Thunderclap

Read more about Thunderclap:

Remember to follow me on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on my efforts.

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go: How to use Pinterest’s new Place Pins


If MTV ever filmed a “True Life” segment about being addicted to Pinterest, I would be the perfect candidate. I’m seriously addicted. I use it to find DIY projects, recipes, outfits, and look at adorable kittens. I’m obsessed and I’m not the only one. Pinterest is the fastest-growing social network available with 53 million monthly users — and, according to this Hubspot article, has more clout when it comes to ecommerce than both Facebook and Twitter combined.

Pinterest, really?

Pinterest should be an integral part of your marketing plan. According to studies done by Hubspot, Pinterest drives 25% more sales than last year. Oh, and also, Bing (the search engine) recently announced that it will integrate Pins into Image Searches. So not only are there millions of people using the site, but it can help you create leads and customers. For more information on how to set up and use Pinterest for your non profit, check out my “Pin the Change” page.

Pinterest Place Pins? What are those?

Pinterest Places

It’s the brand spankin’ new location based feature that turns your Pinterest boards into a map. It basically allows users to give their pins locations and plot them on a map. It’s kind of like Instagram’s photo map. But why? Why would Pinterest do this? According to the announcement they made on their blog, “every day people pin about 1.5 million places, and now there are more than 750 million pins of these destinations on Pinterest.” Basically, a whole lot of people use Pinterest to share things that are travel related. If you’re still a little bit confused about what it is, Pinterest has created a page of examples to help. It seems like a really cool feature but there are a few problems.

First and foremost, they’re using Foursquare integration (vs Google Maps). This means that adding a location can be a bit of a struggle because not all venues exist on Foursquare. If you find that a location you need to use doesn’t exist, visit this Foursquare link to add a venue.  Second, it doesn’t work properly. There are still lots of glitches with the program that should have been sorted out prior to going public with it. Third, I really don’t like that you can’t toggle between map-view and the standard Pinterest view. So if you add locations to your Pinterest board, it will permanently change to look like this. 

How do I make a Pinterest place board?

Add a Place

When you log into Pinterest you’ll probably see an announcement about Pinterest Places on the top of your page. You can click through the “how-to” guide there, where Pinterest will walk you through how to set up maps, or you can just select “add a map” when you create a new board. If you want to add locations to an existing board, go to the settings and click “add a place.” It’s all a bit confusing right now because, like I said, Pinterest is bugging a bit and facing lots of technical difficulties. If you want to see some examples of companies that are already taking advantage of the new tool, and doing so without technical difficulties, check out Fodors and the University of Michigan.

I should note that a lot of people are having trouble with adding maps to existing boards. It seems the features are still a bit buggy but Pinterest reps claim they are “working on it.” If you’re having technical difficulties I would suggest submitting a complaint to Pinterest and letting them know. It’s a cool feature, or at least it will be when it works.

How can my non profit use Pinterest Places?

Luckily enough, I was able to create a board for United Planet that you can see here. As I’ve mentioned before, United Planet sends volunteers to locations all over the world. That means that Pinterest Places is going to be a really great tool for us to use with our Pinterest marketing. Recently I added locations to our pins to show people where you volunteer with us! I’ll also start adding locations to any other relevant boards. That’s what’s going to be key about Pinterest Places: relevancy. Don’t add Places to boards that don’t need them! Here are some ideas for your non profit:

  1. Create a Pinterest Places board to show where you currently have projects like United Planet did. This will help people discover projects that are close to them!
  2. If you sell products with your logo on them, create a board similar to Charity:Water’s and add locations to your pins.
  3. Create a board that shows where you’re volunteers are working, like Amnesty International, and add locations to make it more visual.
  4. If you have a collection of photographs that your company has published, like UNICEF, try adding locations to make your boards more interactive.
  5. The World Wildlife Fund could add locations to their “WWF together” board to show us where endangered animals are located.

Other Links

To see how other non profits are using Pinterest, check out this “group” Pinterest board filled with international non profits. If you’d like to read what other people are saying about Pinterest Places here are a few more links:

P.S. Pinterest also launched a “now-trending” tool for select businesses (Zappos and Walmart) this week. It will show users what products are getting the most love from Pinterest. I suspect this will become a powerful sales tool for e-commerce sites this season!

Remember to follow me on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on my efforts.

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Why Vine Is Great for Your Nonprofit


As someone who is actively involved in promoting a non profit on social media, I try to make sure that I stay “in the loop” on social media trends. Recently, smartphone apps that take short snippets of video – like Twitter’s Vine and Instagram’s Video have been soaring in popularity. Did you know that five tweets per second contain a Vine link? If that isn’t reason enough for your company to have an active account on the app then I don’t know what is. There are small difference between the two apps – Vine, for instance, only allows 6-second videos while Instagram allows 10 – but they both basically do the same thing. I’m going to focus on Vine, because it’s my personal favourite, and also because I’ve already covered how to use Instagram for your non profit.


How to use Vine

Vine, the Twitter owned video app, allows a user to record and create six-second videos that loop like a gif. Vine recently added features where users can now edit videos and save multiple drafts, allowing you to piece together the “perfect Vine.” You can now save up to 10 vine drafts at a time, and you can also go back and delete or replace any shot that you deem unworthy. You’re still not able to import video from your camera roll, which you can do on Instagram video, but apparently the company is taking steps to make the recording process easier.

At first, Vine was used for friends to share short snippets of their days with each other. Then, comedians caught onto the trend and began creating six second movie-like videos (most of which went viral). I think it was around this time that Vine added in the ability to “revine” people – which is basically the same thing as retweeting. Now we’re seeing Vine being dominated by a core 12 vine users who claim to be “vine famous.” What’s important about Vine is that these kids aren’t A-List celebrities like you’d find on Twitter or Facebook – they’re just “vine famous”.


Naturally, the growth in popularity of Vine has drawn several businesses’ attention. What we’re seeing now is businesses, both national and international, reaching out to the popular Viners (i.e Brittany Furlan, Josh Peck, Nash Grier, KingBach, etc) and paying them to either endorse their products or for the rights to their clips. According to this article, Viral Spiral (a London company that connects international brands and production companies with viral content) has been actively pursuing Nash Grier, one of the more famous viners, for quite some time. We’re also seeing a lot of famous Viners being given access to companies Vine accounts, “hacking” the account, and giving some sort of quirky endorsement.

So why does any of this matter to you? Well, as you may or may not know, the “tween” population represents an extremely powerful and valuable demographic to marketers and to non profits trying to engage millennials. Oh, and Vine just hit 40 million users. So that’s a pretty big market to tap into.

So how can your non profit take advantage of Vine? Try some of these suggestions:

  • Get an endorsement. Six seconds is more than enough time for someone (either a celebrity or one of the popular Viners mentioned above) to endorse your company or your cause. (Red) reached out to David Guetta and received an endorsement from him on Vine and it did wonders for their marketing campaign.
  • Create hype! I think it was Rolling Stone that covered their magazine in post its and created a stop-motion video where they took off one post it at a time to reveal who was on their cover. It was fantastic. Do you have an up coming event? Maybe a product that you’re releasing soon? Use Vine to create suspense and/or hype for the product.
  • Use Hashtags. When uploading your video, be sure to hashtag keywords to reach and engage with a larger audience. This will also help connect you to people with similar interests to yours. For instance, here’s a webpage displaying vines that have been hashtagged “non profit.” If you’re thinking about creating a campaign of some sort, make sure to create a unified hashtag to track people participating in your campaign.
  • Promote Your Account across your other social media channels. Make sure to share your Vines to your Twitter account! This will help bring some of your followers over to your new account. Plus, Vine is meant for sharing!
  • Make use of stop-motion for cool effects. Target, Oreo, and Samsung are all guilty of doing this. It’s one of the biggest Vine trends right now and it’s really easy to do. If you need some guidance on how to make a Vine stop motion video, check out this article.

If you need some inspiration, check out this Mashable article on “15 Brands that are Kicking Butt on Vine.”

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My Qualifications

So you’ve stumbled across my social media blog and you’re thinking to yourself, “Well this is all fine and dandy but what qualifies this girl to give me advise on social media marketing for non profits?”

Fair enough.

You know very little about me, unless you’ve done the preliminary “Google” search and you’ve discovered that I am an avid social media user, so why should you listen to me? Well, for starters, I’m currently the social media coordinator at a small non-profit in Boston. I think that should give me a little street cred, no? I also worked for a non-profit consultant who had a client based in Peru a while back and helped them establish an online presence. Not only do I have actual experience working with non profits and social media, but I also consider myself pretty well read on the subject.

But most importantly it’s what I’m passionate about. I’m an International Relations major at Boston University, but I fell in love with social media when I moved to Boston. I obsessively check my Twitter feed and I post the best throw back thursdays. I love everything about this new form of marketing and I am so excited to explore how non profits can take full advantage of it.

So, hopefully I’ve convinced you that I’m a some what reliable source. I’m no Hubspot, but some day I will be.

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