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-)
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!
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.
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-)
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.
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.
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+)
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.
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? 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)
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!