Building an Audience vs Engaging with Consumer Brands: What’s the difference?

If you are a charity, social enterprise, arts project, club or society, then chances are that you’ll be using social media to engage and grow your audience.

But are the conversations that you are having different to those of how consumer brands are engaging with this their fans? Do you need to approach the method of seeding the conversations differently or should you be using different tools?

Social Media for Charities / Clubs / Societies -> The Difference

The main difference between consumer brands and charities, is that people are engaged with the cause of the charity on an emotive level. They are passionate about the difference within the community / society that the charity / club / society can make.

Social media is about connecting people through using technology. So using social media is a powerful means to reaching out and connecting with people. It is more real time than direct mail or other fund raising and awareness building activities.

Sharing a story
The main difference is about the sharing aspect, as this is what as humans relate to and connect with. People can understand the cause of a charity by reading a story. Or relate to a local arts project by reading the inspiration of the artist.

Compared to consumer brands, societies / charities have loads of stories of a different kind. As they are personal stories about why people share the vision of the cause, that’s a dimension that consumer brands do not have on the whole, but try to emulate. That emotional connection will drive the conversations online.

Listening to your audience
There will be key infuencers in your audience and your role is being a conduit to sharing that story with other people who have a similar connection with your cause. As a charity / club / social enterprise your role is as a moderator, facilitating information and knowledge within the network.

Understanding the intentions of the campaign
As a charity / local arts project / social enterprise, the first step to launching the campaign is to understand the intentions. Is it about growing awareness, fund raising, getting people to an event? The strategy and communication of a campaign will vary according to the intentions.

Fractured Websites – taking content to where your audiences are

Imagine shattering your website and taking the splinters of content to the social networks where your audiences are. Put the relevant splinter of content on the relevant networks. A good example is Tate Modern who have collaborate with Google Maps. They have integrated the most iconic paintings into Google Maps.

Getting started on a social media campaign for charities / clubs / projects

  • Who are our target audiences to achieve our intentions?
  • Where are those audiences online – which platforms are they using?
  • Do those platforms/ tools fit with the kind of content you have / can create?
  • How could you use the fractured website philosophy to attract new audiences?
  • What collaboration could you do to amplify the effect of the social networks?
  • How do you sustain the campaign once you’re started

Top tips for starting

  • Start small but think big.
  • Priortise 1 or 2 platforms and master the art of engagement before expanding
  • Collaborate with complementary organisations to share best practice

As a charity or social enterprise – how have you gone about building an audience?

One thought on “Building an Audience vs Engaging with Consumer Brands: What’s the difference?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

You can use either the email address or phone numbers to the left.