Dementia refers to a condition in which a person’s brain function deteriorates resulting in the loss of memory and ability to pass judgment. Apart from the previously mentioned consequences, other tasks that could be impaired by the occurrence of dementia include the ability to focus and pay attention, Visual perception and Communication & language. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s which as it advances it can interfere with a person’s daily life. The other common type of dementia is vascular dementia which occurs after a stroke.
Dementia UK is a charitable organization that seeks to help individuals with dementia as well as their families to get the necessary help to manage the disease. They provide trained admiral nurses who offer specialized practical and emotional support to individuals directly or indirectly affected by the disease. Obviously, charities like these are run predominantly from donations from the general public and to keep the donations coming in, charities need to raise awareness.
How Social Media Complements Charities
Over the years, dementia, as well as other conditions, have been gradually increasing as a result of changes in human lifestyle and biology. Charities such as Dementia UK and many more have placed themselves at the front line of tackling such issue by creating awareness as well as educating individuals about how to manage the diseases. The evolution of social media has made it easier for charities to teach and share experiences through photos, videos, and conversations. Where charities previously used traditional direct marketing to reach potential consumers and donors, social media has resulted in a shift where the various platforms are used to broadcast as well as engage with the charity’s potential consumer.
- Social media has enabled charities to get people involved. Through social media, charities can create content that inspires and encourages others thus prompting them to share their personal experiences or be part of the initiatives that they are currently working on. An excellent example of charities getting individuals involved would be Dementia UK’s hashtag #doitfordementianurses which was based on the 2019 London marathon and encouraged individuals to participate in marathons that the organization had organized in an effort to raise funds for nurses working with patients who have dementia. By encouraging users to participate and post their user-generated content from the marathons, Dementia UK can create awareness as it has an even wider reach.
- Build conversation and showcase their work. Thanks to social media, the audience that charities can reach has drastically increased. Social media users are highly active on the various platforms and charities can use these platforms to capitalize their reach to a highly engaged audience that is likely to consume their content more easily. Charities can showcase their work and tell compelling stories to consumers and donors. This demonstrates the legitimacy of the charity as well as engage with users on an emotional level.
- Educating and sharing knowledge. Social media makes for a great platform through which charities can create awareness by teaching and sharing knowledge on the cause they are involved in. Dementia, mental health, and sex education are but a few of the things that charities are sharing knowledge on and educating individuals on how to deal with the issues and manage them. Coppa Feel is an excellent example of a charity that uses pop culture references on social media to educate women on breast cancer and continuously remind them to check their breasts. They also involve influencers and celebrities as advocates and agents of change as a means of driving engagement.
- Demonstrate results and keep the audiences informed. Most charities rely on funding from donors to achieve some of their long and short-term goals. Social media demonstrates the results of the activities the charities are involved in, and donors can see where and how money is spent. Social media keeps the masses informed on the happenings within the charity and shows what they were able to achieve with the available funds and this can be used to spur people into action/ donations. Online fundraising is a fast-growing phenomenon because social media has broken down a lot of the boundaries that previously existed. Today, anyone from around the world can support a charity’s cause if they find it to be relatable.
Creating Effective Social Media Campaigns
Social media is an efficient and effective platform to share stories, and the same goes for charities. However, without a good social media strategy, the efforts a charity puts into social media can be pointless and the results gravely disappointing. For a charity to create an effective social campaign that builds on the awareness creation efforts and engages with users emotionally, they need to
- Ideate and outline its goals: by identifying what the social media strategy seeks to achieve, a charity can define the key performance indexes that will be used to measure the success of the campaign. So regardless of whether a charity seeks to recruit volunteers, share brand stories, engage communities or boost donations, they can tell if they are on the right path to achieving their goal. Great ways of measuring how relatable a charity’s content is, is to review the engagement via comments, direct messages or even hashtags which show the virality of the posts.
- Define the target audience that the content has been created for. As opposed to directing the message to everyone on social media, identifying and defining the desired audience who can relate with the content. Creating user personas helps to tailor the message/ post to a specific group of people on social media thus boosting engagement.
- Formulating an actionable plan is the final step through which charities can share their stories and reach individuals who are willing to support their cause.
The growth/ development of any charitable organization is primarily pegged on awareness. How well do people know the organization and do they understand the organization’s purpose. Social media is just but one of the ways through which a charity can build its awareness and get noticed. Leveraging social media has time and again proved to be an effective way for both for-profit and non-profit business to connect and engage with their desired audiences and cultivate a supportive following.