In all our discussions about social media strategies so far, we have often talked about communication in relation to private corporations. However non-profit organizations play an important role in our society as well, giving support and help to vulnerable groups in need. Learning about their commination strategies can help us better understand the organizational challenges they face as a non-profit organization. Thus I decided to explore Singapore Children’s Society’s (SCS) use of social media and hopefully the findings can provide a glimpse into the use of social media and corporate communication strategies by non-profit groups.
Background of Singapore Children Society
Singapore Children’s Society is a voluntary welfare organization interested in protecting and nurturing children regardless of race and religion. With eleven operating service centres across Singapore, its four main services are “Vulnerable Children Services, Children and Youth Services, Family Services, and Research and Advocacy” (Singapore Children’s Society, n.d.).
Before I began the analysis, I came up with 2 research questions of interest:
- How, and for what purposes, has SCS made use of its social media platforms?
- How can SCS better leverage on its social media platforms to promote its cause and attract loyal donors/volunteers?
As part of the social media analysis, I then tracked SCS’s social media activity across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for 2 weeks; and these are the main findings:
- Highest social media reach (6,884 at the time of recording)
- Consistent postings by SCS about their programs and activities
- Highest number of likes belonged to posts that directly reached out to stakeholders, where SCS showed appreciation for donors’ donations to the charity
- Low social media reach (79 followers at time of recording)
- SCS tweeted only twice during the tracking period and content of posts were exactly the same as Facebook
- A search for the term “Singapore Children Society” showed three mentions with two mentions being news of SCS’s successful fund-raising efforts and one being its patron’s (Minister Teo Chee Hean) show of support for SCS’s programs
- Considerable following and reach (272 followers at time of recording)
- 5 posts were recorded during the tracking period, again, with all the exact same content as Facebook and Twitter
- One of its posts regarding its school workshops actually resulted in one school expressing interest in SCS’s workshop
- A search of the hashtag “singaporechildrenssociety” turned up 170 posts with these posts usually being about SCS’s outdoor events like its annual walkathon and other small, stand-alone events
Analysis of Findings
From the above social media findings and a quick comparison to its direct competitor (MCYC Community Services Society), I concluded that SCS has achieved a brand differentiation by amassing a considerable following online. However it has yet to successfully establish long-term relationships with its online followers. This can be achieved if SCS leverages on features and user behaviour of different social media platforms which is needed to target the different stakeholder needs and to drive a more personal and in-depth engagement.
Thus, I came up with an overarching social media strategy for SCS, involving suggestions for all three platforms.
Proposed Strategy – Different platforms, different needs
The main idea behind this strategy is to properly segment SCS’s stakeholders according to the type of social media platform each target group is using and to supplement each platform with different content and communicative strategies.
- Facebook: SCS’s Facebook page is suited for reaching the wider audience and can thus be used to raise awareness of SCS as an organization or further establish its brand identity encapsulated in its core values. Rather than merely posting photographs, SCS can consider posting videos of their beneficiaries taking part in their programs to highlight their core values of being compassionate, committed, and professional.
- Twitter: SCS’s Twitter account would be a good platform to develop long-lasting relationships with followers who have identified strongly with the organizational cause. One way to foster such a relationship with its followers, is to broadcast SCS’s long-term projects on Twitter as it would give followers tangible long-term goals to strive for together.
- Instagram: Instagram is a good platform to engage followers for short-term campaigns and projects. Such programs usually include SCS’s walkathons, workshops, and concerts. Instead of using stock images for the promotion of their events and programs, SCS should use photographs which would be visually more appealing and also allow future clients have a visual connection to their work.
In answering the two initial research questions set out, I have hopefully provided further insight into the communication strategies of non-profit organizations that have until now, been overlooked. I strongly believe there is a need for non-profit organizations to market themselves and achieve sustainability because succeeding in establishing loyal stakeholders is the best way such organizations can help those most in need in our society.
Thanks for reading!