Go Viral! 12 Tips That Get Your Social Media Charity Campaign Get Noticed

social media charity campaign

Every non profit wants to have a successful social media charity campaign.

A campaign that goes viral, places your content (and cause) in front of thousands of people — catapulting your ability to promote your organization and the cause.

Successful viral campaigns take careful planning, research and execution. This explains why some social media campaigns go viral while others don’t.

Want to go viral? Let’s take a look at 12 things that you can do to give your social media charity campaigns the best chance of going viral.


1. Understand Your Audience

For most people, going viral is about getting your message out to as many people as possible regardless of who they are. For a non profit, this is pointless because you don’t just want people to see your campaign, you want them to take an appropriate action.

A successful social media campaign is one that reaches the right people and convinces them to take the necessary course of action (e.g. donate). Before creating a your social media charity campaign, know who your audience is and what you want them to do. This could mean getting donors, volunteers, partners or even finding those in need of your assistance.

Understanding your audience will help you know how to best design your campaign, the appropriate content and the most suitable social media platform to use for delivery.

WWF created a campaign on Snapchat targeting their global audience. WWF chose Snapchat  because they felt was the best way to reach its audience all over the world.

The campaign dubbed The Last Selfie aimed at bringing awareness to the animal populations at risk of going extinct around the world. By using Snapchat WWF awakened the fact that endangered species are disappearing around the world just as selfies disappear from Snapchat in 10 seconds. Pretty cool don’t you think?

social media charity campaign

2. Plan Your Message

Once you understand who your target audience is and what you want them to do, you have to plan the messages you are going to use in your social media charity campaign.

Ensure that your message is simple, clear and well thought out. Come up with the exact text that will be used for your video, infographic, poster, image or whatever medium that you’ll use to carry your message. This allows you to see whether your ultimate message will be received clearly by your audience.

3. Connect with Your Audience Emotionally

Most viral content on social media spreads fast because it has an emotional connection with the online community.

When creating your online campaign, develop a message that elicits strong emotions from your audience as they influence behavior and make people take action.

Integrate emotions such as joy, surprise, sadness, anticipation or anger in an appropriate manner and watch your social media charity campaign go viral.

4. Use Eye Catching Visuals

Text that is complimented by visual content is more likely to be shared than just text. A recent study by Buzzsumo found out that blog posts accompanied by visuals get the most shares. The same goes for Facebook posts and Tweets on Twitter.

If you intend to make your social campaign go viral, include powerful images and videos in your content. This will grab attention, arouse curiosity, invite views and possibly more shares.

Operation Smile used this attention grabbing image to create awareness on cleft deformities.

social media charity campaign

5. Make Your Campaign Shareable

The more people share your social media charity campaign, the more viral it will go. When creating your campaign make it easy for your followers to share your content.

Have clear ‘share’ buttons on your campaign, enable content downloading, allow people to share to other social media sites as well as via email.

6. Ensure Your Campaign is Meaningful

To create a good campaign that goes viral, you need to forget about your company or your products and focus on creating a good story that is interesting to your audience and calls them to action.

Remember, people will not help you share an advert but will help you spread a good story that means something to them. Don’t create a campaign for the sake of selling your non profit. Create a campaign that will provide useful information to your audience. The focal point should be the story and not business promotion.

7. Make Your Campaign Fresh and Unique

There are hundreds of campaigns online every day. So what makes yours stand out from the crowd? You need to do something that is totally unexpected for you to get noticed!

Add a twist to your campaign that seems impossible. People like sharing content that makes them question their beliefs, their intelligence or abilities. Take advantage of this and come up with a unique social media campaign that elicits action.

Thames Valley Police for instance, used tea to create discussion about sex and consent. Sex and tea? Who would think of that! The video was simple but the unique strategy resulted in a clear message that reached thousands of people.

8. Keep the Campaign Simple but Exciting

People don’t want something complicated, they don’t want to start unraveling jigsaw puzzles all day.

Consider creating a short video, a simple infographic or a self explanatory image. Also keep your campaign simple by having two or three main marketing messages.
social media charity campaign

The charity swearbox campaign took a simple familiar every day behavior and used it to raise thousands of dollars. The campaign was very simple; for every time you swear online you donate 10 cents. Though simple, the campaign was quite exciting because people were allowed to swear for a worthy cause :)

9. Make Your Campaign Easily Accessible

If you want your content to go viral, make it easy for people to access it. Don’t put stops gaps such as requiring people to register as members or to download specific software. Such requirements restrict people from viewing your campaign or sharing it.

10. Make Use of User Generated Content

An awesome way to make your social media charity campaign go viral is by letting people create and share content for your company through user generated content.

By letting people generate their own content, your audience will feel like they’re apart of your campaign and not just spectators. User generated content makes engaging with your audience entertaining and interactive.

Instead of just sharing a link to your campaign on their social media platforms, users get to share content that they made while promoting your campaign.

When Charity:Water turned five, the company ran a campaign to thank its supporters. The campaign involved the non profit’s staff creating videos aimed at thanking their supporters and encouraging people to start their own campaigns. The staff was free to create anything relevant. The money raised amounting to over $1.2M was used to buy two drilling rigs.

social media charity campaign

11. Make Sure People can Donate Easily

More often than not, you will have a social media charity campaign aiming at increasing donations for your cause. So make sure that people are able to do exactly that.

Make sure that you have a landing page specific for donations where people can learn more about the cause you are raising funds for, how their funds will be used and how to make a donation.

Don’t shy away from having a big, clear ‘Donate’ button in your campaign.

12. Launch Your Social Media Charity Campaign at the Right Time

A well planned campaign also requires clever execution. Timing is very important if you want your campaign to go viral.

For some campaigns, you can launch when popular events are taking place as long as such events relate to your campaign. A good example is Super Bowl. Many companies, charities included, launch their campaigns during the Super Bowl game watched by millions of people around the world. Others may be overtaken by such events so weigh you options carefully.

Before you launch your campaign, do a thorough research on when your audience is most likely to be online, visiting social media sites that you shall be sharing your campaign on.

The above are just a few pointers on how to make your social media campaign go viral. Use them and let us know if they helped.

Have you run a campaign that went viral? How did you do it? I’d love to hear!