As the way that people give money to the causes they care about changes (a study by Three in November 2013 found that a quarter of charity donations are now received via mobile or online), how non-profits inform people about their cause, attract online donors, and promote new fundraising initiatives - especially on social media - is more crucial than ever.
As one of the world's biggest and best-known charities, Oxfam utilises localised social media profiles to best target its audience in different regions. In the following examples, I highlight 5 powerful ways that Oxfam GB (Great Britain) uses images on Facebook to engage with fans, and they're strategies that can be applied to almost any cause.
1. Facts and Figures
Oxfam uses statistics to help its audience quantify the impact that its supporters are making. This type of content simplifies a bigger, more complex story in a way that it quick to digest and understand. When people are rushing through their news feeds on social media, this type of content - smiling faces, bold typefaces and snippets of info, is just what will make them stop and pay attention.
2. Before and After
When people donate to charity, they often wondered what happens to their money. Here, a "before and after" photo is used to demonstrate the tangible difference that donations can make to the lives of the people that Oxfam helps.
3. Direct Quotes
As a way to build empathy and spread awareness, Oxfam lifts direct quotes from the troubled people its work supports.
4. Spotlighting Fundraisers
Oxfam's work wouldn't happen without support from donors and fundraisers, and Oxfam is keen to showcase some of the best efforts on its Facebook page. Not only is this special for the people in question, but it inspires others to share the story and even fund-raise themselves.
5. Gathering Feedback
As social media is such a key avenue to spread awareness and attract donations, Oxfam is understandably concerned about keeping its fans happy. From time to time, it asks them for feedback on how they can better serve the audience, and promptly replies to queries and questions that appear in the comments.
Over to you
Although Oxfam's goals are different to a traditional business, there are definite parallels and lessons any business can take away. The way it uses images to increase awareness, highlight customer stories, simplify complex ideas, and more.
Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.