Like many organisations Amnesty had, at some point, decided to set up various social media profiles and these had grown in an organic manner. Forays into community building had been sporadic and not tied in to other Amnesty properties online (eg. Unsubscribe). When I started in late 2008 Amnesty’s first community-based site had just launched and we had a portfolio of social media profiles that were essentially unmanaged – as it was no one person’s responsibility there was no real strategy, or interaction on these pages until we wanted people to do something, or watch something, and then they’d suddenly get a message after 6 months of silence. With this approach there was no sense of community at all, growth rates were low and response rates even lower.
The launch of our community site in September 2008 meant that we had to start tackling our social presences online in a more meaningful way. It also meant drawing up new guidelines for staff and new moderation guidelines to expand on those we had created for our blogging platform a year earlier. PTH.com was our chance to present campaigning in a different way – not only did it present more casual supporters with an easy way in – but it also allows our most committed activists to make themselves heard. Users can add content such as galleries, videos and bookmarks, as well as view, comment and rate other people’s content. The real change for us too was that it allowed far greater personalisation of content than our main site – so you could choose what you were interested in and actions were connected to relevant pieces of content.
We also realised that to just talk to people on our own platforms is like preaching to the converted and one of Amnesty’s big aims is to reach larger audiences and educate more people about human rights. We decided that ProtectTheHuman was to become a hub for our digital campaigning work, with site’s such as Twitter and Facebook becoming our amplifiers. For us, traffic stats aren’t as important as reaching people with our issues (if we relied on on-site advertising that’s be a different story…) so we wanted to approach people where they already are, in a manner and time frame that’s convenient for them, and if that means we get a few hundred extra actions for an urgent death penalty case, then that’s brilliant. If it means people are just talking to us, or about us, then that’s great too. Our aims in social media and PTH are not just purely measured in terms of actions taken or money raised – instead they are an important part of our digital brand – we wanted to become more accessible and more human.
As previously mentioned, one of the main problems when I started was that we had a million and one profiles on different networks – not just our own, but some set up by activists and supporters. One of the first things we tackled was mapping and understanding these a bit better. This resulted in us knowing where our biggest audiences were, and where our activists and supporters were already online. From this we decided to focus our attention primarily on Facebook and Twitter (alongside PTH), although ensuring the other networks were also maintained on a weekly basis.
Key words: Sustainable, consistent 400% growth 400 new connections a week Each day we can now also expect at least 50 direct interactions from our networks, which can jump to many more with the release of relevant news, an important action or key events.
Big part of our social media approach was to start selling social media as a legitimate way to bring about real change – to do this it was vital to measure everything we did. Did this in a number of ways – weekly baseline stats, monthly referrals, referrals around specific campaigns, action taking, keyword monitoring – started with free tools, this year we graduated to Radian6, still optimising for best results. PTH came into it’s own with project work.
Shame Shell: invest now
Feedback from Nigeria Last night I spoke with Gaia, Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), who is currently in Port Harcourt. She did an amazing job in making sure all local partners could participate in the chat. she helped all with the technical site and invited them in their office (with a working internet connection) She said everyone was sceptical on forehand but once they saw how the dialogue and chat went, everyone became more and more excited. Gaia has given them a copy of Shell's answers and they will comment on it. Hopefully something comes out of that! I really think this was a very positive experience for all of us! AI UK: a big thank you!! Active participation
Good fortune or bad luck? Able to issue a press release quickly to ‘name and shame’ the paper that wouldn’t publish our ad, this had a massive impact on the day with too many tweets to count and a massive Facebook and blogger reaction. Definite help was that our campaigner for Shell has her own blog and is active on twitter and Facebook – she’s a respected voice and has more meaning as a ‘cheerleader’ than official accounts
Over 70 blogs and other pieces of online media
Building Community at Amnesty UK
Building our community Fiona McLaren, Digital Communities Editor
Where we started Dec 08: No strategy Sporadic interaction “ Do this, do that” Broadcasting RSS feeds 6,500 followers Photo thanks to beast love on Flickr
Our approach A human rights hub Personalised content Putting actions in context User generated content Making activism visible Discussion A new approach
Integrated Campaigning In order to understand these existing networks, define benchmarks and work out how best to use them for campaigns we conducted a network audit. Once we knew the size of our network and supporter base we could map it and then start campaigning…
So then what? Numerous daily updates Continuous monitoring & responding Getting to know our followers Making our posts useful Campaigns as mini projects Results PTH now has nearly 100,000 members
Measurement Weekly baseline stats: Followers, referrals, action taking, new PTH members Start with free tools to monitor brand mentions Graduate to paid service Graphs = awesome
Campaigning against Shell <ul><li>Shame Shell in front of shareholders </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Raise funds for cost of media </li></ul><ul><li>Generate additional media coverage and other exposure for campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Empower our supporters, giving them a clear role and amplify their voice through the campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Give supporters a fun and engaging way to show their support via social media </li></ul><ul><li>Revitalise perception of AIUK brand image </li></ul>
Shell: Getting them to listen Hundreds of activists use Twitter to send Shell a message… … 13 days later
Shell: Online Dialogue <ul><li>445 people registered for Shell web chat </li></ul><ul><li>60 questions answered, almost all were focused on human rights </li></ul><ul><li>Ran a parallel, open web chat to discuss Shell’s responses with a panel of experts </li></ul><ul><li>145 took part in Amnesty web chat </li></ul>
Shell: Fundraising <ul><li>Blog post on ProtectTheHuman.com </li></ul><ul><li>Email to all supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Different rewards by donation amount: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>£10: Buy 1 sq cm of ad space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>£30: Get your name on the ad </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strong creative </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Share this’ tool to encourage visitors to spread the word </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback & follow up posts </li></ul><ul><li>Blog stats: </li></ul><ul><li>Unique views: 25,386 </li></ul><ul><li>Average time on page: 3min 23s </li></ul><ul><li>239 comments </li></ul>
Outcomes <ul><li>Public commitment from Shell to reduce gas flaring in Niger Delta </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream, bloggers and trade media (70+ online pick ups in total) </li></ul><ul><li>2,285 people donating average gift of £17.65 </li></ul><ul><li>32% of donors never donated before </li></ul><ul><li>256 prospects converted </li></ul><ul><li>91 lapsed reactivated </li></ul><ul><li>564 new contacts/donors </li></ul>
Why did it work? <ul><li>Gave our supporters numerous ways to get involved </li></ul><ul><li>Put supporters at the heart of the campaign – “We really need you to make this happen” </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh engagement mechanisms </li></ul><ul><li>Specific tangible ask </li></ul><ul><li>Exciting and eventful narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Honest and transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Regular updates </li></ul><ul><li>Empower, thank, value and inform at every stage </li></ul><ul><li>Trusted the power of our community </li></ul>
Things we’ve learnt along the way Move quickly, add urgency Tell a story Let people get as involved as they want, in whatever way suits them Listen Take part Let everyone be heard Stay honest Measure everything Photos by activists, from ProtectTheHuman.com