Social media management

Home-Start West Berkshire

Grace Green

The work that See Media has done in the past year has raised awareness of our charity significantly. We have increased positive engagement with our communications, our donations are up, and we have a steady number of wonderful volunteers, thanks to seeing our social media posts highlighting the valuable work that we do and how much we appreciate and support our existing team.

Director, Home-Start West Berkshire

Background

There for parents when they need us the most because childhood can’t wait.

Established in 1997, Home-Start West Berkshire (HSWB) is one of a wider network of Home-Start charities, with a mission of “Making a difference in West Berkshire.” HSWB is a local community network of trained experts and volunteers providing support to families through challenging times. 

See Media support HSWB with their ongoing social media management, with an objective to increase volunteers, donations/funding and awareness.

The Challenge

As a charity, funding is limited and HSWB relies heavily on volunteers, who, once trained, are carefully matched with families who they then visit and support in their own home. Volunteers also run Family Groups, and the charity runs a number of projects supporting, for example, communication, autism and travel for isolated families, as well as running a Baby Bank.

 With a budget of just £240 per month, our main objective is to raise the profile of Home-Start West Berkshire to attract volunteers and funding. Overall, we work to:

  • Attract volunteers to deliver support on behalf of Home-Start West Berkshire. 
  • Increase funding opportunities, donations and corporate partners. 
  • Raise awareness among families who may benefit from Home-Start West Berkshire’s support.
What did we do?

We decided that the most reliable and cost-effective marketing format to meet the ongoing objectives within the budget would be to utilise HSWB’s existing social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The only costs involved are those of See Media writing and scheduling posts. 

Information is tailored for the different platforms, with LinkedIn presenting different opportunities to engage with businesses and peers, for example promoting HSWB as a ‘charity of the year’ for businesses to support. Facebook is used more for community members, potential volunteers and those who may benefit from the support of the charity.

We use a friendly, informative tone in our communications. Needing help as a soon-to-be or new parent has a stigma attached and people can worry about asking for help, so we ensure the charity’s social media presence shows HSWB as being there to help, not judge.

See Media has used various ways to convey the charity’s messages and vision and increase engagement, accompanied with images both supplied by HSWB and sourced by See Media, including:

  • showcasing the benefits of volunteering not only to the charity and the families it supports, but to the volunteers themselves (i.e., CV skills, free training)
  • Using real people in posts, featuring their positive quotes and feedback. 
  • Using relevant days and weeks to tie in key messages i.e., Volunteers Week, Autism Awareness Day. 
  • Linking to blogs and volunteer/client case studies with further information.
  • Tagging and thanking local businesses for their support, using these as opportunities to encourage others to support HSWB. 
  • Links to other organisations providing support such as Dad’s groups, broadening awareness of other support services available.
  • The main Home-Start charity is now tagged in social posts to widen the opportunities for sharing.

A schedule for each month’s social media posts is created and approved following a monthly meeting with the charity’s Director Grace Green, and See Media controls the scheduling/posting of HSWB’s content. However, we also allow for some flexibility through the month to include extra information as it becomes available. 

To make the most efficient use of the client’s resources, it was decided that the role of gathering information and creating the social content would be tasked to one key contact at See Media. This has enabled a strong relationship to be built, along with a bank of knowledge about the charity, ensuring high-quality posts can be created with minimal edits and cutting down on time to produce output, allowing more to be done with the time allocated (7 hours per month). 

Results

Donations via Local Giving and Just Giving in the period from May 2022 to May 2023 have risen to £2060 compared to £1143 in the previous year, with more people choosing to regularly donate or fundraise for HSWB. These amounts make a huge difference and allow more support for families and volunteers.

Donations and fundraising from local businesses and organisations have continued to support the charity. HSWB has been selected as a chosen charity of the year by several local events such as Thatcham Funday which raises £1k per year and Phoenix Rotary Club whose fundraising support brings in 3-4k annually. 

Facebook followers have increased to over 1200, and LinkedIn has seen a 75% increase in page views and a 28.5% increase in unique visitors. 

Importantly, numbers on HSWB’s volunteer training courses have risen steadily, with take up increasing from just three on a course in 2022 to 10 in 2023. The increased level of interest has allowed HSWB to be more efficient with resources, running less courses per year, but for more people.

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