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Lack of video and image usage on social media is costing charities £665m in donations each year

Beat Bullying were found to be one of the best users of video and images on social media

UK charities are failing to appeal to potential supporters on social media by not making the most of photos and videos according to Aberfield Communications.

The advice from the Leeds-based PR agency follows a report by New Philanthropy Capital which found people in the UK would donate an additional £665m each year to charities if they were better informed about the charities’ aims and achievements.

Aberfield found that of 200 UK charities across a range of sectors and income sizes more than half (55 per cent) lacked an active presence on at least two image-based social networks such as YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr or Instagram, and 18 per cent had no active presence at all.

The power of images to influence consumer attitudes and attract donations is being largely ignored by charities large and small,” said Aberfield Communications director Phil Reed. “Getting people to become active and committed supporters would arguably be more effective if the charities harnessed the power of images in social media, rather than just words. Text gets information across, but images are what bring the campaigns to life and drive real emotional engagement with supporters and volunteers.”

Despite more than 90 per cent of charities using Facebook and Twitter only 22 per cent were found to be regularly sharing images and videos in order to engage with supporters. One in five charities who regularly posted images or videos did so from fundraising events or TV advertising, instead posting images or videos to specifically support campaigns.

Reed added: “Only a small minority of charities will have the budget for a TV advertising campaign, but almost anyone can produce a low-cost video that, if successfully shared in social media, could create a similar level of engagement and response to a TV campaign. Being the biggest doesn’t necessarily mean being the best when it comes to social media.”

According to Aberfield Age UK, Beat Bullying and Muslim Hands were found to be the best at using image-based networks, with the PR agency encouraging charities to ensure video/photography is uploaded and shared after each event, images and videos of case studies are using online, and image-based presence is kept as active as text based to improve engagement with supporters, potential donors and volunteers.

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Gillian West

Gillian West is The Drum’s social media manager and works to ensure The Drum’s content reaches followers across platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram in an engaging, relevant and timely manner. Based in Glasgow, she has been actively involved in building The Drum’s Creative Works brand for over three years now and has interviewed major creative figures including Rankin, Peter Souter, Rosie Arnold, Bob Greenberg and Vicki Maguire. During her time at The Drum she has attended events such as Cannes Lions, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Art Director’s Club Europe, D&AD and more.

All by Gillian