Insights on Marketing & Technology

Let's fight together - on social media

Our presence on social platforms is essential for us to reach and engage our supporters. The Danish Cancer Society has 13 Facebook pages with all in all 955.000 fans. And we are also present on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. Social media plays an important role in our communication- and marketing strategy. We believe that our presence in social channels has great potential in creating awareness of and engagement in the fight against cancer.

How we engage and reach our fans
The breast cancer campaign begins in September and lasts until mid November. During this period the engagement rate is high on Facebook and we have a total reach of around 500.000 (organic not paid). The purpose with our presence on Facebook is to spread awareness of ’Støt Brysterne’, engage supporters in the cause and enable the opportunity for us to interact with and learn from our fans.

The content on our ‘Støt Brysterne’ page usually consists of pictures that complement the text. Apart from news on research, requests for donations we quite often post personal stories on our wall. Stories told by patients or families who have survived or are struggling with or has lost dear ones to cancer. We also spread the stories of people who are engaged in our cause and have started their own online fundraising page on our campaign site. The personal stories are well received by our fans who like, share and comment. They relate to the stories because they face similar situations and our posts give them the opportunity to share their own experiences. According to our Facebook guidelines we do not give guidance in personal matters directly on Facebook, but when a person reaches out to us, it give us the opportunity to inform about where to seek advice and information.

Through the resent years we have tested different measures and learned more about how to engage and reach our fans. One of these measures is to involve our fans and ask them about specific campaign elements. We did this last year, when we engaged our fans in the design of the campaign t-shirt. We simply posted three different designs and asked which one they preferred. And the most popular design among our fans was produced and sold during the campaign.

Let’s fight together
Our starting point for the campaign is that 1 out of 9 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. ’Støt Brysterne’ is a movement that many Danes and especially women want to be a part of. Breast cancer does not only affect women – it affects the entire family, friends and people in the vicinity. Men, children, friends etc. is also part of it –and wants to take part of the movement. A general reaction among patients and family is powerlessness and everyone wishes that there were something they could do. This year we called on all affected by breast cancer – patients and families – to fight together. And this became the campaign slogan: Let’s fight together. Our aim was to integrate the slogan in our communication on social media and involve our fans in the campaign whenever possible. And by using the stories and pictures of our fans and supporters in our communication on Facebook we try to emphasise that ‘Støt Brysterne’ is a peoples cause – and that you, your family, and your friends are all part of it and make a difference.

Cross promotion through other profiles
We used other Facebook pages and Twitter profiles of The Danish Cancer Society to reach a broader target group with our campaign message. The content was modified to the specific target group and we learned new aspects of the campaign through the comments from the broader audience.

Another element of the campaign was our partnership with the radio station NOVA. They promoted the campaign and put focus on different aspects of the fight against breast cancer. Also the radio hosts were engaged in the campaign and each of them made their own online fundraising page on stø Apart from engaging their own network through their social media profiles, the hosts used the radio to set up a battle between them to raise more money for the cause. NOVA also used their Facebook page to boost the campaign and tag the ‘Støt Brysterne’ page as we did likewise. This partnership fuelled new content into the campaign and we were for instance able to share with our Facebook fans the stories of the radio hosts and of other well-known persons, researchers, supporters and others who were interviewed in the radio.

Fundraising through social media?
We must admit that we have not yet solved the HOW TO fundraise directly on social media. But still social media is of great value in our fundraising. The huge engagement we create on social media results in traffic to and conversions on our campaign site. Actually more than 55 % of all traffic to our ‘Støt Brysterne’ site (70.376 visitors out of 132.104 visitors) comes from social media during the campaign. The traffic is generated from our own channels but also from the buzz of other profiles. Our Google Analytics tracking on our campaign site shows that the amount of credit card donations due to the traffic from social media amounts in more than 135.550 DKK which is about 25 % of the total revenue on the site. In addition to this amount there is also all the mobile payments, which we have not been able to track. One of the ways to share a person’s online fundraising page is via sms and social media. And many donations to the personal fundraising pages come from sms donations.
Our activities on social media combined with all other profiles engaging in our cause have resulted in a huge awareness about ‘Støt Brysterne’. 88 % of Danish women are acquainted with the campaign. This shows that a huge amount of people stand together in the fight against breast cancer. Thank you for your support and for helping us spread the word on social media, Let’s fight together #støtbrysterne

Pre-campaign: Fan engagement visualized in mosaic of pictures

In the weeks prior to the campaign we pre-launched an application on Facebook in order to engage our fans. We asked them to donate their picture and show the world that we stand together in the fight against breast cancer. The mosaics of all the donated pictures created a buzz among our fans. They were anxious to find their own picture, comment and share and show their engagement to their friends. Already during the first days more than 1.200 had donated their picture. We learned that our fans are willing to engage in our cause even though there was no price to win.

Event 1: Blogging from Ladies Day

The combination of outdoor events and social media is a good tactic. This year’s campaign started with the event Ladies Day at the race tracks. This year we had a charity lounge and when betting on specific horse races the winnings were donated to our campaign.
Prior to the event we had teamed up with six bloggers to help spread the word and create buzz and engagement on social media using #støtbrysterne. They wrote more than 21 blog posts, spread a lot of pictures and it seemed they had a good time at the race tracks.

Event 2: Breast Cancer Charity Run

We arranged a special Breast Cancer Charity Run on the 16th of September. To spread the word and get participants we used social media. During the event we live posted on Facebook and urged the participants to share their experiences. In this way people who did not participate were able to perceive the mood of the event and show their engagement in the cause by liking, sharing and commenting. One of our posts called out to our fans to: Give a like to all the women who ran or walked in the fight against breast cancer today. More than 8.000 likes, shares and comments just in a couple of minutes. It was an easy, but engaging way to boost our social reach.

Event 3: Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday was held the 5th of October – a nationwide event where volunteers arranged all kinds of charity activities to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. On this day Denmark turns pink! We engaged our Facebook fans and asked them to share their ideas for Pink Saturday activities. We live posted at the event by sharing pictures and stories from all over Denmark. We asked our fans to share their special Pink Saturday moments and to share their best picture, so that we could select six pictures to become part of our cover photo the following day.

Betina Ørting
Betina Ørting is Digital Project Manager at The Danish Cancer Society, where she is responsible for fundraising activities on digital and social platforms.