Christmas Jumper Day excels on social media

We’re all aware of the global children’s charity that is Save the Children. Last year they helped 15.4 million children through providing much-needed education, access to better healthcare and so much more including campaigning against hunger and offering child protection.

Save the Children have announced that this year the amount of people mentioning them on Twitter had excelled and more people than ever took part in their Christmas Jumper Day campaign on Friday 12th December. Even we at Red Hot Penny took part to raise money and the winner of the best/ugliest Christmas Jumper won a bottle of champagne!

According to Meltwater, the total number of social media mentions about Christmas Jumper Day reached an amazing 34,653, with 40% of those mentioning Save the Children and 16% talking about donating to the charity. Among those that mentioned the charity, 30% chatted about donating. A Save the Children spokeswoman says all three of its main hashtags were trending on the day, proof of the engagement and awareness of the event. The awareness of the event also spread to online publications with newspapers and magazines including The Telegraph, Cosmopolitan and Glamour posting about topics relating to Christmas Jumper Day and mentioning Save the Children. It seems to now be an official event and we wouldn’t be surprised if it is on our calendars for the next couple of years.

Vicky Browning, director at CharityComms told Marketing Week that 40% of people talking about Christmas Jumper Day also mentioning the charity shows that Save the Children has managed to “make a connection” between the campaign and the cause. She believes this campaign in particular works because it taps into an existing meme – wearing silly Christmas jumpers – that resonates both in terms of people’s behaviours and cultural references and traditional media activity. “This is a trick that’s been successful for other charity fundraising campaigns, for example Dryathlon for Cancer Research UK. People are already thinking about giving up booze for January so the charity is piggy-backing on an established pattern, the same for Christmas jumpers.

The difficulty is linking the campaign to the cause. How are Christmas jumpers related to saving children’s lives? Save the Children uses the link of ‘make the world better with a sweater’ and it seems to work.

As a new development, Sarah Fitzgerald, Charity Communications Consultant from Self Communications, told Marketing Week that charities accept that not everyone who takes part in a social media campaign will donate and that the figures suggest a high level of engagement around the cause.

Fitzgerald said: “As a sector we’re still figuring out the precise relationship between hashtags and charity mentions on social media and actual giving behaviour. An important point is that this [the Christmas Jumper Day campaign] is not purely a social media campaign, as it works well for offline giving, such as employee fundraising. As this stage in what’s presumably a long-term campaign, they just need to stand out from the background noise on social media, which I think they could claim they did,” she adds.


Team Red Hot Penny took part in Christmas Jumper Day 2014!

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