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From the Ugly Couch: How Zoomph Can Help Your Humanitarian Cause

Meet Joe. He’s the program officer of the American Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Team.

Joe joined us on our mustard-colored sofa for a special edition of our Pro Tip series last Thursday –“Live from the Ugly Couch”— and shared his thoughts on how social media is changing the nonprofit world.

Though we’re not keen on tooting our own horns (more than necessary, that is), Joe said some nice things about us.

Joe 2

How does he know us, you ask? Well a year and a half ago, he hardly knew who we were. Thankfully, Joe gave us a chance to show him how “going social” could benefit his team’s philanthropy. And in the process, he reaped some early rewards:

  • B.Z. (before Zoomph), Joe’s 14-member team earned 100-200 thousand people in social reach annually.
  • A.Z. (after Zoomph), that number became 18.1 million in one year.
  • A.Z., Joe’s team earned 40 times the amount of social engagement from the previous fiscal year.
  • A.Z., Joe’s team is social media conscious – a big help in making their events more successful.

What does this mean for you? Besides the obvious (cough, check out Zoomph), we advise you to pay attention to the perks of partnering with social media + a platform like ours. To help, here’s a recap of our convo from the ugly couch.

“Social media to…”

Educate the public.

“Any tool that’s gonna put the word out is going to have an impact that we can’t even quantify.”

Prioritizing social media rather than treating it as an afterthought could be all that you need to do to get more people to pay attention to your message.

For Joe’s team, asking, “What should the hash tag be?” before an outreach or educational event went a long way; gone were the days when most people first heard of an event as it was happening. Now enter an era when people learn of opportunities, events, your cause early in the game.

Understand your audience.

If your team is anything like Joe’s, you’re hosting events once a month. You want each to be a success. So how do you ensure that? Track your audience’s demographic. Learn what they’re saying about you and your cause RIGHT NOW. Personalize your event to a specific community.

In Joe’s case, our Zoomph feed came in handy. He relied on our demographic and sentiment analysis features to research his audiences before meeting them.


Engage people. Lots of people.

“In a time when there’s so much white noise out there, the humanitarian community is trying to find probably its place and how it gets the word out because we want these humanitarian conversations to be accessible to everyone.”

Stay hip with at-event visualizations, which, on top of jazzing up your décor, are ingenious ways to get people to participate at your events. They’re “must haves” at Joe’s events, where attendees often sit with their phones, tweet, and excitedly await their tweets to appear on the screen or Zoomph leaderboard.

Joe claims that beyond visualizations, a combination of live streaming and a platform like ours helps to rope in out-of-towners (his exact words: “the combination of Zoomph and live streaming has revolutionized accessibility.”) Donors, employees, and volunteers can be present at events from hundred of thousands of miles away, and participate in Q&A sessions or other live conversations through streaming tools (Periscope, for example) or our real-time, social-tracking platform that picks up on tweets the minute that they’re posted.

Reach the right people.

Geolocation, or the “bread and butter” tool for us Zoomphers, has opened the door for Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to find certain audiences as they deploy smaller units (like Joe’s team) for special purposes. If you’re looking to do the same, we urge you to get familiar with geolocation. With this tool, you can:

1. Follow a hash tag for a particular disaster and browse comments to see where in the world your target audience is


2. Geofence a location and see what people are talking about in that area.

VW - Geo Location 1

Inform your donors.

Talk is great, but results are what matter. Social media analytics let you see the impact that you’re making by giving you a close-up view of what your followers are saying, who they are, and how they’re feeling about your organization and your cause in real time. Then, you can share your findings with your donors so that they can sleep easy knowing that their money isn’t going to waste. By now, you and your donors know that:

Great social reach + a targeted social campaign = greater engagement + more successful events = a job well done.

“Alleviate human suffering.”

Of course, the most important part is making sure that the people whom you’re aiming to help are being supported.

“The mission of the American Red Cross is to alleviate human suffering and everything that we do contributes to that mission,” Joe told us while reflecting on his partnership with Zoomph. “[We’re] a team of 14 people…and our social reach was 18.1 million for the year, which we could not have dreamed of doing before. But [now], we’re pulling above our weight…and maybe, just maybe…some of these 18.1 million people are going to take to heart what we’ve been able to share with them. And that is very valuable and that contributes to our mission.”

Catch the full episode of "Live From the Ugly Couch."


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