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“Thanks to Swat.io, we Can Manage Topics Centrally and Bring the Community Together on a Regional Level.”

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Julia Hold is Head of New Media & Campaigning at the Austrian Red Cross. She explains how its large network of contributors has turned from a social media marketing challenge into a strength – with help from Swat.io.
Österreich 2020: Das Rote Kreuz im Einsatz
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About the Austrian Red Cross

The Austrian Red Cross is one of 192 international Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations, and thus part of the largest humanitarian movement in the world. In Austria, around 8,300 full-time employees and over 73,000 volunteers help support those in need and improve the lives of socially disadvantaged people through the power of humanity. The Red Cross is independent and not affiliated with any political party. The organization provides emergency services, health care and social services, blood donations, disaster relief, development cooperation, training and education.

The Austrian Red Cross is divided into numerous state associations and district branches that work together to promote a humane, livable society.

Uniting, Motivating, Involving and Informing Through Digital Channels

The Red Cross uses social media to bring the organization’s humanitarian principles to life through digital channels. The issue of humanity is clearly positioned as the main focus.

Then there are four additional goals: to unite, motivate, involve and inform. Social media brings the Red Cross community together, motivating volunteers to (continue to) give their time, involving interested parties in the everyday work of the Red Cross, and informing external individuals about the latest news.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Cross has relied even more heavily on social media. Social media makes it easy to share important information, and if the community has questions, they can be asked directly via social networks.

ÖJRK-Jugendtagung in Tulln 2019
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4,551

comments, private messages and mentions in March 2020
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538,780

fans and followers across all channels
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10,542,035

reach across all channels in March 2020
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3,070

posts across all channels in March 2020

Leveraging the Potential of Regional Roots

Having a decentralized organization with numerous regional branches is one of the greatest strengths of the Red Cross. However, this poses a major challenge when it comes to communications: how do you maintain an overview and control the information being shared? State associations and district branches manage their own social media channels, meaning there is a huge number of different channels under the same banner.

The core branding “Aus Liebe zum Menschen” (“Out of Love”) is present as an overarching strategy across all social media communications. This brand strategy is presented very differently by the various regional branches, however. The Red Cross sees this as a great source of potential, as the employees in the state associations and the volunteers in the district branches are more familiar with the local community and are therefore able to address regional topics and make relevant information available easily.

The organization wanted to find a way of managing social media activities centrally while keeping the presentation regional. The Red Cross found the right tool for the job with Swat.io.

Rotes Kreuz Infohotline Corona

Pooling Resources for a Shared Content Strategy

Using Swat.io, the Red Cross is better able to strategically coordinate its complex communications structures. Things like infographics are important for all channels. They are made available by the Secretary General’s office via a planning channel in Swat.io. Those responsible in the state associations and district branches can copy the graphic for use on their own channels with just one click. They can change the text of the post, add regional references and share the content with their community. In this way, the challenge of the organization’s regional presence becomes a key strength. This is reflected in the analytics data: by sharing across multiple channels, a much higher total reach is achieved.

Regional and central offices also work closely on community management. Branches are often asked questions about areas they are not responsible for, or for which they don’t have the required information. Queries are clearly listed in Swat.io as tickets and can be forwarded to the right internal person. This means the people responsible can be brought on board easily and resources can be pooled straightforwardly.

The value of these structures is especially evident in the event of a disaster. During the coronavirus pandemic, the whole team not only increased communications themselves, they also received a huge number of queries from the community. In situations like this, it’s easy to incorporate the support of other staff members in Swat.io.

Why the Team at the Red Cross Chose Swat.io

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What impact has Swat.io had since you started using it?

“We can make use of the synergies between the state associations and district branches. This saves everyone working in social media management a lot of time. Swat.io makes it easy for us to coordinate content planning, while still making use of regional strengths.”
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What made you choose Swat.io?

“We were looking for a way to implement a shared communications strategy despite the decentralized nature of the organization. Swat.io is visually very appealing, and allows us to plan coherently and deal with tasks systematically. We’ve incorporated a huge number of channels into the tool and are still able to work transparently.”
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Who would you recommend Swat.io to?

“I’ve already recommended Swat.io to a lot of people! The tool is indispensable for any organization that has to coordinate multiple channels and that has more than one person in charge of social media. Particularly in the event of a disaster – like the COVID-19 pandemic, for example – a tool like this is worth its weight in gold.”

Features Used

  • Central content planning for consistent social media management
  • Central ticket inbox for transparent community management
  • Integrated analytics tools for optimum performance measurement
  • Assigning tickets for easy distribution of work
  • Internal notes for coordination with colleagues
  • Managing all channels in a single tool