It’s here. That time of year when the men in our lives seem to become a bit hairier and take on appearences ranging anywhere from Rhett Butler to Magnum, P.I.
Yep, that’s right. It’s Movember.
For anyone who’s been living in a cave or is, as yet, untroubled by facial hair, Movember is a charitable movement that sees men get sponsored to grow a moustache during the month of November in order to raise money for men’s health charities worldwide. Founded in Australia in 2003, the Movember Foundation quickly gathered pace and by the end of 2014 it had raised a whopping £402 million, helping 832 men’s heath projects across the globe.
Part of the appeal is that it’s so easy to do. Just sign up on their website, set up a fundraising page and then spend 30 days growing a ‘tache while being sponsored. It’s a lot less scary than running a marathon and, of course, it’s a fun conversation starter with friends, family and colleagues.
“Hey, Steve, I notice you look a lot more like Hercule Poirot than usual lately.”
“Why, yes, Jerry. That’s because I’m growing a moustache in November to raise money for men’s health projects.”
“That sounds like a really fun idea, Steve. How can I take part?”
See? But the other reason why Movember is so successful is that it taps into social media incredibly well in order to spread the word. When you sign up, you’re invited to share your progress on your fundraising page. This of course means regular selfies (and who doesn’t love a selfie these days?) as well as promoting your page on your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Just look at the sheer amount of posts on the latter two platforms using the #Movember hashtag (never mind all of the variations for each particular year) and you see what we mean.
Movember uses social media very cleverly. Not only is it a space for participants to recruit sponsors by keeping friends and followers up to date as their mo goes from John Waters to Albert Einstein, but it also helps to start even more conversations like the above (very fictional) one between Jerry and Steve. That means more and more people signing up all the time and that in turn means more and more people fundraising and more and more donations.
Of course, Movember isn’t the only charitable foundation to use social media to drive engagement, but it’s a good example of one that does it well. It’s not just a case of static posts forcing the use of a hashtag to raise awareness, but drives its participants to organically and actively promote it simply becase they want to share their own pictures out of a sense of comradery.
At wehearttech, we love developing new ways to use social media for good causes, and helping charities and social enterprises use social media more effectively. So, if you’d like to talk to us about how we could work with you – or if you’d just like to share your Movember pics with us – feel free to get in touch!