Macmillan dominates London Marathon charity mentions

Macmillan Cancer Support has credited its staff for the achievement of being the most talked about charity online around Sunday's London Marathon.

Olympic rower Anna Watkins: ran the London Marathon for Macmillan
Olympic rower Anna Watkins: ran the London Marathon for Macmillan

It was mentioned in 53 per cent of online conversations about the UK’s 12 largest charities over the weekend, according to research by social media listening platform Synthesio.

The next most mentioned charities across social media, forums and the comment sections of newspapers were the NSPCC on 13 per cent and the RNLI on 12 per cent.

According to Synthesio, Macmillan's success was due to the vocal support of the charity's 1,000 runners – including celebrities such as The Voice singer Matt Henry – and the heavy use of #teammacmillan, which was promoted via the charity's Twitter accounts.
 
"Macmillan managed to grab a lot of attention on social media due to the high level of engagement from its runners and their supporters. There was no single 'buzz-generating' moment, rather Macmillan's success was down to a concerted social media push," said Catriona Oldershaw, MD of Synthesio UK.
 
Macmillan said that was only part of the story. The charity made the marathon a major fundraising event this year and 975 Team Macmillan runners took part, so nearly one in every 40 runners was wearing Macmillan green.

But it also has a long-standing digital policy to get all its 1,300 staff and many more supporters to engage with social media.
 
"This was an example of Team Macmillan come to life," said digital engagement manager Eva Lake. "It starts with the organisational culture and that then spreads further afield through social media and drip feeds down to our supporters. You can see tweets from our CEO, some directors, lots of staff; social media is not just our social media team.
 
"We introduced the #tweetyourfeet social media ask by recruiting Macmillan celebrity supporter Gareth Thomas to encourage the public to #tweetyourfeet during an appearance on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff on Friday morning,"
 
The charity also sent out an all-staff email and used its internal social media newsletter to introduce hashtags and topics for discussion. On the day, while Macmillan’s social media team were at the race, a volunteer monitored Macmillan’s feeds and engaged with the public.

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