“We have built a real, honest relationship of trust since starting with the team. There have been times that we have had to have really difficult conversations during a crisis or escalation and we’ve bonded through these conversations. We’ve become real friends through these difficult times.”

Lizzie Carse, Social Media Manager, NSPCC

Case Study and interview with Lizzie Carse of the NSPCC

What is the NSPCC?

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children  (NSPCC) is the largest UK charity that campaigns and works in child protection across the UK and the Channel Islands. Their most important programmes are their Childline services, which offer immediate support for children in need, and their Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies which educate and empower young people and schools to keep themselves safe.  As a non-profit organisation, NSPCC relies on donations and fundraising to keep these vital services current and working 24/7/365. 

We spoke with Lizzie Carse, Social Media Manager at NSPCC, about the importance of building a relationship of trust between the organisation, a strong moderation support team and their social media community.

What are the NSPCC’s goals for their Social Presence?

First and foremost the NSPCC, as a safeguarding charity, uses their social media platforms as a safe, confidential space for anyone to report or discuss anything which falls under the umbrella of youth and family crises. 

In addition, the NSPCC takes advantage of the power and reach of social media to promote fundraising efforts, share new industry findings, and provide educational programmes to the public.

Historically, what have been the pain points experienced by NSPCC on their social media?

The most challenging part about social media is that it is 24/7/365 – it never turns off. Neither does the need for help and support. 

The Helpline and Childline teams spend their shifts answering phones and having one-on-one conversations with callers; which means that there aren’t enough resources to properly oversee all of the content that comes in through our social media platforms. 

Because our services are both unique and may, at times, contain sensitive material, we had a real need for a team that could be available 24/7 but also had the training and fortitude to effectively manage online spaces, and know when to escalate anything immediately which would require review by the Helpline team. 

In addition, the NSPCC has a very large following, and at times the positions the charity takes on sensitive subjects can be polarising. It can be a challenge to stay on top of controversial debates and ensure people can share their voice, but remain civil. Ensuring we had enough social media presence outside of normal working hours meant my team was exhausted, and at risk of losing their work-life balance.

How did StrawberrySocial work with NSPCC to resolve those pain points?

Our social media campaigns have gotten bigger and bigger in recent years and as a result, the charity has become a lot more visible. So the overall demand for a general online presence was through the roof. 

It was pretty early on when we became aware of the need to increase our time on social media to match the overall increase in content. In addition, we were aware of the real possibility that certain online content could quickly spin out of control; and we realised we didn’t have the right framework in place to handle it. StrawberrySocial were quick to help us put something in place that not only worked immediately, but allowed our team to return to their work-life balance. 

Having more people in place genuinely helps to lighten the load across the team; it lessens the need for us to constantly monitor outside the normal business hours. I really feel as if it’s helped the welfare of my team. 

StrawberrySocial has been a really great sounding board for creating an improved support strategy; with a team that is readily trained and available to work out of hours and weekends. 

We track everything, and the StrawberrySocial team helps us do just that. Now that there is an expert group of people in place working through the evenings and weekends we have a clearer sense of whether or not something is a real problem. 

StrawberrySocial has brought a level of objectivity to our social listening and we’re much better equipped to identify a troll, for example, versus a legitimate crisis. 

How has the relationship between NSPCC and StrawberrySocial grown since the beginning?

We have built a real, honest relationship of trust since starting with the team. There have been times that we have had to have really difficult conversations during a crisis or escalation and we’ve bonded through these conversations. We’ve become real friends through these difficult times. We have to deal with some really difficult stuff sometimes, and having that bond of trust and knowing that we’re going through it together, has been extremely important. 

It’s quite a unique experience, when we go through a real crisis. Everyone is going through the same emotions, and adrenaline is rushing, and we work so closely together that the trust and bond has naturally grown into a really positive relationship.

Would you recommend StrawberrySocial, and why?

While larger, traditional agencies have, out of necessity, required a certain amount of layers for change to happen, Rebecca Fitzgerald, Founder and Managing Director, has created a level hierarchy within the organisation which means that communication is approachable and solutions/challenges are quick to resolve. 

The organisation isn’t just a helpful resource and service but one we find very approachable and very personal, which means it’s extremely easy to get something done, and done efficiently, and swiftly.

Find out more about how we can help with your organisation's forum and/or channel-based communities.