Top 10 global development groups on social media

Being liked on Facebook, growing your Twitter following – more and more development organizations are discovering the power of social media to affect change. They network, find supporters, fundraise, inform and lobby online – and some of them have grown exponentially because of it.

Of course, organizations that rely on interacting with a large group of individuals – may it be the public, a disparate volunteer staff or donors – are more likely to thrive on interactive platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Not every aid group – large or small – needs social media to succeed.

Implementing a social media strategy that works for your organization and cause can be a challenge; it often requires broad buy-in from colleagues and the investment of time and money.

Devex, for its part, ramped up its social media presence not too long ago, using Twitter as another way to share international development news around the clock and Facebook to build community among global development professionals. We now poll the aid community on questions that affect its work, share stories and photos from the field, and celebrate achievements in reducing poverty and improving economic opportunity for all. Our Facebook community has now passed 10,000 and our Twitter following 6,000, thresholds that roughly 50 development-focused groups have passed at this point.

Here are the aid groups with the largest following on Facebook and Twitter, as of Sept. 16.

Top 10 International Development-Focused Organizations on Social Media

*as of Sept. 16, 2011

Perhaps the most successful development-focused group on social media, according to our research, is (RED), which boasts more than 1 million Facebook likes and more than 1 million Twitter followers.

Read our exclusive interview with (RED)‘s Chief Digital Officer Chrysi Philalithes about the secrets to the group’s success and how other development groups may use social media to network, fundraise and campaign.

And we’re not done yet. In the coming days, we will list the top donors, NGOs, humanitarian agencies and aid celebrities on Twitter and Facebook. We will also share success stories and practical advice from those who are leading social media efforts in some of these groups.

Eliza Villarino contributed to this report.

About the author

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    Rolf Rosenkranz

    Rolf Rosenkranz oversees a talented team of in-house journalists, correspondents and guest contributors located around the globe. Since joining Devex in early 2008, Rolf has been instrumental in growing its fledgling news operation into the leading online source for global development news and analysis. Previously, Rolf was managing editor at Inside Health Policy, a subscription-based news service in Washington. He has reported from Africa for the Johannesburg-based Star and its publisher, Independent News & Media, as well as the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily.