Smile Foundation social media strategy: Consistency in NGO communication

smile foundation social media strategy

Real-life images of beneficiaries and on-ground activities are consistent in the social media strategy of Smile Foundation across platforms.

As an NGO, Smile Foundation primarily works with underprivileged children and their families. Their welfare projects span verticles such as education, health, livelihood and women empowerment. On social media platforms, the Smile Foundation mostly communicates via real-life images, something that is integral to the NGO’s digital marketing strategy.

“We capture mostly real faces, real context, real stories on the ground,” Santanu Mishra, Co-founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation tells us adding that they mostly use candid pictures ad they tell stories as it is. The best performing posts for Smile Foundation include those that talk about relationships and depict empathy.

At the moment, the NGO is mostly talking about COVID-19 efforts. In between, there are posts, though coloured in the same hues, about days of the year that are relevant to their communication, such as Labour Day and Civil Services Day.

Social Media Footprint

With the help of social media platforms, Smile Foundation tries to capture on-ground work and change. A big chunk of it is the stories of beneficiaries. The NGO is pretty consistent with their communication across platforms, the pictures are in fact duplicated and optimised for dissemination, especially when a campaign is being run.


Facebook: 1.78M followers
Instagram: 58.2K followers
Twitter: 53.5K followers
YouTube: 6.69K subscribers
LinkedIn: 26K followers


Facebook, where they have had a presence since June 2010, works best for them in terms of engagement. Mishra tells us this is because they have been on the platform for the longest time, creating a 1.7 M strong follower base.

Hope is to see light despite being surrounded by darkness. The extension of stringent lockdown measures in the red…

Posted by smilefoundation on Sunday, 3 May 2020

Like most brands, Twitter is one space where Smile Foundation is able to engage with other brands, publically. It helps add value to associations and credibility to joint endeavours.

Also Read: CRY social media strategy: Fundamentals of NGO communication

COVID-19 impact

As part of fighting the COVID-19 situation, Smile Foundation has been running the #IndiaShares campaign. They are asking people to donate and using social media to share and document the on-ground efforts, creating positive vibes for people to know their money is being used well.

“COVID-19 has had quite a bit of impact in terms of association. People want to associate more, volunteer more and a lot of them have also commented with positive messages,” Mishra tells us.

A strong focus is on individual stories of impact and awareness about the disease and how social distancing is the need of the hour, especially for kids and the elderly.

An aspect consistent with the communication of Smile Foundation is how they use hashtags specific to the geographical location they are talking about. It helps in the discoverability of the content for relevant audiences.

Recently, they also shared pictures of kids painting artworks to spread awareness about COVID-19 as part of the #ChildForChild initiative. These crowd-sourced pictures helped them expand the scope of awareness posts.

The foundation is also using YouTube to narrate stories of people in distress, nudging benefactors to come forward and help as well show impact of the donations being made. The videos are short and emotive.

In between content around COVID-19 awareness and on-ground efforts, they are also trying to keep up with the spirits with motivational pictures of happy faces and people. #SmileFightsCOVID19 is a prominent hashtag being used by Smile Foundation to connect with people.


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