SAS helps Wesley Mission find the right results

Wesley Mission has been providing services to the homeless, disadvantaged, and those with addictions or mental health issues for more than 200 years. With changes in the sector, visibility in the community is increasingly important and so Wesley Mission needed to look at new yet cost effective ways to build its profile. It turned to SAS.

One major change is the way the government funds community services such as at-home care for the aged and those living with disability. Wesley Mission Communications Officer Gavin Hanbridge says previously the government would provide funding directly to organisations, which would then direct it to those in need.

“The government now provides funding directly to the people who need the services, and they choose their provider,” he says. “This is one reason why we need to increase our profile and help more people understand who we are and what we offer. But we also want to increase our supporter base and better connect with our donors and our emerging online and social media audience.”

An issue Wesley Mission found was that 75 per cent of those who “liked” its Facebook page, never interacted with it again. “We needed to find out why this was happening so we could take action to keep them engaged,” Hanbridge says.

SAS was very professional and proactive in looking for solutions and providing options for us. We now have a much better understanding of our social media audience and these insights are being used to create our content plan and strategy.

Gavin Hanbridge
Communications Officer

SAS comes up with Results

To better understand its social media audience, Wesley Mission chose SAS® Results, which delivers quick outcomes to business issues so appropriate solutions can be put in place.

“We first wanted to understand our audience on social media,” Hanbridge says. “We needed to know who are they, what they’re interested in, and why they first came to our Facebook page and followed us. SAS are able to analyse our data and provide us with the insights we are after.”

An early insight was the lack of clarity between the 12 different services Wesley Mission provides.

“It’s important to be clear about our services,” Hanbridge says. “If someone gets into contact with us because they’re experiencing homelessness, there may be a range of services they need to get back on their feet.

We likely offer most of them and need to let people know that we do.”

The analysis also found its Facebook audience was interested in some topics but not others. “One way to get people engaged is to provide more articles on popular topics and to also look at the language we use,” Hanbridge says. “Now that we know that certain words are not grabbing attention, we can look at using different terminology.”

SAS also found a correlation between Facebook’s “comments” and “likes”, which provided Wesley Mission with tools to set expectations for new campaigns.

“When we launch campaigns we now know how many “likes” to expect so we can adapt the content according to these expectations,” Hanbridge says. “It also allows us to test different posts and topics as we have a framework in place to assess how certain posts will perform.”

Another insight was the correlation between topics. Hanbridge says some topics have more of an impact when paired with other topics. “For example, the youth topic is stronger when it is paired with the foster care topic,” he says. “This knowledge will feed into our content strategy.”

Insights feed into content strategy

Using the analysis, the communications team has compiled a content calendar and is mapping out future topics. For example, financial stress articles to run when people receive their credit card bills; or articles on homelessness in winter.

The insights have also provided the team with food for thought around the purpose of its different platforms.
“We are redefining the purpose of our different platforms,” Hanbridge says. “At the moment, the majority of our donors are aged over 65 but most of our followers on social media are 25-35. This is why we need to know more about what they respond to and why they are there.”

Hanbridge says Wesley Mission has been thrilled with the insights gained through using SAS. “SAS was very professional and proactive in looking for solutions and providing options for us,” he says. “We now have a much better understanding of our social media audience and these insights are being used to create our content plan and strategy.”



Non-profit sector


A need to better understand its social media followers to help raise its profile so it can remain competitive in a rapidly changing sector.




The important insights gained have given Wesley Mission new insights into its supporters and tools to measure the effectiveness of its content strategy.

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