Six Pillars is an in-house framework developed by Big Cat to help charities look at social media in the same way as any other marketing channel. This is achieved with a plan, a structure and with an ‘audience-first’ approach.

All too often social media is approached as if it is ‘special’ – with platform selection coming first regardless of anything known about the audience, the content or the objectives. Six Pillars looks to address this through a collaborative workshop which is followed by a written document that becomes the ‘bible’ for your entire annual social media strategy.

Last year, Birmingham Children’s Hospital asked us to create a six pillar strategy and tailor it to their organisation. 12 months later, after seeing incredible results, the charity joined us at the Big Cat office for a recap of their current social media strategy, as well as an ideas workshop to discuss what developments could be made to stay ahead of the social media game.

A year ago, the children’s charity did not have a set strategy; their content lacked engagement and their online presence was minimal. After calling in Big Cat for help, we conducted a free social media audit to highlight what needed changing, which led to the organisation commissioning us to create a comprehensive strategy document, which BCH would use as their social media ‘bible’.

Twelve months on, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has seen outstanding results, including:

– Growing from just 4,000 to over 24,000 Facebook likes

– A Twitter following of over 7,000

– A consistent tone of voice across all platforms, as a result of training

– Being nominated for the Chambers Innovation in Social Media Award


The charity had their first viral post in July last year:



Receiving more likes than Oreo’s and Pampers’ equivalent posts for the birth of Prince George, Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s inspirational update received over 24,000 likes.

Although the charity has made some huge improvements over the past year – which Anthony Tattum, Big Cat’s MD, recently spoke about at the NHS Fundraising MIG Meeting Event – there is always room to progress.

The team took the six pillars individually – PR, Loyalty Building, Thought Leadership, Collaboration, and Networking – and threw out ideas that could boost the brand even further. Here are some of the things they talked about:



– Raising awareness of the hospital developments, current appeals, campaigns and up and coming events

– Creating referral programmes for sponsored events, with incentives

– Researching and implementing targeted advertising on Facebook

– Communicating more with staff, the public and patients

Amongst other suggestions, the team and Dave will take the most relevant information away and turn it into a strategic plan.


Thought Leadership:

Continuing to tell stories and publicise the way the charity continues to demonstrate its caring nature, strong values and high standards.

– Considering projects like funding a student to do research

– Raising awareness of the staff and patients that have helped and supported the hospital

– Talking about internal events such as staff awards

The team are reminding themselves of all the fantastic things that happen, which they must tell more people about through their social platforms, website and PR.



The group consider different people, organisations and businesses that they can work with to enhance Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s support network:

– Getting families of patients at the hospital and the patients themselves involved where appropriate

– Providing corporate packs for supporting businesses

– Creating supporter packs for volunteers and donors

From this, the charity can involve the people that they are associated with through their online platforms.



As with every company, talking to people and raising awareness of what you and your business/organisation do is essential. Somehow we don’t think this will be too difficult for the BCH team! These people included:

– Current stakeholders and their followers

– Celebrities and public figures

– Supporters of BCH and their friends and family

Although this is something that is already happening regularly, it is great to remember why and how it is done, and to consciously make an effort to communicate with them more often.

The workshop brought lots of creative concepts and strategies to the table, along with some humorous yet not so realistic suggestions! Feeling much more confident and organised for the year ahead, the team left with a bundle of ideas to implement within their current plan.

Now in the process of creating an updated social media strategy document based on the ideas from the workshop, Big Cat are excited to be involved with such a fantastic organisation, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results!

If you want to take advantage of our extensive knowledge of the third sector, along with our experience in social media, we’d be more than happy to have a chat and a slice of cake with you!



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