12 highlights from the WFTO on social media in 2018

WFTO community has many stars and many have shined brightly on social media in 2018. Here are the top performing posts from the WFTO in 2018:

  1.  Top post overall - the charter launches
     Top post (Facebook and Twitter) and most watched event video - International Fair Trade Charter

  2.  Top video about a member - the designer and the Fair Trade Enterprise
     Most watched video about a member - Mahaguthi story

  3.  Top video focused on business model - when circular meets Fair
     Most watched video about a business model – Chako/Circular Economy story 
  4. Most shared podcast - getting technical on what makes business mission-led
    Divine Chocolate podcast with Jamie Hartzell
  5. Top tweet about a topic - women at the helm
    Women leadership in Fair Trade Enterprises

  6. Top Thematic post on Facebook - The workers are my boss
    Fashion Revolution means replacing the model of exploitation


  7.  Topic with most engagement on Instagram - fast fashion is failing
     The negative impact of fast fashion
  8. Top piece published about the WFTO - what if Fair Trade shaped an entire economy?
     Can we have a Fair Trade Economy by Erinch Sahan and Ed Mayo of Co-operatives UK
  9. Top blog posted on WFTO website - human rights and Fair Trade can never be separated 
    Human rights is our collective dignity, and it’s baked in our mission-led enterprises by Erinch Sahan
  10. Top blog on LinkedIn - Fair Trade at New York Now
    Fair Trade Enterprises stealing the show in New York by Erinch Sahan
  11. Top blog about WFTO - Winnie on why we need Fair Trade
    Pioneers for a Human Economy: New Fair Trade Charter Shows the Way By Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International
  12. Most liked product-related WFTO member photo on Instagram
    People Tree Japan Chocolates

The WFTO grew its social media reach through 2018, some overall highlights are:

9.3% growth rate Facebook
5.2% average engagement rate (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram)

Thanks to all members who shared brilliant photos, engaging videos and inspiring quotes throughout 2018. Your authentic stories are what interests the public, and we use this to promote you and our broader community. We look forward to continued success in 2019 as we showcase why Fair Trade is an inspiring, innovative and solutions-focused movement giving hope to the world.


What I learned from 2018 experiments on social media

By Michael Sarcauga

Social media is a marketing tool that is constantly evolving each day. Keeping up the trend is the only way to make use of it.

If you have noticed something different on our social media channels, that is because we have been experimenting new ways of presenting the WFTO externally. You might have come across terms like ‘Fair Trade Enterprises’, ‘mission-led enterprise’ or ‘pioneering new models of business’. They are not new or surprising but they help highlight that we are a community of businesses that truly exist to benefit their producers. It goes beyond their inclusive behaviour to highlight the DNA of WFTO members. We have found this lens resonates with our audiences.

Balancing clarity and appeal, we tested various posts using audience-specific narratives and visuals. Original contents like articles, short videos, blogs and podcasts are effective materials. So we started creating these contents for our social media posts.

In 2018, our biggest celebration was World Fair Trade Day, followed by the Charter launch and International Women’s Day. These were key moments where we achieved significant spikes in audience engagements and attracted new followers.

In particular, the International Fair Trade Charter video was a record-breaker for the WFTO on social media. It was original in both substance and form. And this has helped shape our approach in social media.

2018 has been a year of trying new ideas, and experimenting with messaging. We now know much better what works, and doesn’t work in engaging the public. Some of the lessons are:

  • Start with a story of a person. Our best posts had a single person who the audience became interested in, and her story as a producer/designer/social entrepreneur allowed us to highlight one key message about Fair Trade
  • Talk about your products, they are beautiful, high-quality and based on expertise. Tell this story often.
  • Instagram posts must remain very simple but the photo/video must be beautiful and engaging.
  • Video is key. Use your smartphones to create a story about your business models, your producers and your impact. It doesn’t need to be perfect, in fact, it looks more authentic if it’s unpolished.
  • Sound isn’t always necessary for videos on social media. In fact, our best performing videos had a few subtitles but no sound.
  • Know your audience, listen to feedback and get pulse from your followers, competitors and your market. 
  • Be clear about your story, and don’t try to tell too much. Our best posts had a single message.
  • Stay focused by following a few guiding principles. Ours are:
    • Fair Trade products are artisanal and of high-quality;
    • WFTO members are innovative and trendy;
    • Fair Trade is about the solutions, proven approaches and the positive stories of impact; and
    • Fair Trade Enterprises are innovative, new models of business that are pioneering new ways to put people and planet first.

The WFTO membership is a goldmine of great stories that conventional companies cannot replicate. Let’s get them out straight from you!