OPERATION SANTA CLAUS
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Operation Santa Claus

Facebook on board with Operation Santa Claus as it donates US$5,000 in advertising credits

Technology giant working with Operation Santa Claus marketing team to boost annual charity drive’s online presence

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 December, 2016, 4:27pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 December, 2016, 11:13pm

Tech giant Facebook has chipped in for the Operation Santa Claus cause by providing the charity campaign’s marketing team with advertising credits to boost its visibility on the social networking website.

The annual charity drive organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK received advertising credits worth US$5,000 (HK$39,000) which have been used to boost posts and generate page likes.

Facebook, the world’s largest online social network, currently has 1.8 billion monthly active users worldwide and five million monthly active users in Hong Kong, according to George Chen, head of public policy for Facebook in Hong Kong and Taiwan. “Monthly active users” refers to the number logging on to Facebook at least once a month.

Chen said Facebook decided to be a sponsor for Operation Santa Claus for the first time this year as it saw its value in connecting numerous charities across the city whose aims align with those of the technology company.

Operation Santa Claus connecting the Hong Kong community with a good cause

“We believe Operation Santa Claus is a very unique charity programme in Hong Kong. It’s credible and it’s been in Hong Kong for 29 years,” he said. “By supporting one programme, we will support two dozen NGOs ... This is an efficient way for us to ship love to the local communities.”

In addition to free advertising credits, he said Facebook also provided the marketing team with technical support and traffic analytics.

“We also provide technical support to help Operation Santa Claus use Facebook Live to promote this good cause,” he said.

This is an efficient way for us to ship love to the local communities
George Chen, head of public policy for Facebook in Hong Kong and Taiwan

The internet firm gave the Operation Santa Claus team insights into areas such as the kinds of videos that tend to do well on social media and how long a video should be.

He said Facebook had started working with more local charity programmes in recent years to help them get their messages across. In today’s digital age, local non-governmental organisations can benefit from social media platforms like Facebook by using them to reach out to the public and potential donors.

“Our platform is the best platform given the high penetration ratio, which is five million [monthly] active users versus the seven million population,” he said. “It’s the best platform for charities and NGOs to connect with the people.”

But he said “there is still a learning curve for the local NGOs” to fully take advantage of the power of Facebook in comparison with other international non-profit organisations.

In one successful online campaign by a local NGO, he said Facebook had been a boost for the trailer for a documentary commissioned by the Women’s Foundation which garnered more than 100,000 views in one weekend.

And next on the horizon as a technology medium to bolster charity campaigns is virtual reality, he said.

“I am pretty sure there will be opportunities for us to introduce more virtual reality technology to the local non-profit organisation community,” he said.