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Case Study: Less Plastic CIC

How I secured consistent social media growth for a leading environmental non-profit, Less Plastic.

Summary

In Sept 2021, Less Plastic had a rapidly declining social following, particularly on Instagram. Implementing a new social media strategy has turned this around. This supports Less Plastic’s business model, which relies on their large social influence to secure brand partners to fund their mission.

Project Background

Founded in 2015 when a Devonshire family grew tired of plastic waste washing up on their shores, Less Plastic is a non-profit on a mission to reduce plastic pollution. 

In a few short years, Less Plastic's influence grew to over 300k social media followers. Their infographics were translated into 27 languages, they published a book, 'Plastic Game Changer,' and shared their expertise with hundreds of organisations around the world.

After enjoying huge initial success, by 2020, Less Plastic’s influence was waning. In part, this was due to the global pandemic. It took media attention away from plastic pollution. And put little sticks of plastic in everyone’s hands.


By Sept 2021, Less Plastic’s social channels were haemorrhaging followers and their Instagram following of 143,000 was in rapid decline. They had losses of 0.4% (570) IG followers a month.

It was at this point that they approached me.

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Action

I began by reviewing Less Plastic’s most successful content. This told me that people followed their accounts for three main reasons:

  1. To stay informed about plastic pollution,
  2. To learn how they could be part of the solution,
  3. To have their own say on reducing plastic waste.

The problem seemed to be that Less Plastic's account’s focus had changed. The founders confirmed that this was due to competing environmental commitments that meant they couldn’t post breaking news stories or detailed commentary on Less Plastic accounts any more.

With this in mind, I created a social strategy around these three aims.

I reinstated ‘news’ posts that presented the audience with recent plastic research, discoveries and solutions - alongside critical commentary. I posted tips from Less Plastic infographics, their book and website. I shared resources, including books, podcasts and programmes. And, I began asking them questions!

‘Fay is delivering real value to our organisation. She has been incredibly responsive and quick to make suggestions about how we could improve things. Her logical and proactive approach to achieving our objectives is just what we needed.’

— James Keetley, Founder of Less Plastic CIC
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Results

There was an immediate response from the audience. Reach and engagement on Less Plastic channels started to turn around. Within 6 months, follower figures had begun to go up, rather than down, for the first time in two years.

In March 2022, a single curated news post on Instagram earned them just shy of 50k impressions and over 230 new followers - completely unheard of! And now, on Instagram, the top 30 posts for reach, engagement and new followers in the last year were all created by me.

This renewed influence will enable the non-profit to continue its mission to reduce plastic pollution around the globe.