You always hear in the news of someone going on vacation and posting it on Facebook and then his or her home is robbed. Oh, “social media is bad” think many people, right?
Well, it really depends on how you use it! Announcing you are going away (with no one left at home) may not be the best way to use social media today.
However, many charities and causes do use social media for the good, making it the best use of social media.
An Overview of Contents
Social Media to Influence
According to Georgetown University and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide:
“More than 3 in 4 respondents (76%) agree that it’s important to them personally to influence others to care about the charities and causes that they care about.” The top 3 things given to charities were: Time, money and skills in that order. According to their survey: “82% respondents agree that social media is effective in getting more people talking about causes or issues.”
Social media definitely influences us, and as bloggers we know that better. You can use social media for causes besides promotion of your posts.
Some Prime Examples of Social Media for Causes
Here are some big or small organizations and people that extensively use social media to promote the good work they do.
• The United Nations is using social media for its World Needs More campaign. You can see they used Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for their social media venues to promote this campaign. It is used to raise funds quickly.
If you do check out their website, it is quite a website! You will notice the use of hashtags on each page, like hope, shelter and courage. It will be interesting to see how much funds they do raise via social media.
Are you surprised the United Nations is using social media?
• The United Way is using social media for its national preparedness month, which was September. They also use the big 3; Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. I’m surprised not to see Pinterest being used.
• PBS – This one surprised me with their massive audience on Facebook, Twitter, and on YouTube. Their show “Downton Abbey” became a success because of social media.
PBS does take advantage of promoted tweets. They also use Get Glue, an old favorite of mine when watching television or movies. A check in media with discussions of those watching while you do.
• Rock Scar Love is a unique business promoting clothing for those who have suffered from scars. The scars don’t have to be physical, they can be emotional too.
Amy Tippins founded this company back in 2010. She uses her growing media presence and loyal social media network to spread the message of self-acceptance and paying it forward. So what’s her message? Rock your Scar. Amy did a video that inspired many others to share her YouTube message across many social networks.
• American Red Cross is another large non-profit using social media to raise funds. They were the first to have a Twitter account of all the big non-profit corporations.
• PibblesNMe – You may know Brenda from the blogging circles. She has been doing an amazing job via social media to save dogs (and cats) who are in shelters waiting for a home.
She uses Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google Plus to deliver her messages. She is saving these pets from being killed and spreading awareness about animal shelters in her local area.
One shelter even banned her from their Facebook page when she brought attention to things that were not being done right. Now that’s a powerful influence!
My Own Start with Causes via Social Media
My start with a cause online for the retail site Fancy Scrubs came by accident. I was carrying a line of clogs called clogs for a cure and one of the first purchases came from a woman who bought the ovarian cancer butterfly clogs who founded Teal Toes. This came about via Twitter. She had seen my tweets on ovarian cancer and the clogs.
I decided then to donate a portion of our sale of teal clogs and scrubs to Teal Toes. I’ve met Carey several times since then when she visited the Rhode Island area.
I have had a team for Fancy Scrubs the past 3 years for the annual ovarian cancer walk locally. It’s a great way to help a much needed cause as ovarian cancer is not as well-known and sadly kills women of all ages every year. We use social media regularly to help promote the cause every September and year round. Women do not get ovarian cancer in September only.
The 4 Most Used Social Media Sites for Causes
The Future of Causes via Social Media
I would think in the future more will use Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr and more sites. Which would you add to the list?
To be successful with causes one needs content to share, followers to re-share and connect with. Engagement is important to keep the conversations going.
Blogs have to be inspiring and create emotion in their readers so they will contribute in some way to their causes. They can contribute by sharing the information, sharing their knowledge or time and of course, donate monetarily.
How You Can Use Social Media Channels for Causes
You want to have a successful campaign for you cause, right? Which of the channels would you use and how? Each social media network is different and therefore you should use different methods for each of them.
Facebook – Facebook is the largest network with a lot of chatter. People are there for people – family and friends.
You must make your message very personal on Facebook. Have your message be a touchy feely one that they can relate to. They must feel your message so they will share it and react to it.
Twitter – Twitter is fast paced and your message must be short and sweet. Be sure your characters stay around 100 so it can be shared with enough space so they can expound on it too.
Ask for it to be re-tweeted. People liked to be asked to help for a good cause.
YouTube – A video can really portray a message’s emotions. Be real, don’t fake a cry or the audience will see right through you. If you are an emotional person, crying is okay. Tell a story.
I was at a recent walk and when a man told the story of how his 20-year-old daughter died from ovarian cancer you could see many eyes getting filled up. How could you not want to help so you don’t have to hear that story again from someone else?
Flickr – They say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Use an awesome picture that will portray a feeling for your Flickr account and share it via the other channels. (The same can be done via Instragram).
You can integrate (embed) these photo streamsright into your blog or posts on your cause.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a great way to reach businesses and people alike. You may reach a business that will match or double a contribution to a cause for each employee that does. That would be getting double contributions.
Post earlier in the day and not so much to the emotion but to the ego. Make them feel like they look good if they contribute. Give them recognition for doing so. “Visit this business that really cares about xyz.”
Using Social Media to Tell a Story for a Cause
To inspire action for a cause tell a story. Use words that incite emotions as emotions make stores stick. Logic does not flood the brain like emotions do. Your story should make people feel and care.
Don’t use just words to tell your story, use images that people can process and incite emotion.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou.
Use words like the following in the pic below:
Rock Your Cause via Social Media
Rock your own cause today using stories and photos with social media to inspire others to share. You never know how a share can affect a life along the way.
One share may lead to another and another and they may soon add up quickly. These shares can make a difference in lives.
Whether cancer, disease, pets that need shelters or political changes, social media can make a difference. Using social media for good is the ultimate use of social media today.
Over to You –
Have you used social media for causes and if you have, which of the social media networks did the most for your cause? How did you incite emotion? Share in the comments.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos
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