How Social Media Can Rock Causes

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global social media

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.

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

• Facebook

• Twitter

• YouTube

• Flickr

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:

emotion words for social media

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

Show Comments

71 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Dee Ann Rice

    2013-10-20 at 2:20 am


    I have never used social media for a cause but can see it being a great way to get the word out.

    At this time I just do not have enough time in my day to do something like this. Maybe when all of my children are grown I will be able to take something like this on.

    I have been involved in causes at times and have been considering becoming more involved with groups that support women though domestic violence. If I do become involved I think social media would be a great way to promote the cause.

    Great resource for those who want to use social media for this type of thing.

    Dee Ann

    • Lisa Buben

      2013-10-24 at 12:40 am

      Dee Ann, oh yes I can understand that with my kids in their twenties now. I can’t imagine doing all I do now when they were younger.
      Domestic violence would be a great cause and using social media as a way to get message out to women who may not fully understand it. Thanks for coming by and have a great rest of the week.

  2. Corina Ramos

    2013-10-10 at 12:33 am

    Hey Lisa!

    Great to see you here at Harleena’s place! I was just browsing and found your post…don’t know how I missed it!

    One thing I could never understand is how folks will post they’re away from home…I feel for those who have had their homes broken into but it’s not social media’s fault.

    I have seen the different causes shared on Facebook and Bren is the perfect example of that. I love what she’s doing for those pets and it’s a pleasure to share her updates.

    I love how you broke it down by channel. I have a hard time with Twitter only because I need more than 140 characters :). I’ve heard of Flickr but I’ve never checked out their site.

    You only hear or read about the negative stuff like Facebook being a factor in divorce cases. This is the one thing I truly find refreshing!

    Great post my friend! Hope you ladies are doing well :).

    • Lisa

      2013-10-10 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you Corina for checking this one out here. Oh yes – some lack common sense. I would post if others were still home (my hubs never travels so I’m okay if I do.) Bren is amazing on finding homes for those homeless dogs and cats. She really found her passion too. I have an account on Flickr but rarely use it. I’m so addicted to Instagram. Have a great day ahead Corina and it’s almost the weekend!

  3. Marie Taylor

    2013-10-09 at 1:56 am

    Yes social media can be good and bad – as outlined here in this article it can be great for charities and overall awareness. But people seem to document almost every thing they do now over the social media, even the most trivial of details, like people are taking pictures of each meal they have now before they eat it lol…on a more serious note; people are also using social media to organize violence, fights, gang fights, dog fights, cyber bullying, and people are also saying social media was an integral part in precipitating the London riots. I think social media is still a new invention therefor I still think a lot needs to be done with regards to how it should be or could be regulated.

    • Lisa

      2013-10-09 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Marie, funny you mention that – I just read yesterday that those that pictures of food before they eat, eat less. I sure hope more good is being done than the bad you mention with the bullying, fights, etc. We always seem to hear more about the bad- which is why I did this post. Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful day Marie.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-10-09 at 11:39 pm

      Welcome to the blog Marie!

      Absolutely! I think the ‘bad’ in such cases comes out more in-front of our eyes than the ‘good’ people try to do, which is what this post is all about – to create more awareness about the various social media causes and how it can change lives and make a difference to people.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  4. Nate Leung

    2013-10-08 at 9:50 pm

    Hey Lisa!

    Good to see you here on Harleena’s blog! This is a very good post and the fact is that social media has brought the world together. The ability to connect with people and create new business relationships as well. It’s funny because we live in a A.D.D society and so much is going on. It’s sad on one hand that we get on our social media outlets catch up on people’s lives and at the same time, we’re somewhat losing touch on the element of human connection. Nonetheless, excellent piece of writing here! 🙂

    • Lisa

      2013-10-09 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you Nate. You make an excellent point Nate, we sure can keep up with many friends and even relatives that we wouldn’t normally be able to via social media but is it at a price of our DAILY relationships? It does help spread the word of causes and other messages around the world. Thanks for coming by and for your input – have a great day Nate!

  5. Dale

    2013-10-08 at 8:13 pm

    It seems like all of the most successful social media campaigns and things that go viral are those that were definitely not intentional – just people sharing things they were passionate about and loved. That is what you have conveyed in this article as well. Great injustices, such as racism or sexism are often brought to justice thanks to someone sharing them on social media. We have a powerful tool indeed.

    • Lisa

      2013-10-09 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Dale, yes – that’s a great point! It’s about the PASSION used in the message, it can really make a difference Dale. Thanks for pointing that out and have a wonderful day ahead.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-10-09 at 11:34 pm

      Welcome to the blog Dale!

      I agree with you there, or perhaps the power of social media causes wasn’t really tapped in the real sense. We can indeed make a difference if we go all out and do the needful, isn’t it? I think those who are doing it, are doing a commendable job.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  6. B K chowla

    2013-10-08 at 11:46 am

    Yes,social media is a good platform for communication.
    I am quite active on Twitter,where story telling seems intersting.What annoys me the most is the abuses which are showered on Twitter.

    • Lisa

      2013-10-09 at 4:31 pm

      Hi BK, I don’t see too much of that on Twitter but maybe it’s the people I’m following that makes a difference? I have heard about it of course from others too. Thanks for your input and have a nice day.

  7. Sylviane Nuccio

    2013-10-08 at 8:14 am

    Hi Lisa,

    Sorry I got here so late, but I’ve been racing all week 🙂 Nice to see you here, it was a real surprise. How nice to know that all the people we know, know each other.

    I think that social media is perfect for causes, because social media is like a mouth to ear on steroids, so it’s definitely the right vehicle for it.

    I know you’re the queen of social media and I see you’re using it to the full. Congratulations on what you do!

    • Lisa

      2013-10-09 at 4:23 pm

      Sylviane, it’s never late 🙂 Thank you 🙂 Love your analogy of it. It can be used for so many causes, amazes me. Also amazes me so big names don’t use. I was following some national TV talk hosts and they had not tweeted since last May, really? I thought they would be with the financial / government crisis going on. Thanks again Sylviane and have a great day.

  8. Perambur Kumar

    2013-10-08 at 7:57 am

    Hi Lisa.

    It’s nice to see you in Harleena’s Blog.

    Wow Great Post with excellent information. Ya I learned how to use social media through my Guru’s in this field. Especially Harleena is master in this field. You see her Google+ circles almost 12,000 now. You’re right social media helps for causes. But most of the people don’t know about this fact. I saw so many people in the past they’ve idea how to promote for their cause. First of all they’ve no clue on promoting, how to start and where to go. People like you and Harleena are helping people who searching for this information.

    Thank you once again for giving tremendous post to us.
    Have a Nice Week

    • Lisa

      2013-10-08 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Perambur, thank you. Nice to be here too 🙂 Harleena is a natural at social media, isn’t she? Just like with her writing too. It takes time to build a following for a cause and then once you do it can go viral and help out tremendously. You are welcome and have a nice week yourself there.

How Social Media Can Rock Causes

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