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How to Use Social Media for Social Good

‘Tis the season. Halloween has long been over and our brains have switched gears from ghouls and goblins to holiday cheer, pumpkin spice lattes, and gift giving. Aside from the usual holiday matters, the holiday also inspires some of us to reach deep, give thanks and do good for others. It’s always refreshing to see social media being used for good vs promotional needs.  Let’s look at ways social media can be used for good this holiday season and other days of the week.

Pick a cause that means something to you: There’s a lot going on the world today. Tornadoes in the midwest, major damages from the typhoon in the Philippines and every day ongoing causes like cancer support and charities. Is there a friend in need? Set a specific goal, make sure your request is doable, and there is an easy way for others to get involved, contribute and be a part of the cause.

Share a story regarding your cause: Nothing warms hearts faster than a great story. When we hear about someone going through a hard time, our heart goes out to them and we want to help – much more so than reading a mindless statistic.  A compelling storyline is similar to any social media marketing campaign. Use the best tools on hand – YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Get your friends and family involved and give them important roles: Everyone loves a great cause, being part of that cause but most importantly, they like being an integral part of the cause. Find your champions (your cheerleaders), surround yourself with positive energy and then let the whole world know what you’re up to via your social channels and see who else can get involved. Did you watch the bat kid run around San Francisco saving the city on Friday? That took a massive amount of preparation and hard work to put together.

Choose a social media platform that’s right for the cause: Facebook is great for storytelling. It is also the most active and successful social media platform for charities and causes which means it’s a great place to start but not stop. Check to see if there’s a Twitter chat connected to your cause or start one. Get your friends involved with spreading the word to their various networks. Go old fashioned, knock on doors and get the community involved.

Get the media involved: There’s another part of social media – the news media. However big or small your campaign is, it might sing the right tune for a local news network, newspaper, journalist or blogger. Remember the part about storytelling? Don’t forget to pitch your story, warm a few hearts, and get the coverage you need to promote your cause and get the story out.

Celebrate and say Thank You: It’s important to celebrate success and thank your helpers. Don’t forget to celebrate with everyone involved (big or small), send out a thank you and perhaps give them a reason to follow your success with a project or cause of their own. Also, don’t forget to document what worked and didn’t for any future endeavors.

Have you ever used social media for social good? Let us know what you did and how it worked out.

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