Using social media for some kind of social good means applications that are addressing issues, promoting community service, encouraging involvement, or aiding charities. Although initially, social media was a popular place to catch up with old friends or share photos and ideas, individuals and companies are now realizing the potential benefits of using social media’s power for good causes. Social media for social good allows individuals and organizations to unite towards a common cause and easily share information.
UNC-Chapel Hill’s Online MPA Program, MPA@UNC, put together an infographic (http://onlinempa.unc.edu/social-media-for-social-good-infographic/) profiling how social media has been used for good.
For example, after the Haiti Earthquake of 2010, CNN’s user-generated “iReport” received 1.4 million pageviews a day later, and Twitter and Facebook campaigns made it easy for users to log on and provide to charity.
In 2011, TweetDrive run through Twitter resulted in 38 events collecting over 4,200 toys for charity. November 2012′s “Giving Tuesday” generated over $10 million in donations online as a global giving campaign. Giving online has become more popular with adults nationwide, as now one in every five individuals has donated to a charity in this way.
There are several trends that will impact social media during the course of 2013. In order to build on the past success of using social media to generate attention and encourage people to get involved and donate, companies and organizations will need to be streamlined and efficient about how they reach users.
There are more people and businesses on social media than ever before. Companies and organizations will have to carefully target their messages and audiences in order to stand out from the crowd.
Perhaps the biggest trend coming this year is with regard to mobile. In fact, 61% of users are accessing social media directly from their phone. Many users are accessing the Internet and their favorite applications from their phones, so sites and features will need to be maximized for mobile use.
Many advertisements are channeling their approach into readable articles, since online users are skilled at ignoring advertisements while seeking out interesting reads. Companies and organizations will also move more towards allowing their users to interact with them rather than vice versa. What this means is that some of the best stories, advertisements, and promotions are coming from followers or fans themselves. Those social giving campaigns that want to see a boost in business will be wise to connect with their audience more deeply.
Social media has made it easier than ever to share passions, get involved, and generate awareness and interest from others. It’s not just all about raising money, either- users enjoy educating others, inspiring new ideas, and organizing events.
Throughout 2013, users will enjoy being engaged online and giving back. Input from users will help to propel the concept of social good online to a bigger and better level.
How will you get involved this year?
About the Author
Logan Harper is the digital strategist for MPA@UNC, the online master of public administration program offered through University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to higher education, he is also passionate about travel, cooking, and international politics. Follow him on Twitter @harperlogan.