I Think….. Social Media Can Promote Social Good

So, if you read my first post you saw all those bold statements I made about social media:
I think social media is powerful.
I think social media can promote social good.
I think companies need to keep the “social” in social media.
Check out part 2 of the “I think social media is…” series to see just what I mean when I say I think social media can promote social good.
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“Social media can promote social good.”

Yes, I think social media is powerful. It is the place where I first learned about the Kenyan mall bombing, and about a double homicide in the city where I worked. But what about the positive things? The good ones? Yes – I think social media has power in the positive realm too. I think social media not only has the ability to communicate to us about social good, but also to help promote and grow social good as well.

Two years ago, in the early days of a very cold December, the non-profit agency I worked for was made aware of a pressing need for children’s coats. Parents were coming into our thrift store on an almost daily basis, hoping to buy coats for their families. We learned that other agencies in the city were planning to distribute coats as part of their Holiday Giveaways, and our own coats were in short supply and generally reserved for homeless individuals. We knew that the need for winter coats was immediate. These parents couldn’t wait until we had served the homeless families first, or until Christmastime. Their children were cold now.

And so, like many other small but resourceful agencies, we turned to the web, placing a desperate plea for outerwear on our Facebook page. Within a few short hours we received a call from a local business (known in our area as a social media “rock star”). They wanted to host a coat drive for us! The business used both their brick & mortar business and their own (rock star) social media presence to educate others about our need and help collect the coats we so desperately needed.

Of course, this story is just one among many. I cannot count one hand the number of times a quick social media outreach made a difference for our agency and our clients. In my experience stories like this are not the exception but the rule.

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