Using Social Media for Good

This post is, admittedly, partly designed to promote some new work being done by EndGame PR.  However, it’s about a larger issue — that social media can be a force for good.

This week a new social media campaign launched.  It’s called, and it’s the brainchild of a group of Central Virginia churches.  The site has a goal of collecting promises made to God, while at the same time helping people who don’t have enough to eat.  The concept is simple: individuals are invited to post promises, whether simple, complicated, or downright frivolous.  One example: “I promise to be nicer to my sister if you help me pass this math test.”  For every promise posted, a donation is given to the Central Virginia Food Bank.  Visitors are also given assistance in finding a church, if they would like the help.

Critics sometimes point to social media users as being inwardly focused.  In fact, critics would tell you that’s all social media IS — self-centered individuals who post what they’re doing at every moment.  It’s so much more than that.  It’s a way of reaching out and connecting with other people we’d never otherwise meet.  It’s also an extremely powerful force for good.  One example from a recent article on cause marketing in Adweek:

Kraft is in the midst of a “Share a Little Comfort” campaign that offers to donate 1 million boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese to needy families based on the number of messages people share via Facebook and Twitter. […] So far, more than 23,000 messages have been posted in response to Kraft’s effort.

That’s just one example of a big brand, but there are literally too many examples like that to count.

Why is it a good idea?  From the company/organization perspective, it could be a bit selfish — the desire to be seen as “good”.  Fortunately, this selfishness is manifesting itself for good, not evil.

Also, causes and organizations wanting to do good have come to realize that social media is just where all of the people are.  It’s better to push a cause (or anything, for that matter) in a crowded room.

Plus, it’s cheaper than advertising.  The donation given by Kraft (for example) is probably going to be far less than it would cost to buy comparable TV, radio, or newspaper advertising.

Finally, “residents” of the social media space just seem to WANT to do good.  Maybe it’s because the desire to share and connect led them to social media in the first place?  Whatever the reason, successful social media cause marketing campaigns usually fall into the category of EXTREMELY successful.

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