Social media has revolutionized the ways we’re able to give back. From easily shareable sites like GoFundMe, to digital wallets like Venmo and PayPal, donating with just the click of a button has never been easier. Even social platforms like Facebook have implemented a way where you can request donations for your birthday to one of 750,000 nonprofit organizations or charitable causes. Now that all of these innovations exist, what does this mean for you, your business, and your community?
It’s no secret that social media has exponentially broadened the reach of businesses. As of January 2020 there were a reported 3.8 billion social media users. While we’re aware of the importance of marketing your business online, it’s also an incredibly effective way to execute new methods of contributing to your community.
In fact, sometimes highlighting the expertise of your business online can not only benefit your business, but it can also benefit your neighborhoods. In many cases, businesses turn to social platforms to help establish themselves as experts in their field of work. This expertise has the opportunity to transform into valuable resources for your audience. Using your platform to educate and inform is a free way for followers to learn, and for you to gain a following.
Social media is also the fastest way to share news and raise awareness. While viral posts and tweets have had global effect, it’s even easier for you to impact your local community. Highlighting events, dates and local happenings are simple ways that can help out other businesses and organizations. Even a quick post or story update helps open up the cause or event to a completely new audience and create an avenue for word to travel fast.
Social media has also helped accelerate various awareness campaigns and fundraisers. Some popular examples include the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS, and the idea of #givingtuesday where businesses can use their platforms to showcase a charitable donation.
One of the main benefits of social media is its ability to connect people that would not normally be able to meet. When it comes to creating campaigns or spreading a message, people from all over the world are able to interact in a virtual meeting spot. This type of meeting can also be a great asset to your local community. Neighborhood groups and forums open up for conversation between neighbors whose paths may otherwise have never crossed. Even in a tight knit community, connections made by social media help create collective communication.
A social media campaign often implemented on #givingtuesday is a donation match. There’s a variety of ways to conduct this campaign, from matching donations to even assigning a monetary amount for each form of online engagement. While the algorithms of social sites are always changing, some popular campaigns in the past have been to donate $1 for every like received on a post. This type of campaign is threefold: it increases engagement, raises awareness, and gives back.
Another popular way for businesses to give back while still increasing sales is to pledge a certain dollar amount from every sale to a certain organization. This type of campaign is a great incentive for consumers because the charitable aspect can serve as the final push they need to make the purchase. Depending on what organization you choose to support, you have the opportunity to open up your brand to a wider audience who also supports the same cause.
While monetary donations are wonderful, showing action has a larger impact on a local scale. Physically volunteering and sharing your work on social media not only informs your audience about the work you’re doing, but it also highlights your contribution within your own community. Consider taking your team out to volunteer at a local charity to promote team building while giving back.
Consistency is one of the main pillars of social media. In order to attract a following, content should be of good quality and regularly posted. This same concept applies to giving back within your community. One team outing to volunteer is not going to make many waves in the digital sphere, but creating an annual outing will help build a more impactful contribution. Choose a cause or organization that aligns with your business to help create a lasting partnership.
Whatever method your business chooses, it’s easier than ever to start using your social media platforms to give back to your community. Start creating your connections today!