I have typed, tweeted, updated, and posted many times on how social media can improve business, provide networking opportunities, and help engage students but these same ideas can lead to a network for social good.
Social media connects a variety of users into a vast network that can spread infinitely to all those in the larger network of life eventually. Social media bring us closer to the thought of Six Degrees of Separation which refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.
Users on Twitter can follow other users creating a network. According to a study of 5.2 billion such relationships by social media monitoring firm Sysomos, the average distance on Twitter is 4.67. On average, about 50% of people on Twitter are only four steps away from each other, while nearly everyone is five steps away
This social network has made it easier for everyone to spread information quickly. Thus encouraging followers and friends on social media channels to share information about their causes or calls to action. This will have a greater potential to spread virally and reach new audiences. Encouragement of followers to share your tweets, links, posts, and other messages, is to create an environment where sharing is valued.
Getting support for a cause or spreading word on how donate funds to a cause, such as a walk have gotten easier through the utilization of the internet and the power of sharing through social media.
Non-profit organizations and charities can utilize social media as an incredibly powerful tool to get the word out, connect with supports, and even raise money. But, like for any business, social media will only pay out for charities if they utilize it properly. Getting the most out of social media is hard work and requires patient diligence. Groups can’t just sign up for a Twitter account, create a Facebook Fan Page and then watch the donations roll in.
It’s easy to point out the social good in large organization that have developed through their already popular cause or the secret Facebook status updates to promote breast cancer awareness. But here is a close to home example that I have seen grow from inception to a Facebook “Like” page with over 1300+ followers. This page is in support of Wrenn Elise Parris, she was born on April 14, 2010 with a rare genetic disorder called ABCA3 Surfactant Protein Deficiency and needed a lung transplant. She received new lungs on September 22, 2010. Updates about her recovery can be found on this page. I didn’t know this family but heard of this story from close friends of the family at my college. The story seemed to touch so many people and stranger came together to help support this family in whatever way the possibly could – being it donating a few dollars, donating time photographing the family, and spreading the story to others in their social network.
Find For the Love of Wrenn on Facebook to hear more about the recovery of this amazing little girl.
The blog http://fortheloveofwrenn.blogspot.com/ helps tell the story of this amazing little girl who has touched the hearts of so many people. This blog has links to donate to Wrenn’s Baby Breath Fund using the NTAF link.
As this is just a single example, I have seen so many great organizations, causes, and touching stories cross my social network. I would hope that the social good of social media causes people to reflect on how much more social media can be beyond the tweets about your trip to the grocery story or status update on your favorite new YouTube video.
How have you seen social media become social good?