The recent increase in Social Media hype thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Vimeo and a number of other microblogging sites has produced a new kind of marketing- Social Media marketing. Studies are showing that Social Media marketers are among the most requested of marketing jobs now available. Companies and businesses are using Social Media to turn a profit. Looking at Skittles and TOMS Shoes, its worked. Of course, its not all just for money. Sometimes its for buzz and conversation, or even “friendship” (hello friend requests). And that’s where Charity comes in. Foundations and not-for-profit organizations are looking to take advantage of the Social Media market as well. Unfortunately, these organizations may not have quite the budget say Nike or another company has to devote itself to Social Media campaigning. But that’s not to say that some organizations are engaging Social Media users, and doing a really good job at it.
With major interest in the growing market of Social Media, I have come across in work or fun of the following charitable organizations that, I believe, give hope and set the bar for how charities and social media can work together for a cause.
- Invisible Children: This 5 year old organization located in San Diego, California has literally taken over the cause-related Social Media market. With a mass following of young people around the country, Invisible Children continues to use Social Media efforts to end Africa’s longest running war and its exploitation of child soldiers. Now with a Roadies Tour coming to a school near you, Invisible Children is known as one of the most inspiring organizations of this generation. You might see Invisible Children in the news, on Facebook, and even… on Oprah.
- Charity Water: Started in 2004 by one man, Scott Harrison, and his vision to see charity work lived out, Charity Water has gained an incredible amount of vibe and buzz in the clean-water world. With efforts to give clean water around the world, Charity Water is best known for its September Campaign and its innovation and creativity for clean water. You might see Charity Water on Facebook, on Twitter, on Youtube and in your email inbox.
- New Hope Christian Fellowship: On Saturday July 4th of this year, this Foursquare church based in Honolulu, Hawaii with campuses all over the Islands became the first church to live-stream their worship services on iPhone. New Hope is also a leader in the start of the internet campus (for which many other churches are catching on to) with streaming video and an interactive online community. You might see New Hope on iTunes and all over the web.
- To Write Love On Her Arms: What began as an attempt to tell a story and find a friend the help she desperately needed, became an organization of encouragement and inspiration for struggling teenagers are the world. With the belief that you were created to love and be loved, TWLOHA has put a vision to the end of depression and suicide with support from professional sports stars and musicians like the Warped Tour. You might see TWLOHA on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, at your favorite concert and on MTV.
Got more suggestions of charitable organizations who really engage Social Media well? Comment them here to be added to this blog.