While I don’t think Twitter will be replacing traditional news outlets anytime soon, 2010 promises to be a year of continued growth for social media. A decade ago, organizations rushed to get online – now, many are thinking, “I need a social media strategy.” Much like the growth of online communications, “social media” is both a buzzword and a very legitimate and natural extension of what has come before. Using the Web to access and share information is important, but true interaction is the holy grail for many marketers. Here are 3 of my favorite examples from ’09 of organizations using social media to inspire action and communicate good: 1) Charity: water’s Twestival
On February 12, 2009, 200+ international cities hosted a Twestival (Twitter + festival) to bring Twitter communities together to raise money for charity: water. The Twestival raised $250,000+ in online donations and brought worldwide public awareness to the global water crisis. Since then, charity:water has kept its online community engaged with updates like video coverage of the first Twestival-sponsored well being drilled in Ethiopia.
2) Critical Exposure wins just that
Critical Exposure, which teaches youth to use the power of photography and their own voices to become effective advocates for school reform and social change, won Global Giving’s online fundraising contest with a mix of blog posts, Facebook and twitter outreach and emails to secure more than $20,000 and a new presence on Global Giving’s Web site. A great example of how the power of many can deliver powerful results: their average donation was just $25.
3) JPMorgan Chase’s “Community Giving” Facebook Campaign
Chase is using Facebook to vote for which nonprofits will receive a total of $5 Million. Facebook uses have been voting for their favorites, and today, the top 100 will be announced, and another round of voting will commence. Aside from the monetary boost, nonprofits benefit from the visibility and viral effect of friends seeing which organizations their peers support.
What are you plans for kicking social media up a notch in 2010? (Stay tuned later this week for Louder Than Words’ own holiday campaign. Hint: it involves cookies…) And if you would like to learn more about social media for nonprofits, Beth Kanter’s blog is a great place to start.