Social Media for Social Good?


For consumers and brands alike, social media has become a powerful medium for sharing important causes and driving social-good movements.

Social Media Use in 2020
Studies show 97% of digital consumers have used social media in the past month and 84% of individuals with internet access use social media. Additionally, 50% of the world’s population uses social media, which translates to 3.8 billion people.

How social media can help companies build campaigns that bring awareness to important causes.

Consumers use a wide range of social platforms. The two most popular platforms are YouTube and Facebook, which are used by 73% and 69% of consumers, respectively. 37% of consumers use Instagram, and between 20% -28% of consumers use Pinterest, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Twitter, and What’sApp.

92% of Instagram users have either followed a brand, clicked on a brand’s website link, or made a purchase by using the site. 58% of Americans have become interested in a brand after seeing it on Facebook stories. 60% of Twitter users believe transparent, inclusive brands are more relevant. Additionally, plenty of businesses have tapped into social media’s potential: 140 million businesses have Facebook profiles, and $15 billion was spent on YouTube ads in 2019.

Social Good: What It Is and How It’s Done
Social good can be defined as engaging communities in person and on social media to create a positive impact. There are several ideas that can drive the promotion of social good, including sharing information about a cause, promoting events supporting social causes, creating content that drives meaningful engagement with a cause, and encouraging participation and donation by outlining the steps to do so.

Tips for Doing Social Good Using Social Media
Using social media for social good is a relatively new concept, so it’s important for business to keep a few tips in mind before planning a campaign.

Social Good the Right Way
Building an effective social good strategy involves several key components. For instance, it’s fundamental to choose a cause that complements or relates to your brand’s service or products. It’s also important to make sure you understand your values, make them a core part of your strategy, and ensure employee behavior aligns with these values.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure the individuals running the campaign have a connection to the cause. Avoid hiring celebrities or influencers who don’t have a personal connection to the cause. Instead, encourage employees and the community to speak about the cause and share their personal experiences.

When partnering with other brands, it’s important to make sure they share your values. This will help you reach a larger audience and promote community collaboration over competition. Don’t promote your brand in posts discussing the cause and remember to practice what you preach even when you think nobody’s looking. Along the way, interact with followers who are supporting your cause and thank them for their support and participation.

Brands Leading the Way
Brands have led many creative social-good campaigns, from donating water to women in developing countries to transforming San Francisco into Gotham to fulfill the wish of a 5-year-old cancer patient.

5 Brands and Campaigns That Nailed It
One example of a successful campaign was Garnier Men’s Powerlight a Village. The campaign created awareness of the lack of electricity in rural Indian villages by having people pedal bicycles that recorded the energy generated. Every like, share, and comment related to the activity provided a predetermined unit of energy.

Another successful campaign was Major Keys by Get Schooled. Featuring DJ Khaled as a spokesperson, the campaign raised awareness of the support available to first-generation college students by using Khaled-voiced content that encouraged participants to earn “badges” by passing web-based curricula associated with a soft skill.

A third campaign, Ford’s Invisible People Project, was built around the concept of giving a face to homeliness. The car giant did this by providing a Ford Flex and a company promoted social site to Mark Horvath, a former homeless individual that drove over 11,000 miles cross country interviewing homeless people.

Stella Artois partnered with – and spokesperson Matt Damon – to launch their Buy a Lady a Drink Campaign. The campaign provided women and their families in developing countries clean water for a month for every limited-edition bottle of Stella Artois purchased.

Finally, Clever Girls Collective and Make-a-Wish Greater Bay Area joined forces to create the #SFbatkid Campaign. The campaign fulfilled the wish of a 5-year-old cancer fighter named Miles by turning San Francisco into Gotham City and having Miles perform heroic acts around the city while dressed in a Batman suit.

Building Your Brand in a Good Way
By following best practices, social media can support social-good campaigns to reach huge audiences all over the world and create a lasting impact. Brands that put the needs of others before their own will be rewarded with increasing visibility to causes they are passionate about.