Charities and the Incorporation of Social Media

With the phenomenon of social media comes a number of innovative and inventive ways for it to be used by a variety of sources.  One of these groups that has begun to tap into how to use social media to expand its purposes is charities.  According to the Social Media Today article, charities have discovered a number of innovative ways to utilize social media websites, such as facebook and twitter, in order to further their aims.

  1. Tweet-a-Thons: A tweet-a-thon is when an organization asks its supporters to tweet as much as possible in a certain time period about their cause.  They hope that this will cause their organization to go viral, especially through the use of hashtags, as well as links to the organizations website.
  2. Facebook: Creating a page for an organization that a person can then “like” and interact with will encourage that person to then become more involved and aware in what the charity is doing.
  3. Youtube: A video on youtube that outlines and highlights the charities aims and goals can then be linked by supporters to other forms of social media, effectively spreading the word.

However, there can be a number of problems with this form of advertising for charities.  For instance, many people may believe that just because they are linking to the page of an organization, they are effectively helping.  However, this belief leads to problems for the organization, since they need this awareness to lead to donations.  Also, through posting on multiple sources, often the messages of these organizations can become skewed from their intention, since they have gone through so many different channels.

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5 responses to “Charities and the Incorporation of Social Media

  • ewaller11

    besides just the use of social media, just websites in general have found innovative ways to give back. For example, “Free Rice” has free interactive games that for every right answer you give, they’ll donate rice to feed the hungry. http://freerice.com

  • margaretvariano

    You make some interesting points here. I am truly interested to see where social media for development will go in the future. Though we are all so used to social media and have trouble remembering a time without it, social media is still a very new concept and there is a long way to go with perfecting its usage, especially in the development context.

  • aspiros01

    Thanks for bringing this up. My mind starting turning when our guest speaker on Thursday mentioned “digital volunteers.” I assumed this would have to do with donating one’s time to a specific cause. Also – is anyone familiar with the site one could go through to make major purchases on large sites such as Amazon? I have used this in the past, and did not pay any extra money but was able to donate money to a micro finance organization…

  • calliemedin

    The perception that merely linking to an organization effectively advertising are an example of the issues surrounding virtual activism replacing conventional activism, which we know is more effective. At this level, linking to an organization may provide some means of advertising, but definitely not enough.

  • Paige Boetefuer

    The problem with using social media and these advertising schemes is that organizations are forced to oversimplify their mission and work in order to reach broad audiences and create short videos or advertisements that general public would be willing to watch. The problem then arises that development problems are oversimplified, stereotypes are reinforced, etc. This was one of the major reasons why Kony 2012 campaign was criticized so much.

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