Social Media for Social Good

Often when people ask me what I do, I say “Social Media for Social Good”. I do things that are not social media, and I also help companies use social media to sell things, but a key part of my work, comes under that heading. And, as I often get asked to define what I mean, here goes.

Social media for social good is social media being used by public sector bodies, voluntary and community sector organisations, and social entrepreneurs to help make the world a better place.

Why should such organisations use social media?

Answer 1:

Because over time, social media will be the principal communication tools used by everybody. They will replace the telephone, email, marketing shots, press releases and newsletters. It’s happening now, just look around you.

Answer 2:

Because, especially in these austere times, they cannot afford not to. They need to use social media to:

  • steal other people’s good ideas and implement them with their own beneficiaries;
  • be open about their own practice, inviting suggestions for improvement, criticisms, and praise; and
  • crowdsource solutions to problems and opportunities for funding.

10 thoughts on “Social Media for Social Good

  1. I’d also say they need to use it for efficiency. The amount of paper that an organisation like the AAP uses at each meeting is so wasteful. Buying ipads(for eg) for each board member would be probably more cost effective – especially if you take staff time into account.

    But I’ve been told that they don’t have the staff time to implement & integrate ‘social media’ into their work. *headdesk*

  2. That’s an all too often heard complaint. They don’t have time for social media because they are wasting time doing things the old-fashioned way

  3. As you said John. It needs to be integrated into what we do and not seen as the optional bolt on. All part of our #trulysocial culture shift at Leeds City Council. Understanding the power of networks, sharing information and what we do and how we can help is where we need to be.

  4. A few months ago, students from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington were told that 5 of their sports teams were likely to be axed due to the financial deficit in the Departments of Athletics reserve fund. After finding out about the proposed cuts, one of the students started an online campaign on to save the swim team and another student created a Facebook group. Their campaign quickly went viral across multiple social platforms and they received support from across the USA. Following the success of this campaign, the chancellor of UNCW announced that he would not be cutting any sports teams from the roster and he said that community involvement was a main reason in his decision to ignore the proposal. This is a great example of how social media was used for social good and it will be interesting to see other cases where people rally together to protect what they love!

  5. Pingback: Social Media Guidelines | Digital Health Social Media

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