We’re marking World Social Media Day with a series of blogs discussing the use of social media for good within the charity sector. Read part one below and keep an eye out during the week for parts two and three!

Social media: a key tool for businesses and charities
Social media – it’s been around forever, right? What did we ever do without it? The first social media site launched in 1997, known as Six Degrees and gained a few million users. Today social media is a part of everyday life used across generations, celebrities, businesses and charities.

Traditionally social media was used to connect with our personal network of friends and family. In 2003 LinkedIn changed the scene and invited businesses, professionals and job-seekers to join and build a professional online network. With other big power-house social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram later adapting their platforms to incorporate organisations and business capabilities, too – and in 2009, we saw the introduction of Twitter’s blue tick verification!

Social media is now a huge tool for businesses and charities alike. Social media is being used for much more than just keeping in contact. Organisations and individuals are using platforms to sell items, fundraise for charities and causes, campaign for change and for even more than ever before. With over 7 billion Internet users across the globe and one in five adults spending more than 40 hours a week online plus the help of technology and smart devices, we’re pretty much always accessible.

 

Person using a smart phone

 

Our friends at Platypus Digital, a digital marketing agency for charities and social enterprises explained that organisations need to use social media strategically, helping them stand out from the crowd and if used in the correct way it can really help build a brand.

Kris Tan, the Digital Advertising Manager at Platypus Digital explains that as well as strengthening the voice and reach of individual charities, the online community also connects the industry together – helping charities work together and support each other; 

Charities need to have that personal connection with their supporters – it is key to stand out from the crowd amongst the competition for supporters and donors. Supporters need to feel valued and have a strong personal connection with the charity.

This World Social Media Day, we are going to explore how charities are using social media and in particular to raise awareness and promote charitable causes, for fundraising and engaging supporters and finally to deliver services.

Charity leaders embracing social
In this interconnected world many organisations are now being created through and exist solely online and of course for those, social media is crucial to build their brand and engage with customers and stakeholders. Meanwhile leaders, senior figures and CEO’s are embracing social to build profile, speak directly to audiences and communicate personality – and add a personal touch – too.

It is now somewhat of an expectation of advocates and supporters that charity leaders are present, active and engaged on social. Platypus Digital created the Social CEO Awards in association with JustGiving to recognise and celebrate social CEO’s and senior leaders using social media to propel their charity. The aim of the awards is to show charities how important social media is as part of their wider marketing strategy and that it needs to be thought of in a strategic way and embedded across all levels of the organisation in a rounded way – bringing value and emphasising corporate impact for the charities.

This World Social Media Day, we’re joining the celebration to recognise the important role social media plays in our society and to celebrate just how much it has connected us as individuals, organisations and communities.

Keep an eye out during the week for parts two and three of the series, where we will be looking at case studies to see how some of our friends use social media for good, how we at Pennies use social media and the rise of social in the sector.

Happy World Social Media Day 💚

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