Social media has armed companies with the ability to find, engage with and connect with customers in ways that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago. Build your twitter account and get thousands of followers. Set up a facebook fan page, get a legion of fans. Build your blog, podcast or online video show and build an audience of subscribers.
Collections of People
For a large percentage of brands engaged in social media – this is what it all boils down to. Social media allows them to collect people. With a large collection of people you can send out your press release, tell everyone about your new thing, answer some questions, respond to some criticisms, and maybe even partake in a few conversations. Executed correctly, this strategy certainly can deliver value. However, it really focuses around the “me” in social media.
With Great Power Comes Great Possibility
With the holidays approaching, and the general sentiment of Corporate Social Responsibility becoming more and more prevalent, what if companies used the collective power of their connections to focus on the social aspects of social media?
Many progressive companies have chosen to participate in charity work as a means of increasing teamwork and morale amongst co-workers. What if this was extended to include their social media connections?
Some ideas on how this might look
- Use communication platforms like Twitter and Facebook to find out what social causes and charities are popular among your connections in a particular market
- Use Facebook event pages and invitations to let your friends and fans know about the event. Use EventBrite for guest-lists outside of Facebook
- Build events around popular annual events.
- Plant trees or a community garden on earth day
- Feed less fortunate people at thanksgiving.
- Have a Tweet-up surrounding a toy-drive at Christmas
- Create a hashtag for your event so your attendees can let the world know about what is going on.
- Build a blog about your community events. Encourage others to post photos to Flickr and Facebook.
- Shoot video or record audio during the events. Insert this into a podcast feed that you already have… or maybe this is the start of something new
- Make it a regular occurrence. Set aside one day per month, maybe one day per quarter that you rally your community together to do something good for the world.
What companies do you know that are executing on this strategy? What are some other ideas of how companies can use social media for social good?