The social media adoption curve is different for everyone, even for those who share the same job title in the communications industry. Some dove right in, others tested it out for a while until they found a niche. One constant though among these users is that they eventually get to a point where they understand the real-world impact and influence that social has.
For me, I realized that power when tracking the response to the Haiti Earthquake in January, 2010 and seeing Twitter completely the way people donated and raised awareness. So fittingly, my introduction into the influence of social was social good. Since then, I have become a major social good advocate and entrepreneur, having founded Tweet Drive – a toy drive that has brought social media communities together to collect over 6,200 toys since December 2010. Over that time I have seen “social good” develop from a concept, to a movement, a trend, and now a widespread responsibility.
To highlight that evolution, my fellow Tar Heels at MPA@UNC, created the infographic below, showcasing some of the causes and campaigns (including my Tweet Drive) that have shaped social good in recent years. While each campaign utilized online communication differently, they provide a great look into how non-profits can harness social media and use it for widespread change.
Here are some key stats from the infographic that highlight the evolution of charitable giving and how online activism is changing the non-profit industry:
• Nearly 50% of web users surveyed by the Red Cross said they would use social media in an emergency.
• 1 in 5 adults have donated to charity online.
• Prior to 2010, $1 million had been donated to causes through mobile devices. After the earthquake in Haiti, that number jumped to $50 million.
Ultimately, these numbers also represent a trend that all communicators and marketers need to recognize. Social media and mobile continues to influence even the most emotionally-charged decisions such as donating and brands should take note on how these results aren’t measured in likes and impressions, but in real-world action.