written by Sean Smith | November 24th, 2012
Following the devastation of the Eastern Seaboard by Hurricane Sandy, Twitter and Facebook lit up with images and news of the swath of destruction left behind by Mother Nature. Shortly after that, dozens of organizations and media stars began to put the call out for assistance, reaching out through Social Media to tug at the heartstrings of mankind’s desire to help those in need. From the traditional organizations, like the American Red Cross, to the not so traditional, like the Queens Arts Council, the #SocialGood was in full swing.
Through it all, however, you realize that, at some point, you have to pick one to support and invest in, especially if you operate a business. Both your time and money have value and if you are going to donate them, you want it to have the most impact, both for the cause and for your business.
One thing that I learned very early on in the early days of Social Media, is that it is easy to spot those that are supporting the #SocialGood for their own gain and those who are doing it for the right reason: to help others. It’s the latter that will help guide you in the right direction to the cause or organization that will make the most difference and, chances are, help you become better at using Social Media in the process.
For me, it was engaging with passionate New York businessman and brand advocate, Ty Sullivan. If you haven’t found Ty on Twitter (@ty_sullivan) then you haven’t seen what it means to do #SocialGood. To follow his stream, you would have to wonder where he finds the time to work on his real job (Director of Marketing, Café Metro / S.T. Management Group) or even sleep. His work on the No Kid Hungry campaign alone covers more ground on Social Media in a week, than most of us would cover in a few months. Most of all, his passion for those #SocialGood campaigns stands out as genuine and, as a result, his profile and brand recognition increases. Not because he is pushing it, but because he isn’t.
The stand out thing about doing #SocialGood in Social Media is that if you do it right (selflessly and frequently) it almost always comes back to you in equal measure. Ty Sullivan has become a shameless supporter of the community I live in, from supporting our local food bank drive to creating a personalized “SoMe Chat” for a local business group. Unsolicited help returned as a thank you for support given.
So how do you find #SocialGood that will make a difference in your Social Media presence? Twitter is one of the best places to start, so follow these steps;
- Follow a group Hashtag (#UsGuys, #SMRebels, etc.)
- Follow some of the most frequent posters to those #Hashtags
- Engage those posters in relevant conversation and build a relationship with them.
- Aid and support their efforts in #SocialGood and ask for nothing in return.
If you are set up properly in the Social Media sphere, your company or brand follows you wherever you go. Those who follow your efforts will, by default, see who you are and what you do. Most importantly, depending on if you do #SocialGood properly or not, they will see if you are genuine article and worth continued attention.