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The Great Accelerator: Social Media and Text Donations

Like milk and cookies, hats and gloves or wash and wax; sometimes two different things are just better when they’re together.

We’re still in the early stages with using mobile technology to advance a social cause, but almost from the beginning, we have been aware of how social media can help accelerate a campaign’s success. We saw it in our early work with Alicia Keys and Keep a Child Alive: Facebook and viral apps were a part of the campaign from the start.

During the Haiti disaster, we saw how social media helped the Red Cross mobile donation campaign take on a life of its own. People shared news of the earthquake using social media, and then they shared ways everyday people could help using Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The news took hold and then donations took off.

Social media’s growth rate is unmatched by other recent communication technology shifts – radio, telephone, cell phone, TV, email. This video, with updated statistics about the influence and growth of social media, provides a lot of insight about the phenomenon of social media: Created by Eric Qualman, @equalman, of Socialnomics.

Here are some reasons social media should be a part of mobile donation campaigns:

    • While the demographic for users of both mobile technology and social media are starting to age, both definitely skew a bit younger
    • The penetration of both social media and mobile technology is high; Facebook now has more users than the total number of US citizens, and more than 90% of the US population now uses a cellphone
    • Both social media and mobile donations make it easy for supporters to translate intention to action
    • Social media enables supporters to help a cause they care about – both by donating and by spreading the word
    • The nature of being social is to share, opening the door to hundreds or thousands of potential new donors

We’ll talk about some of the best practices we have seen that combine social media with mobile donations in a future post.

mobile giving


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