Social media 101

Social media 101

Today, the term “social media” is used interchangeably with “Web 2.0” to describe digital tools and online destinations where individuals can share and connect with others – from social networks like Facebook, social bookmarking tools like Delicious, photo sharing sites like Flickr, and online video sites like YouTube.

Not too many years ago, the term was used to describe campaigns aimed at positive personal or social change and was also called “socially conscious media”. One excellent example is the Global Media Aids Initiative.

No doubt, social media tools can become a powerful part of social media marketing campaigns – but it all starts with clear goals, a well thought-out digital strategy and a strong knowledge of online audiences and Web 2.0 tools.

A social media marketing campaign should do three things: educate, inspire, and offer clear calls-to-action to affect change. The Elders’ Darfur Action Plan campaign does a brilliant job at all three; FanTrust often shows this site to clients as a model of excellence.

Instead of creating an expensive website, The Elders’ chose to:

  • create simple websites with clear, simple calls to action
  • drive audiences to the best online educational resources
  • make use of free-to-use and highly effective Web 2.0 tools

Online social media campaigns need not be costly. Many Web 2.0 tools are open source (free-to-use, free-to-adapt) – it’s just a matter of deploying the right tools to reach your target audience. Social media sites are even getting actively involved in promoting social cause campaigns, with initiatives such as Facebook Causes and YouTube’s NonProfit Program.

Catherine Warren, president of FanTrust Entertainment Strategies and a board member of Vancouver’s United Way of Lower Mainland, recently spearheaded the United Way Canada’s new video shorts campaign, entitled “A Way Out”. The campaign portrays vulnerable groups of people – such as youth and the homeless – and connects donors to the positive impact their donations can have in transforming lives.

To tap massive online video audiences and spare the traditional expense of a stand-alone website, FanTrust chose to rollout the campaign on YouTube, the most popular, free-to-use online video destination. A YouTube campaign provides maximum impact at minimal cost – meaning great fundraising ROIs and more dollars for what matters most – United Way programs.

Canadians can now view the United Way videos at courtesy of top YouTube channel and FanTrust partner BroadbandTV, which generously donated its services and solutions to maximize viewership. To learn more about the campaign, read the press release.

Please enter the url to a YouTube video. Please enter the url to a YouTube video.

Want to build a successful social media campaign for your documentary or cause? FanTrust can help your organization identify its social media goals and capacity; leverage partnerships; and design a digital media Checklist for Success.