Figuring out how to use social media wisely and mindfully when you’re working with a nonprofit and promoting them on your social media platform is very important. While it may seem like choosing just any nonprofit to support is a good idea, we would definitely recommend putting in some work beforehand. First of all, you are using your platform to promote an organization which means you are inherently aligning yourself with that cause and non-profit. Do your research and find out more about their work, the programs they run and if donors or supporters came across any problems in the past. Just like working with a brand and aligning yourself with a for-profit company, you should treat a non-profit or cause with the same vetting process.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT NON-PROFIT OR CAUSE TO SUPPORT
It’s really important to find the right organization, cause or non-profit to support when looking to use your social media for good. While of course, helping others no matter the cause is always positive, we encourage you to find an organization that means something to you personally. Whether it’s an organization in your hometown or one doing work abroad, research organizations and find out their mission, what type of work they are doing to work towards that mission and how best you can help out.
Also, you have to consider whether you want opportunities to work with an organization offline and in-person (i.e. sticking local) or would like to help spread awareness and raise funds for a cause doing work nationally or even internationally. You can always start to work with a few causes and either keep up with all of them throughout the year or see which one is the best fit for you and really become an advocate for their cause.
There’s no right or wrong answer to any of this, it’s just that doing good and helping others means different things to different people and we want to make sure you find the right fit for you to make you excited about using your social media and influence for good.
HOW TO SHARE YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPEREINCE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE IN A RESPECTFUL AND SENSITIVE MANNER
While you may be super excited to share the pictures and videos from your in-person volunteer experience, you need to be sensitive to the images you are sharing on social media. Some people may not want their image circulated and also for adults and children who are seeking refuge from domestic violence, it may actually put them in danger.
Always ask for consent from adults and parents if you are volunteering with children to take their picture and share it on social media. A good rule of thumb is to ask the volunteer coordinator or someone from the organization before you attend the event what their policy is for pictures and if you are allowed to share images of the people they serve on social media.
Every organization is different and while some non-profits may not allow photos during the event, others may have image releases on file and it could be totally fine, while others might specify the types of photos that are allowed to be shared with your audience on social media. Remember, helping vulnerable families and children is a sensitive matter and you always want to be respectful of them and their stories and letting them be in control of the parts of their lives they publicize on the internet for the world to see.
While the impact of social media may be up for debate and the negative affects that social media has on our society often come into focus when critics decide to weigh in…there are also so many good things about social media that get overlooked. Let’s give everyone something to talk about that shows the positive affects social media can have on our lives and global community.
Encourage your audience to use their social media platforms (big or small) to inspire their friends, family and followers in a positive way to help other too! Whether it’s asking them to support your organization of choice or giving them helpful tips to get involved with a nonprofit that resonates with what they believe in and stand for, we can use this powerful platform to make some real change in the world.
While you may use your social media platforms and influence to earn a living, the goal is also to leverage that power you have to spread positivity and make an impact. There are so many benefits of social media and it’s our job to spread awareness, educate people and give them the reasons why social media is good by sharing our experience and the “feel good” work we do on our platforms.
So now that you know some ways to use your social media for good, you’re probably wondering, “where do I even start?” Here at Sidewalker Daily, our internal motto is “small change affects big change” so even if you can do just one small thing to use your social media for good that’s one step in the right direction. Whether it’s one story post with a swipe up, or showing up to a volunteer session for a couple of hours, those efforts are making an impact and positive change in the lives of others.
And while these things may seem like a small gesture or “not enough” to you, we can tell you with confidence that it’s a huge deal for non-profits. This especially is true for small and emerging organizations who have bootstrapped budgets for marketing and rely on the kindness of volunteers to help run their programs and supporters to help spread awareness about their cause.
We hope you enjoyed our article on how to use social media for social good and if you’re interested in learning more about the ways to make impact through social media and leveraging your influence for good, sign up for our email list to be kept up to date on new resources and articles that come out. You can also head over to the Good Karma Social Club where we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about how to make a difference in the world!
Lastly, if you’re looking to be inspired by other creators who are using their influence in a positive way, make sure you follow our Instagram account, @sidewalkerdaily, for more examples of using social media for good!