What Social Good Has Your Company Done Lately?

“Social Good” is emerging as an important new category under the social media umbrella. As an extension of Social Media, this new platform is the ideal stage for companies and individuals to bring their charitable contributions and philanthropic efforts to the mainstream. Companies and individuals are using their “followers” to more effectively promote and market their altruistic causes through this new branch of social communication. People like you are starting and joining movements every day.

So what are companies doing? Proctor and Gamble illustrates how one company is using the “Social Good” platform to effectively promote their cause. With the launch of Proctor & Gamble’s GIVE HEALTH widget , bloggers can help P&G meet their goal of donating 100,000 days of clean drinking water by embedding the “Click to Donate Water” widget into their blogs. P&G will then donate a day of clean drinking water (2L) to a person in a developing country for every click bloggers receive from readers. This strategy quickly gained widespread acceptance throughout the digital community and has now gone viral. So far, click-happy readers and blogivation participants have already donated more than 20,000 days of water. So why did Proctor and Gamble decide to use “social good” to promote their cause? Why should companies not stick with traditional means of philanthropy?

Social Media, like it or not, is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective ways to quickly get your message or idea to the masses. By getting out in front of the “social good” movement, companies like Proctor and Gamble are not only effectively promoting their cause, but are also effectively promoting their company. The amount of publicity and P.R. that a successful “social good” campaign can generate for a company or individual is mind-boggling.

What are some other ways that companies are using “social good”? British Petroleum (BP) used “social good” to repair their tarnished image after their devastating oil spill, with great results. Up and coming companies are using “social good” campaigns to gain recognition, both name recognition and recognition as a company that is solidly positioned in social media. In this way, ”social good” is advertising. Companies are using social good to bring in new business.

Is Social Good a new way of doing business? Companies might feel they have more control over what they are trying to accomplish through Social Good. Instead of blindly giving money directly to an organization (e.g. United Way) and letting the organization decide where that money goes and what that money is used for, why not indentify something, a cause, or problem, and enlist people all over the world to contribute to this cause? This not only makes XYZ company look innovative but also shows people that XYZ company is a key player in social media, a good marketer, etc.

In order for a company’s ”social good” message to be effective, it needs support from not only the social community but also from the company’s employees, managers, etc. Moreover, an effective “social good” campaign can be a “bottom up” approach. Companies should encourage their associates to participate in social good using whatever means necessary, because the next effective “social good” movement could very well be originated by someone working in the mailroom.

What is your company doing to create a footprint in “social good”? How can a company challenge its employees to contribute? Is your company doing social good or is your company socially inept?

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