Social media has the power to make the world a better place and, like the nonprofit sector, more brands are using social networks to raise both awareness and money for the causes they care about. Regardless of size, all brands can benefit from integrating social media into their efforts to promote social good.
We've written about the Panera Bread restaurant chain's embrace of social media in the past. The brand's not-for-profit wing opened a string of Panara Cares Cafes across the US. The cafes follow a "pay what you can" model where patrons can pay whatever they feel is fair. Now, the chain is taking to social media to add another layer in its fight to feed America.
Chain Reaction via Social Media
As part of the brand's "Live Consciously, Eat Deliciously" campaign, Panera has not only used its YouTube channel to offer "DVD Special Features" style videos showcasing the making of their television campaign, they've also launched a Facebook-centric "Food Chain Reaction". Aimed at its 1.7 million Facebook fans, the goal is to encourage its social supporters to join online circles of five friends on the "Food Chain Reaction" app. For every completed circle, Panera will work with its nonprofit Foundation to provide a bowl of soup to someone in need through an alliance with Feeding America.
4 Ways to Fundraise with Social Media
Almost 2,200 bowls of soup have been donated already according to the Facebook app page today, a great example of social media fundraising to be sure. Here's a few quick tips on leveraging social media for your brand's next fundraising effort.
1. Offer frequent updates. News and updates about your programs, and mission will show your social media fans that the money you're asking them to donate is indeed going to active causes.
2. Make it easy to get involved. Don't bog people down with detailed forms. Get the essentials only and send them on their way. The more work they have to do to donate online, they less likely they are to donate.
3. Thank your contributors and partners. Social media offers a quick way to give public thanks to all those helping to promote your fundraising/charitable efforts. It only takes a few seconds to recognize those volunteers and donors helping to make your brand’s initiative a success.
4. Share and be Shared. You're counting on the kindness of strangers with any fundraising effort, so model the behavior you wish to encourage. Share messages about others more than messages about yourself. Retweet other organizations’ posts whenever possible, and share web content relevant to your chosen campaign (e.g. Poverty, Cancer research).
[Image: Panera Bread Facebook Campaign]