Lawrence Tang | @larrytangy Most people use social media for personal reasons, like keeping in touch with friends and family. Some use it for business. Others use it for different purposes, such as promoting a greater cause for society. A recent example of this is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which went viral on social media. The following below are more examples of how social media is used for great causes.
Citizens Threads is a site where people participate in a greater cause while shopping for clothes online. David Ilgenfritz, a college graduate, founded this company. David stated that people in his generation (millennials) are informed of disasters or current issues, but they don't do anything to get involved. That is why he created Citizens Threads. It is a social media platform for visitors to submit posts, upload artwork, and be part of a campaign. This platform/online store can be accessed on the web, so anyone around the world can log on, buy clothing, and become a better citizen.
A college junior and wrestler named James Buss saw a pattern of common retweets on Twitter. These retweets were #PinCancer and #WrestleForACure, so he decided to join the @PinCancer organization. Consequently, Buss has been recruited to join other wrestlers and beat cancer together. The way PinCancer works is simple. People can pledge to support a wrestler based on his match results. Doing what you love for a greater cause is powerful, especially with the support of social media.
Many health institutions turn to social media to get more people to take their flu shots. Some institutions, like Health Sciences North and the Sudbury and District Health Unit, provide people who take their flu shots with a free T-shirt. They are encouraged to tweet a photo of them wearing the shirt with the hashtag #StopTheFlu to raise awareness. Participants in this contest have a chance to win the grand prize, which includes Nike+ FuelBand and a $350 in gift cards. In this case, the cause needed to be contagious to reduce the spread of illness.
Facebook is an easy, effective social media platform for people to set up and join an event. The Kind Ride did just that four to six weeks ago. Organizers were looking for bicyclists to volunteer to ride through the city and donate supplies or goods to the homeless to get ready them for the winter season. Fourteen volunteers showed up, with their ages varying from 10 years to 50-plus. It really doesn't take much to create or join a cause with the access of social media.
As you can see, social media is not only for personal and business use. It can be used for something bigger and better. Citizens Threads, PinCancer, and The Kind Ride are few examples of greater causes that are successful due to social media. There are others out there. You just need to look for them. Or you can start a campaign or fundraiser yourself. All you need are a cause and the right social media platform.