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American Red Cross

Social is built for movements

When the American Red Cross was able to raise $200K+ via Facebook Causes in a matter of days for Japan, I was impressed but honestly not totally surprised. When the pool of people you are talking to is that big and the platform you are talking on is innately social, your ability to get a group of people to take an action is fairly likely. (Not to mention Japan relief efforts being a very worthy cause). Much in the same way that we take cell phones for granted and even the mobile web, I think the ability to connect millions of people in an instant has become the norm. I also think that's a good thing. From political uprisings to connecting people in natural disasters social has become a tool we can't live without.

And the power of this connection is built for making movements - whether that be a movement to provide disaster relief or something much lighter like getting Oreo into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most likes on a FB post.

The key to starting  a movement on social is to ask people to take small, easy actions, because on social even a baby step can lead to fairly big pay-offs. Obama asked his followers to donate $25 and raised millions. The Red Cross took the same approach with Japan. They were also smart enough to realize the value of world of mouth - if you didn't want to donate you could still participate by acting as a "promoter" and getting the word out by donating your status update.

Brand movements should also ask little from their participants, knowing they'll reap much more in return. A single like of a post can result in someone's 200 plus friends seeing your brand.

Some may complain that social has infringed on privacy or caused us to rely on "fake" online connections versus making real friends, but I think social is uniting us in a way that is extremely powerful.  I'm excited to sit back and watch what other good deeds we accomplish as one big social community.

Facebook's Top 10 Tips for Non-Profits

Just sat through a Facebook Live Chat for non-profits where they offered up their top 10 tips on leveraging Facebook. In case you missed it.... 1. Create a voice that is personable and authentic. People want to connect with personalities not logos. Facebook pointed to American Red Cross as a brand that does this well.

2. Set up themed days - Fan Fridays, or Kick off the Week Right Mondays. Also be sure to tap into world events and holidays to draw people in. Facebook pointed to the Humane Society's recent Big Cat Week, where they featured facts and photos of cats, as a good example.

3. Create exclusive content and programs. Don't just repurpose your website content. Do something unique for fans. Facebook pointed to a  Haiti relief organization which showed exclusive videos of Nicole Kidman volunteering.

4. Use visuals. Toms Shoes takes photos of children receiving shoes around the world. Much more interesting than a text update saying "we delivered 100 pairs of shoes in Argentina."

5. Make sure you push and pull. Ask questions as well as providing information. Facebook pointed to the Nature Conservancy as a good example. The organization recently asked fans "What's your resolution for nature in 2011?"

6. Make supporters the stars. Comment back to people and give people shoutouts. The more connected people are the more they will support you.  Facebook highlighted (RED) as an organization that features a fan photo of the week.

7. Engage other partners, especially those with large followings. Consider fellow non-profits as well as your board members and corp. sponsors. Facebook highlighted Delta and Habitat for  Humanity as a good example. Delta created an app that allowed fans to vote on which city Delta employees should build a Habitat House.

8. Get creative with Facebook features with offerings like FB Places. Facebook mentioned a Stand up to Cancer event where people checked in to the event using Places to show their support, ultimately raising awareness for the organization.

9. Know your supporters. Be sure to monitor your insights so you can craft  relevant messages.

10. Market your presence -Include a Facebook Fanbox on your website and your Facebook url on marketing materials.