With just a click of a little thumbs-up button, people are making a difference.
Charities and non-profit organisations are harnessing the power of social media to drive awareness about their causes, often equating the number of likes, shares and retweets of their account into tangible donations.
Meals in May is one such cause in Australia, a partnership between recipe and cookbook website myfoodbook and Foodbank, a non-profit organisation that provides meals to the hungry.
For every like on either Facebook page during May, myfoodbook will provide a “meal” to Foodbank in the form of a financial donation.
More than 3000 people took part in the campaign last year, the first time it was run. This year Carolyn Brasher, the founder of myfoodbook and force behind the drive, hopes to provide 10,000 meals to Foodbank.
“Social media is a great way to actually communicate the intent behind the campaign and get people involved,” she says.
While it obviously generates interest in her business as well, Brasher says it is more about making people aware of the work Foodbank does and the help they need.
“The best part about it is there’s potentially 10,000 people who didn’t know about Foodbank that now do.”
Since the start of May, the Facebook profiles of myfoodbook and Foodbank have already received 1000 new likes.
Brasher thinks the ease of taking part in a bigger cause and the easy-to-understand message is what makes campaigns such as Meals in May successful.
“There are many other worthwhile causes that I suppose people can often feel very fatigued,” she says.
“Not that they don’t care, but they can be overwhelmed by the number of causes they are asked to donate to on an ongoing basis, so the reason I think it is successful is because it’s very easy to get the message about Foodbank through a campaign like this.
“You see the campaign, you understand it pretty quickly, and then it’s very easy to say ‘I like that idea’, go bang and you’re done and there’s a contribution attached to it.”
Brasher could just donate a sum of money to the organisation, but she says getting people interested in the work Foodbank does is the main aim of Meals in May.
Though some users will just like the page and not give it any further thought, she says the campaign is designed for people to easily get more information by clicking through to Foodbank’s website.
“Ultimately, it ends up in the result we want which is us being able to make that financial donation, but from what we see, when we see people sharing it, people are writing posts, writing messages on the Foodbank page saying that it’s a great idea, so you know people actually have to think about it and they do get the message,” she says.
“I think people don’t just like for the sake of liking, they want to know what it results in.
“I strongly believe they understand what Foodbank does as a result of this campaign.”
Carolyn Brasher, founder of website myfoodbook.
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