When it comes to welfare initiatives, social media takes on the role of a cuddly mother hen who lends a voice and a platform to initiatives of all kinds.
Imagine, you managed to feed a group of kids, find a foster home for a puppy, helped a child learn alphabets all because you saw a post or your friend tweeted about her experience with teaching lesser privileged kids or because someone pinned her thoughts on Pinterest on volunteering at Old age homes.
This was just you. With half the world on social media, try to take a guess at the number. It helps validate even the smallest of initiatives.
Power of reach
For instance, it was in March 2015 when three kids were deserted by their own father at the New Delhi railway station. A PTI journalist tweeted about them with a picture. This tweet (which was retweeted more than a hundred times) had the Deputy commissioner of Police (North) tagged who then informed the Station House officer of that area.
After finding out where the children lived from one of the kids, the policemen walked around the area till the children were reunited with their mother.
All this was possible because of a single Tweet. The fact that it reached out to the right people added to it.
Power of thoughts
What about full-fledged initiatives that have taken to Facebook and Twitter from the word go to reach out to likeminded people?
World For All, an animal welfare NGO began with a Facebook page around January 2010 and now has 61K and 3K followers on Facebook and Twitter respectively.
This NGO optimally uses new media to find foster homes for animals with posts and tweets that carry an image and description. This initiative has been transparent and proactive in its approach. They also share handy tips for our canine friends. Their consistency has helped establish themselves as a credible NGO.
Along with consistency, social media has dissolved boundaries, making every mission global by default.
Power of awareness
Pending Meal, an initiative founded by Sarah Razvi in UAE can vouch for that. It was started out as a concept where a person could pay in advance for a meal to any restaurant for someone needy. The response has been great and people from US, India, Pakistan and most UAE have been sharing their Pending meal experiences as mentioned by Sarah Razvi.
According to her, this initiative was started on social media to make people from all age group across cities and countries aware of this concept. She says, the social media hasn’t disappointed her, in fact has helped spread the word faster than other mediums of communications.
When it comes to creating awareness, social media is a real winner. The recent #IndiaKeHungerKiBajao campaign by Akshaya Patra powered by Chings and YRF’s Bad Clown Productions talks about sponsoring a child’s meal for a year, just for Rs. 750!
This campaign brought the NGO in the lime light, increasing its reach and visibility and also made people aware of what they could do with a meagre amount of 750 rupees.
When it comes to initiatives on social media, we need to keep one thing in mind – the initiative is always bigger than the initiator. You need to get in touch with the right people to take it forward, who will help influence people’s decisions without commercialising it in the process.
New media for greater good
Also, when it comes to new media it has the unique ability to change minds. With continuous news feeds from our friends and family, we are in some way bound to be influenced by their decisions. We need to take advantage of that especially since Facebook’s newfeed is going through an algorithm change.
Videos for initiatives on social media can create a ripple effect especially when you have to create the initial buzz. Visual content seems to slowly take on a larger space.
All in all, can you imagine how just one click or a post or a tweet can have a butterfly effect towards a better cause? We all have seen how fruitful social media can be for businesses. However, it never ceases to amaze when this form of media leverages a welfare initiative on the same scale.
Go on; foster a puppy, feed a hungry worker or a sponsor a child’s meal for a year right now!