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6 Tips for Raising Awareness on Social Media for a Cause

Devices are everywhere, and action is awareness. We can really change the way we see the world and what we’ll leave behind for our children.

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BY Jordan Kasteler - 06 Jul 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Social media gave everyone a voice. The voice to force change, campaign for immediate action and seek awareness. Think about this - #BlackLivesMatter campaign started as a 140-words story shared on Twitter and now grew into a global movement with a series of offline and online events, workshops and legislative changes being forced by activists.

If you are passionate about a cause, social media can be a great vehicle for raising awareness. I spoke with Elisa Chan who is now the Marketing Director of Australian based Macquarie Cloud Services. In 2014 Elisa was one of the first Australians to be named UN Women's Global Community Champion for her work in using social media to raise awareness about women's economic empowerment. Here are the six tips she shared for raising awareness for a cause on social media.

1. Ensure That The Campaign Has Clear Goals

"Before you post anything on social media, you must define your goals," Elisa said. "This begins with figuring out the overall scope of the cause itself, then defining what you want to accomplish. If the overall scope of the cause is small, your goal may be to resolve the issue entirely. If the scope is larger, you will probably want to identify a specific set of objectives."

How do you apply this in practical terms? Let's say your cause is eradicating hunger in your local area. That's not something you will accomplish in a single social media campaign. However, you can make a big difference by setting goals that will allow you to make an impact in your community. Here are some sample goals:

  • raising $3,000 for a free summer lunch program for students to be run by a local food pantry
  • retting 5 local restaurants to donate surplus food to the local food pantry
  • registering 50 volunteers to help operate the summer lunch program

2. Share Stories

Start by sharing your own story. How did you learn about this cause? How does it impact you? What motivates you to do this? Next, encourage others to share their stories as well. Reach out to the people who are impacted by the cause, and those who are motivated to give.

According to Elisa, "impactful, meaningful, sincere sharing of stories is key to raising awareness and getting people to take action."

3. Acknowledge Those Who Contribute in Any Way

There are two ways in which people will contribute to your cause. The first is through direct donation of money or time. The second is signal boosting. This is raising awareness about an important issue by re broadcasting your message and encouraging others to do the same. Both are very important to your cause. Acknowledge people who do this in the most personal way that you are able.

4. Create Visual Content That Makes an Impact

The stories that you share in order to generate awareness and passion will have even more impact if they are visual. Share pictures of volunteers in action. Create videos where people can speak to your cause and what drives them to be so passionate about it. Use infographics to drive home important facts.

5. Make it a Challenge

If you can create a challenge that will get people or organizations excited about your cause that can have a great impact on the success of your campaign.

"People love to weave a challenge into an important cause," Elisa explained. "The 'Ice Bucket Challenge' certainly proved that."

Here are a few ideas:

  • hold a contest where local businesses compete to donate the most money in a day
  • give a prize to the person who volunteers the most hours during your campaign
  • ask people to submit ideas for helping your cause or raising awareness and encourage followers to vote for their favorite

6. Get a Celebrity on Board

Having a great spokesperson is key. However, this doesn't mean you must land a mega celebrity to be successful. Look around your community. Is there a local television or radio personality that may be willing to help? Consider other well-known and respected public officials as well. These could be local business owners or athletes.

"If you cannot find someone who meets the traditional definition of celebrity, recruit someone who is passionate, well spoken, and knowledgeable," Elisa added.

Social media can be a powerful tool for any charitable cause. Implement these tips, and you will be surprised at how much of an impact you can make.