Why you need to start your social media buzz

publication date: Oct 30, 2012
author/source: Janet Gadeski
The Huffington Post is all about content, and according to its Canadian general manager Rashida Jeeva, so is the online world. Do you want your supporters to talk about you, give to you, work for you and introduce others to you? Then you'll want to give them content to share in their online networks.

Content, she claims, is the fuel of the social web. Consider the statistics that Jeeva shared at October's ArtezInterAction conference in Toronto:  
  • People spend over half their online time (53%) on published content such as portals, entertainment and news, and nearly another third in places that allow them to share content (social media, 23%; email 7%).  
  • Every minute of the day, Facebook users share 684,478 pieces of content and Twitter users send over 100,000 tweets. 
  • 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day, and that figure doesn't include messages related to content - just the actual share message.  
  • When messages are industry-specific, and especially if they include a product or brand name mention, they're even more likely to be shared.  
  • People are much more likely to share content with friends and family than with colleagues or the general public. That means that overwhelmingly, they're sharing with the people most likely to be influenced by their opinions - including their preference for your charity. 
What can your charity, even if it's a grassroots organization, learn from the Huffington Post? The site's content, Jeeva explains, "encourages and enables every reader to become personally engaged on a variety of levels, from taking action on matters of serious social consequence to displaying small individual acts of support." 

So start small. Take a look at your supporters and figure out where they're interacting on the Web. Engage a volunteer or two, and give them the information and brand guidelines they need to help you reach out. Resources on getting started in social media are plentiful - get sharing, and get your supporters connected even more powerfully to your cause.    

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