Kings and Queens

All the talk about Thanksgiving has inspired me to post about what many people focus on during this holiday: food. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? Mine has to be my grandmother’s homemade turkey and dressing- there’s nothing like it! I dream about this dish all year long, and sometimes she even makes it for me when it’s not Thanksgiving because she knows I love it so much.

Social media has been full of posts about Thanksgiving this month, especially today since the holiday is tomorrow. I came across an infographic in an article on Mashable about the most talked about Thanksgiving foods, so let’s take a look:

 

Who knew people loved green beans so much? Well, while great food is one part of the holidays, my favorite part is getting to spend time with family, especially seeing certain family members that I often miss during other times of the year. Thinking about the things I am thankful for reminded me of the people I have met in Haiti, New York City, Knoxville, and the billions of strangers around the world who don’t have these things. They don’t have a shelter where they feel safe all the time, or more food than they could ever eat before it goes bad, or even a closet overflowing with clothes that they don’t even wear (and in case you still don’t get it, I have way too much stuff). I know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are often a time when people are more conscious of the poor, but my hope is that I can make a difference in those people’s lives no matter what time of year it is, and that I can inspire others to do the same. I have mentioned the The Bowery Mission in New York in other posts, and recently they have been posting on Facebook and Twitter about the donations they received after hurricane Sandy, as well as donations for Thanksgiving. KARM here in Knoxville has also been posting about the donations they have received for Thanksgiving. Seeing these posts makes me want to help those in need, but also reminds me that I need to do a better job of being faithful in helping the poor no matter what time of year it happens to be, because many of these people will be forgotten once the first of the year comes around. I don’t want these people to be forgotten. I want these people to be loved and cared for more than I want that homemade turkey and dressing from my grandmother on Thanksgiving. I want them to feel like kings and queens, not just for a day, but every day. I guess my point is that I am happy that Americans like to help the poor during the holiday season, but I would encourage you to think about those in need year-round! Go help those in need and watch how it changes your life. So go eat some great food, help some people out who might not be having a great holiday season, and be thankful for the things you have been blessed with!

Check this music video that is part of a project to help those in Haiti:

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Giving Back Through Social Media

In Advertising we learn that brands have relationships with their customers, and that we should always be thinking of how to engage consumers with the brand we are representing. I believe that social media has made the process of building relationships with consumers even easier. Consumers already use social media, so why not go where you know that they are already spending time? Today I was catching up on Mashable and noticed an article that gave links to the 40 Essential Mashable Stories You May Have Missed in 2012. Well apparently I missed an essential story in July called Viral Philanthropy: The Impact of Crowdsourced Compassion. This article talks about many different causes that have been able to raise more than enough money to support projects or people who need it using social media. Slava Rubin, founder and CEO of Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site said, “I think we’ve moved from a world of transactions to a world of relationships.” I agree with Slava because social media has changed the way that people talk to each other, the way that they interact with each other when they are not spending time together in person, and the way that they connect with causes that they believe in. Here are a couple of examples of campaigns from Indiegogo:

Check out Indiegogo’s latest campaigns to help a cause that you believe in!

   

Building Relationships with Social Media

Two posts ago I wrote about an article that gave several examples of ways that non-profits can successfully use Twitter to gain more interaction between their organizations and the people in their community.

As I have expressed in earlier posts, I dream of working for a non-profit organization some day, and I am always on the lookout for ways to increase interaction with organizations in my community. So when I came across this tweet, I had to share it:

This is the official Twitter account for the Habitat for Humanity Organization, not a local branch, but the organization is using Twitter to interact with people who are interested in Habitat all over the world.

The key to successful non-profit organizations like Habitat is not just funding, but it is volunteers. That is why I get so excited when I see non-profits engaging with people like Habitat did through this live chat. Social media is an exciting way to get people involved with any organization because many people are already on social media, so meeting them where they are to show them that the organization is willing to interact with them can make a great impact.

Leaders and Tweeters

Mark Schaefer tweeted a blog post today titled “Do Non-Profit Leaders need to be great tweeters?” by Niceworknj. The blog gives advice to non-profits about different ways to tweet successfully. I would love to work full-time for a non-profit, so this information was a great way to study examples of tweets from all types of non-profits. The screenshot below is from Salvation Army of Newark’s Twitter account:

This tweet seeks to make its followers aware of a power outage, but doubles as a method to get followers talking about the event and Salvation Army by adding the “Salvation Army” hashtag, along with the local branch “Team Newark” hashtag.

So, do non-profit leaders need to be great tweeters? Yes. “Twitter is an excellent tool to connect, inform, inspire and share conversations with constituents and stakeholders” (Niceworknj). Twitter is about connecting and interacting with followers. Using it purposefully will not only increase awareness of an organization, but it will also connect people with the organization and hopefully get them involved in the community through the organizations they are following.