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If anyone questions the worth of social networking media, there’s a prime example of how it can be used with the ongoing earthquake relief effort in Haiti.

After news of the earthquake hit the global news media, it was noticed that communications with survivors were next to nil. This led to news media outlets being inundated with calls from ex-patriots, family and friends searching for details on the wellbeing of loved ones on the stricken island. Those who could get a message out resorted to getting the attention of as many people as possible via social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook, Haitians are asking for help.

In one day a fundraising campaign done using text messages and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook raised more than $5 million for Red Cross relief. Celebrities caught on using their Twitter feeds to “Help Haiti”. Facebook groups started to appear, one of which gained over 100,000 members – many of whom changed their status updates to announce their donations to the Red Cross – which in turn, encouraged their Facebook friends to do the same. Text and social media donations grew rapidly, with another $10 million coming from other sources, which provided a never-seen-before phenomenon. Texters were donating small amounts like $10 each, spontaneously deciding that it was a manageable figure. The fundraising efforts have more than doubled and totally surpassed any previous fundraising efforts by the Red Cross.

Twitter users, know that Trending Topics are the attention-getters and what most users are reading. Using keywords and key phrases help to drive users to the information you want read. Likewise do Facebook Groups. With Facebook, you motivate your Friends with your Status Update. If compelling enough it will create a viral message that they will also use.

54% of Fortune 100 companies use Twitter. The primary use is for increasing brand recognition with news updates and product announcements, plus as a part of recruitment efforts, ultimately driving traffic to blogs and websites. Company blogs are the main focal point of social media, as the end result is a means to create a two-way conversation with the user via commenting. 32% of Fortune 100 companies have a corporate blog. Blogs typically rank higher in search engines because of regular updating, and in a lot of cases are more credible because of the human factor. 29% have a Facebook fan page.

According to a recent Forrester report, U.S. companies are projected to spend more Interactive Marketing dollars in Mobile Marketing and Social Media than traditional Display Advertising.

So whether you want to announce the latest jam spread on your morning toast, or to make the world a better place by announcing your intentions, social networking media is a valuable communications tool.

If you would like to donate to relief efforts on behalf of Haiti, here are some useful links:
Canadian Red Cross – https://www.redcross.ca
Plan Canada – http://plancanada.ca
WorldVision Canada – http://www.worldvision.ca
Care Canada – http://care.ca
Salvation Army in Canada – http://www.salvationarmy.ca


frank beecham

Frank Beecham
Mystique Brand Communications