Social media has received welcome praise from the world of social enterprises. Just like any other brand or business social enterprises need to inform consumers about their ventures. The thing I like about social enterprises is that they have a story, a voice, and a meaning. They are able to create meaningful and valuable social content to inform, educate and make a difference. Their voice can be amplified and their message can reach millions worldwide – well if they do social right!
In January 2011 The Guardian published: ‘Using Social Media for Social Good: A Guide for Social Enterprises’. The article gives a good run down of how social media can amplify your voice in stressing key issues and provides some practical examples. It’s a good starting point for what social media can do in spreading your social good message (although I think you could do a lot more).
The thing that I like about social media, and something which I think businesses forget, is the potential to network with others in your area. I have a friend, although she doesn’t run a social enterprise, she wants to crack America with her jewellery designs. Social media is the perfect platform for her, not only can she reach the end customer but build relationships with larger retailers. This is also good news for social enterprises, they can co-operate together and raise awareness!
On Twitter the hashtag #socent can be viewed to see a roundup of what’s happening in the world of social enterprises. A strategy for future growth is to mark the hashtag in your tweets. You can also join in conversations that use the #socent hashtag or any other relevant post.
I go on a lot about creating valuable content, it can be hard for consumer goods (and service) brands to create valuable content, as they want to sell. As social enterprises find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading others to take new leaps, their content already has value. Social media can then be the vehicle to spread that value to worldwide audiences.
At a local level, I recently read a case study paper of a co-operative development in rural England that was facilitated by social media. Like with consumer goods and professional services, the social good message can be easily spread through social media.
I always seem to be able to link everything back to social media but all avenues lead back to social media. The prolific rise in social interactions makes it the perfect avenue to reach your audience but you need to create valuable content, and I think that social enterprises are the perfect example of an industry that should do well in creating value. Maybe consumer goods and services and those in professional services could learn from the social activities of social