Giving Back Through Social Media

Jacob Lief, Kevin Bacon, Lungi Ngceza
Jacob Lief, Lungi Ngceza, Kevin Bacon

Savvy is fortunate to be involved with a terrific non-profit called the Ubuntu Education Fund. Located in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and celebrating it’s 10th anniversary, Ubuntu reaches over 40,000 children per day with life-saving health and educational resources and services.

Ubuntu held it’s 2nd annual Gala in NYC April 28, and the stars came out to the support the effort. Kevin Bacon was the M.C. and Alan Cumming the Auctioneer (and a mighty good one at that – yours truly almost walked away with a $50K World Cup package – yikes). Paul Simon was the special musical guest and performed with Hugh Maskala — a stellar musician and band. Donna Karan, Serena Altschul and Julia Stiles were also amongst the celebrities who turned out at Terminal 5 to help promote Ubuntu’s incredible work – and Savvy was there. Click here to see some of the pictures on Flickr from this stellar event.

But Savvy’s work started prior to the event by supporting the Gala with a Social Media strategy and implementation that included: messaging development (talking points), a Facebook and Twitter promotion (pre-, during and post-event).

Amongst all of the activity on Twitter, an interesting connection was made.  As tweets were flying the day prior to the event, I (@MktgMavn), received a tweet from a gentleman in South Africa – who lives right in the town of Port Elizabeth where Ubuntu is based. @Rushay, my new friend, sent me a link on Twitter to Flickr, of the actual sign posted at the site of where the new Ubuntu Center, in Port Elizabeth South Africa is being built – all because he saw me twittering about the event. Now, ordinarily I would call that a complete coincidence, but, it really was a direct result of using social media as it was intended. And the the direct cause was a seamless and integrated strategy that increased awareness for Ubuntu, the Gala, increased followers and most importantly — continued to build on their community. Here’s a recap of the strategy:

-The messaging was concise, specific, timely and targeted
-The integration of Facebook and Twitter was the right combination for the promotion and the audience
-The timing was right (pre-, during and post-event)
-Other Tweeters and Facebook friends were watching and listening
-A conversation and a relationship with a new follower was established from across the globe – in front of others to witness – creating a real social networking experience for the brand and audience

Our work continues for Ubuntu, as a Social Media advisor, and as a friend. Social Media can be a really cost effective way for non-profits to communicate to their current community and establish a new one as well. It just takes the “Influencers” or fans, if you will, to make a difference. It’s the quality of the right strategy, implementation and the quality of the relationships, not necessarily the quantity. It also requires passion – your community, influencers, potential business partners and clients will smell it as well. Be Authentic. Be True. Be Smart. And…Be Thoughtful. Consider Social Media as an integral part of relationship building for your marketing initiatives.

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