For my Carnegie UK Trust report on the use of social media in civil society, we want to include a list of “outcomes”, i.e. possible results of using social media (provided that you do it right, of course!). We’d also like to pull together some very short examples – from charities, NGOs, unions, mutuals, co-ops, etc. – that illustrate these outcomes, where we can. Of course, there aren’t necessarily enough examples out there, but it’d be good to try and find some.
Here’s our preliminary list of outcomes:
- Social media helps to engage with segments of the population that traditional marketing may find it difficult to reach.
- Social media enables conversations to take place, which facilitates the co-creation of knowledge.
- Social media improves the relationship between an association and individual supporters, as well as between supporters.
- Social media allows information to rapidly ripple through a community, thus enabling quick and effective mobilisation online and offline.
- Social media provides platforms for dissent by allowing people to express discontent or highlight abuses of power.
- Social media strengthens offline communities, and offline events strengthen online relationships.
- Social media improves the transparency, governance and accountability of organisations, which increases trust in those organisations.
- Social media brings about financial benefits by helping organise direct and indirect fundraising.
- Social media, used internally, helps improve the effectiveness and efficiency of organisations and enables flexible staffing and volunteering.
- Social media helps create highly responsive and less hierarchically governed civil society associations.
Do you have any more key outcomes that you think we’re missing? Any of these that you disagree with? And, most importantly, do you have any examples that would illustrate these?