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Join the Kindness Movement


Join the Kindness Movement

by Kate Vandeveld

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” - Bob Kerrey

When thinking about impact, large-scale initiatives and world changing projects often come to mind. We think about reducing poverty, creating jobs, and lobbying for policy change. But when it comes down to it, our day-to-day impact on the people with whom we interact and care for is just as crucial in creating a better world.

We’re not trying to simplify the very complex and intricate processes that lead to social change, but just being consciously kinder to those around us can be hugely impactful.  

That’s why we’re excited about World Kindness Day, taking place tomorrow, November 13th. World Kindness Day is a 24-hour celebration dedicated to focusing on the good. A number of campaigns have cropped up around the idea that kindness matters.

If you want to spread the word about and join the official kindness movement yourself, here are some of our favorite campaigns and initiatives:

Spread Kindness

As we mentioned, World Kindness Day is going down tomorrow, November 13th. Started by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, this 24-hour period is focused solely on spreading kindness. On this day, they encourage you to join the movement by sharing a kindness quote (you can even use the designs they’ve created for you!) and doing things from a list of “kindness activities” that they have compiled. They offer a variety of ideas and quotes, for those who are looking for inspiration.


Celebrate Kind Acts 

The best way to spread the kindness movement is simply by recognizing kind acts when you see or experience them. Taking a minute to say thank you to a person who you see being kind calls out and reinforces those acts. KIND Snacks is taking it a step further, celebrating those acts of kindness with their #kindawesome campaign. Here’s how it works: When you see someone being kind, give them a #kindawesome card, either in person or digitally, and the company will send them a free KIND snack. Encourage them to pass it on to someone else they see being kind, to keep the kindness going. The campaign provides a tangible way to recognize kindness, which we think is pretty cool.

If you want to learn about and discuss different ways to celebrate World Kindness Day, KIND Snacks is also hosting a Twitter chat with Upworthy this Friday. Join the conversation with #UpChat and #kindawesome from 1-2pm EST tomorrow, November 13th. 


Share Your Skills

Do you have a skillset you’d like to apply to a good cause in your spare time, but you don’t know where to get started? Check out Skillshare.  Skillshare connects individuals with organizations that need help. The assistance is voluntary, and projects are short-term, so you can make a big impact, without the long-term commitment. 


Become a Mentor

Remember when you were at the very beginning of your career? If you’re like us, you probably experienced moments when you felt a bit lost – unsure what you wanted to do, or how to advance once you had found your path. If you feel like you have some wisdom to pass on, consider joining a mentoring program. Do a little research around mentorship programs in your city, and they’ll pair you up with someone who could use your advice and encouragement.


Pay it Forward

The concept of paying it forward is extremely powerful: when you’re the recipient of kindness, do another kind act for someone else in return. We saw a beautiful pay it forward campaign, inspired by 18-year-old Alyssa Josephine O’Neill, who died of epilepsy in 2013. As a tribute to their daughter, her parents bought a round of coffees for strangers and asked that her initials, #AJO, be written on their orders. This sparked what would turn into a national movement of small gestures to pay it forward that continues to this day. Whether you participate in the #AJO movement, or simply go out of your way to do something kind for a stranger, a small act of kindness can go a long way.


Give Back to Your Community

Each community has unique needs. Have you noticed a need in your area that you feel like you could address in some capacity? Maybe you live in a city where it gets particularly cold in the winter, and you could organize a cold weather drive to provide blankets and winter gear to those who need it. Or maybe you could become a tutor at a school. Do some research on your local community needs, and see what you might be able to do to help. 

Do you know of another kindness initiative that you’d like us to share with the rest of the WhyWhisper community? Send us an email, tweet to us at @WhyWhisperCo, or comment below – we’d love to spread the word.

"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved." - Kurt Vonnegut


6 Resources for Staying Informed About CSR


6 Resources for Staying Informed About CSR

by Kate Vandeveld

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) landscape is constantly evolving and expanding. Just when you think you have some kind of grasp on what’s happening in the space, a new idea arises or a new program launches that changes the game, even if just slightly. It’s amazing to watch the space grow, knowing that impact is being made with each new idea or program.

If you’re as into learning about CSR as we are, you may be looking for resources that will help you stay in the loop as the space evolves. Here are some of our favorites: 

Websites / Blogs / Reports

B Corps

B Corporations, generally known as B Corps, are for-profit companies that have been certified as meeting certain standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. With over 1,400 businesses certified, to date, the B Corps website acts as a great resource for finding businesses with a substantive focus on CSR. The B Corps blog provides information about individual businesses and their leaders, as well as tips and advice, covering topics like how to be the best boss in the world and how top-performing B Corps improve their impact. B Corps also offers annual reports on their status and progress, which are great resources for monitoring B Corps impact.  


The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire, or CSRWire, is a great resource on the latest news, views and reports in corporate social responsibility. The CSRWire blog is a collaborative effort, featuring posts by CSR experts and thought leaders that go live every few days. The topics are varied and interesting, ranging from the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the importance of involving youth in the conversation around social and environmental impact. They also provide reports on social responsibility from a variety of sources, so you can get a comprehensive look at the status of the space.

Business for Social Responsibility

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) is a non-profit business network and consultancy that is dedicated to sustainability, and working with businesses to create a just and sustainable world. Their blog, case studies, and reports all act as valuable resources for those who are interested in CSR. They also organize an annual conference in which people and businesses from all over the world come together to share ideas and expertise on social responsibility in business. This year’s is coming up next week in San Francisco


Twitter Chats


#CSRchats are bi-weekly Twitter conversations centered around various CSR-related topics. These conversations were started by Susan McPherson, founder of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focused on the intersection of brands and social good. Each discussion features a special guest from an organization involved in CSR. These chats aim to increase awareness of different CSR initiatives and foster discussion around relevant issues. Find out about the next one and be sure to mark your calendar!

Triple Pundit

Triple Pundit is an online publication (and certified B Corps!) that focuses on the connection between people, planet, and profit. Their website is a valuable CSR resource, and their Twitter chats cover a wealth of related topics and issues. To stay current, follow them on Twitter and contribute to conversations. We also recommend that you subscribe to their newsletter!



The Corporate Social Responsibility Podcast

In this podcast, David Yosifon, a corporate law scholar who focuses on CSR, examines different elements of social responsibility through interviews and discussions with experts and thought leaders in the field.  With seventeen episodes available, to date, the podcast covers topics like human rights and corporate tax ethics. If you’re into podcasts and CSR, be sure to check this one out.


Do you have a resource that you use to stay up-to-date on CSR? Share with us! Let’s help each other stay in the loop and make progress. Here’s how you can share:


How to Get Social on Social Media


How to Get Social on Social Media

by Kate Vandeveld

Social media is an incredibly impactful tool, but it can be alarmingly (and ironically) anti-social if it takes the place of developing real-life connections. To ensure you’re using social media to establish meaningful connections (that even translate to real life!), execute in a thoughtful manner.

How to Get Social on Social Media -- via WhyWhisper Collective

Here are some of our tips for connecting and building relationships on social media

Pay Attention & Stay Active

If you want to use social media to find and connect with others in your field, you have to pay attention and stay active. First, follow the individuals and organizations in your space that you’re already connected to or know about. Then, find other people who are talking about your interests by searching for and staying on top of hashtags that those in your space are using. Develop Twitter lists for different types of individuals and organizations that you want to engage with, and check those lists daily. Look for groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that are relevant to your interests, and engage with others in them by posting and responding. When you see something worth sharing, re-tweet it with a comment (great new Twitter feature, in case you don’t know about it yet!).

Be Responsive

If you’re paying attention and staying active on social media, other users will begin to follow you, and share and respond to your posts. Take advantage of the opportunity to connect! Thank new followers and those who share your posts. When someone sends you a direct message or mentions your work, respond to them. Try to be thoughtful with your responses, rather than sending blanket messages that may feel like spam. Responding to those who engage with you in a genuine way will go a long way in building meaningful connections.

Actively Reach Out

While you could just passively interact on social media (waiting for others to reach out to you and responding accordingly), you will be much more effective if you actively reach out to people as well. Before you begin active outreach, make sure your profile is up to par: check out your photos to make sure they’re crisp and representative of you, and take a look at your descriptions to make sure they are accurate and include a link to your website or work. Then, look for thought leaders in your space, as well as less influential individuals who are sharing valuable information. When you see that someone has shared something of interest, respond with a question. If you really want to connect, send a direct message, but be thoughtful about it. Make sure your message is genuine and informative. Who knows? One little tweet or Facebook comment could lead to a strong rapport (our founder has met several clients and team members via Twitter!).

Follow Up

So, you’ve just gone to an event where you made some interesting connections, or met someone in passing with whom you share a common interest. You may not be comfortable sending a formal follow-up email or perhaps you don’t have their information, but you do want to keep the connection alive and/or learn more about their work. Social media is the perfect medium for this kind of follow-up. First, follow or connect with these individuals, and then determine the best way to reach out. Need ideas? Send them a direct message asking for a follow-up meeting. Thank them for a specific bit of insight or just for taking the time to talk. Share something that they’ve posted as a show of support. No matter how you go about it, following up on social media is a great way to sustain what would have otherwise been a fleeting connection.

Join Twitter Storms & Chats

When you’re passionate about a specific topic or issue, you generally want to discuss it with others who share that passion. If you’re having a hard time finding the right audience in real life, turn to Twitter. Beyond using hashtags to find those with common interests, you can also seek out Twitter Storms and Twitter Chats. These are organized Twitter conversations, spanning a short time period and around a specific topic, in which all Twitter users who are interested in the topic are invited to participate. You can use these conversations to gain information, to engage and connect with others who share your passions, and to pose questions that you’d like to discuss openly. Afterwards, use it as an opportunity to take the conversation offline.

Take the Conversation Offline

Social media conversations don’t have to begin and end entirely online. Once you’ve developed a rapport with an individual or organization, you can decide whether or not it’s appropriate to take the conversation offline and connect in person. In fact, many individuals have even used social media to land jobs!  


It takes some time and effort to establish meaningful connections on social media, but it can be incredibly worthwhile. Do you have any additional tips, or a story about a time when you developed a relationship on social media that extended to real life? Share with us! Here’s how:


Fight for Gender Equality This Women’s History Month


Fight for Gender Equality This Women’s History Month

by Kate Vandeveld

As you may know, this past Sunday was International Women’s Day. But if you missed it, you can join the conversation about women’s empowerment and gender equality all month long – March is Women’s History Month!

Fight for Gender Equality This Women’s History Month - via WhyWhisper Collective

Here’s the deal: It’s 2015, but a huge gender gap still exists in so many aspects of society. In 2014, women held only 14.6% of executive officer positions in the U.S., and only 18.5% of the seats in Congress. A recent analysis by the United Nations shows that violence against women is alarmingly high all over the world. And 31 million girls of primary school age are still not enrolled in school worldwide, with girls dropping out at a much higher rate than boys. These are just a few of the many statistics that make it clear: while we’ve made strides toward empowering women, there is still a great deal of work to be done.

No matter your gender, we need you to join the fight for equality if we want to make lasting progress. Here are some ways you can get involved:

Inform Yourself About the Issue

First, inform yourself of what we’re up against, and why equality is not only positive, but necessary. There is a plethora of important statistics about gender inequality, but there is also a good deal of research around why empowering women is good for everyone, not just women.

To start, companies with women well-represented on their boards are more financially successful than those without. In fact, an increased number of women in the workforce results in faster economic growth overall. And providing an increased number of women and girls with access to education has contributed to overall economic growth worldwide as well.  Gender equality isn’t just about improving the world for women, it’s about improving the world as a whole.

Fight for Gender Equality This Women’s History Month


Join the Conversation on Twitter

Twitter has been buzzing with conversation around women’s empowerment and gender equality this month. As we’ve discussed, Twitter can be a powerful tool for sparking global discourse about important social issues, and this is a perfect example. Thousands of people have joined in the conversation, sharing powerful thoughts about how we can move toward gender equality, what’s been holding us back, and how inequality has affected their own lives.

Some of these conversations have been centered around specific events, such as International Women’s Day – #IWD2015 – but others are ongoing indefinitely. If you want to contribute, or start a conversation of your own, start by following these hashtags:


Attend a Rally, Event, or Conference

Throughout the month of March and beyond, a number of organizations are putting on rallies, events, and conferences focused on women’s empowerment and gender equality. These events aim to inform, engage, and inspire individuals who want to join the movement, and incite conversation that will lead to lasting change.  Here are just a few:

Fight for Gender Equality This Women’s History Month


Support Organizations That Stand Up For Women

If you can’t attend one of these events, but want to show your support for the movement in a tangible way, consider making a donation to an organization that you admire. Many of these organizations that work tirelessly for gender equality are underfunded and/or understaffed, so your financial support will go a long way.

You can also further the movement by increasing awareness of the organizations you care about. Whether you spread the word via social media, or do it the old-fashioned way, the more people that know about these organizations and their work, the better.


Make Changes in Your Own Life

One of the most powerful ways you can impact gender inequity is through your own actions. If you’re part of the workforce, stand up for yourself – ask for a raise when you deserve one, and challenge unfair systems. Support other women in your workplace, and speak up when a colleague says something derogatory about women. Don’t be afraid to break glass ceilings, no matter who says you can’t or shouldn’t. If we’re going to create substantive, lasting change, women need to stand up for themselves every day. It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.


What are your favorite organizations that are working for gender equality? Share with us – we’ll do our part to get the word out. Here’s how to do it:


Why You Need a Social Media Strategy


Why You Need a Social Media Strategy

by Kate Vandeveld

As social media marketers, we often engage with clients who want to launch a social media presence or campaign quickly. And we get it – when you’re ready to get the word out about your product or services, you really want to hit the ground running. But, if you want to ensure your social media efforts are an effective and strong representation of your brand, it is so important to develop a strategy before you jump in and start posting.

Why You Need a Social Media Strategy via WhyWhisper Collective

When you set aside time to plan out your social media strategy, you can…

Make Sure You’re In the Right Place

Often, those who are new to social media feel like they should be everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube…you name it. But really, being on too many social media platforms can be detrimental. If you’re on too many platforms without good reason, you could be wasting time trying to maintain a channel that isn’t speaking to the audience you intend. Conversely, if you choose to forego certain platforms without research, you could miss out on promising engagement opportunities.

When selecting your social media platforms, you’ll want to consider who you’re trying to reach, what kind of content they’re interested in, what you can provide that’s of value to them, and how much time you have to stay active. You can find some of this information for a few of the most widely-used social media platforms here.

Then, once you’ve selected your social media platforms, you need to set them up correctly. Start by making sure that your images are crisp and compelling, that your descriptions are optimized for search, comprehension, and tone of voice, and that your branding is aligned across all platforms. First impressions are critical on social media, so think through how to do it right.


Decide On Your Destination

Before launching anything, you should be able to answer “why?” Do you need greater awareness of your products or services? Are you hoping to increase revenue or donations? Are your customers looking for a more personal buying experience? Define your objectives carefully, and identify the metrics you will need to track. Make a plan to report these metrics and analyze your data on a regular basis. This will allow you to make adjustments and improvements along the way.

Why You Need a Social Media Strategy via WhyWhisper


Develop a Strong Voice

Just like in a conversation, your tone and voice are incredibly important on social media. If you already have a strong sense of the persona you’d like to express, taking the time to write it down in detail will go a long way in making sure you get it right. Putting it in writing also means you’ll be able to share your voice and messaging guidelines with your team, if they should ever need to post on your behalf.

If you’re unsure of the voice you want your brand to convey, look at the brands you admire and write down what you like most. Do you want to be casual and witty? Speak more formally? Come across as a friend, a mom, or an authority figure? There are so many ways you can position your brand, and what you decide will have a big effect on the extent to which an audience will engage with your posts.


Make Room for Creative Ideas

Once you know who you’re talking to, where you need to be, what others are doing in your sector, and how to be efficient with your time, you’re in the best possible place to come up with creative ideas. Take CTC International’s #LoveIsProject. Earlier this year, the organization launched a social media campaign in promotion of a new crowdfunding effort, encouraging people to connect with each other by posting their own stories of love with the hashtag #LoveIsProject. With careful planning, they saw enormously high participation rates, and exceeded their crowdfunding goal of $5,000, raising a total of $32,844. 

Or take a look at, a non-profit that brings young people together to tackle some of the world's most pressing problems by creating and joining social impact campaigns. Through careful strategic planning, they've developed a strong voice that appeals to their target audience: young, motivated individuals who want to make an impact. Their humorous and engaging content has prompted thousands to get involved in their campaigns, which have made an impact a range of issues, from bullying to homelessness to literacy.

Why You Need a Social Media Strategy via WhyWhisper

Ensure Efficient Management

Every platform requires a different posting frequency, and posts are more effective on various platforms at different times of day. Maintaining social media feeds can be time consuming, and sometimes overwhelming; but, it doesn’t have to be. By planning ahead, you can utilize time-saving social media management tools to schedule posts and monitor relevant activity from others automatically. You can develop content calendars that ensure consistent messaging across platforms. And your management strategies will free up your time to focus on authentic engagement with your audience.


Review Best Practices & Content

Make sure to look at what others in your space are doing well or poorly, as well as how different types of content are received on different platforms. When you go in blind, you miss the opportunity to learn from the mistakes and successes of others.


No matter how well acquainted you are with social media, or how excited you are to launch your social campaign, you will find great value in taking the time to strategize. Developing a focused strategy will make a huge difference in your long-term results.

What are some of your tips for strategizing around social media? Share with us in the comments below, or on our own platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn


5 Ways to Step up Your #Hashtag Game


5 Ways to Step up Your #Hashtag Game

by Kate Vandeveld

Let’s talk about #hashtags. As many of us know, hashtags allow social media users to group key words and phrases so they are easily searchable. But these days, they are so much more; and coming up with a solid hashtag is a crucial element of most successful social media strategies.

5 Ways to Step up Your #Hashtag Game - via WhyWhisper

Here are some of the ways you can use hashtags take your social media strategy to the next level:

Promote an Event

You can use a hashtag to promote an upcoming event. Share event details using the hashtag, so potential and confirmed attendees can easily see what you’ll have to offer. Ask ticket purchasers to share that they’re attending using the event hashtag, so that their followers will take notice as well. Promote images of past events, when possible, to entice first-time attendees.

Then, use the same hashtag during the event itself so attendees can share their experiences, be it through quotes, anecdotes or photos. This is free (and sometimes even viral) publicity, plus it allows you to review the event from the perspective of your attendees after it’s over.

One great example is goods for goods#GalaforGood campaign. Leading up to their annual Gala for Good fundraiser, the organization uses the hashtag to share event details, encouraging their followers to join in the fun and promote the cause. Then, at the gala, attendees are encouraged to share their favorite parts of the evening using the hashtag, providing a fun overview for anyone interested (and fodder for the next year’s campaign!).

5 Ways to Step up Your #Hashtag Game - via WhyWhisper Collective


Launch a Campaign

Whether you’re launching a new product or fundraiser, you can rally people around your campaign with a great hashtag. Often, people first become interested in a product or an organization because they’re committed to the mission behind it. Hashtags give companies and organizations the opportunity to share their mission in one short, shareable statement that will engage their followers.

Standbuy, a crowdfunding platform for those who have been diagnosed with cancer, launched a fundraiser last year using the hashtag #StandbuyEachother. Not only did they encourage contributors to spread the word about the campaign, but they also used the hashtag to collect stories of gratitude for times that their followers received help in a time of need. Using the hashtag in this way built a positive conversation around the campaign, and strengthened and expanded Standbuy’s community of supporters.

5 Ways to Step up Your #Hashtag Game - via WhyWhisper


Increase Engagement

Hashtags can also be used to increase engagement with your target audience and expand your following. One tactic is to ask questions of your followers using a specific hashtag, and encourage them to share their answers using it as well. Another is to simply include your hashtag in posts about a relevant topic, and ask your followers to do the same.

For example, nonprofit organizations that are working to end human trafficking often use hashtags like #endhumantrafficking, #endtrafficking, and #endslavery to rally supporters on social media. Through these hashtags, those who are interested in the issue can engage with organizations that are doing work they believe in, that they may not have known about otherwise.  You can learn more about how to get involved in the fight against human trafficking here

5 Ways to Step up Your #Hashtag Game - via WhyWhisper


Participate in a Movement

Twitter has emerged as a platform for discussion around major global events and social issues, and those conversations are often centered around hashtags. Hashtags allow people from around the world to easily connect on these topics, sharing their thoughts and opinions.

One incredible example of how a hashtag contributed to such a movement started in summer of 2013, when George Zimmerman was acquitted of shooting Trayvon Martin. In response, hundreds of thousands of individuals participated in the #BlackLivesMatter movement on Twitter, voicing their anger and disappointment in the police force and judicial system. Today, the movement continues, and extends far beyond Twitter.

If you’re interested in using hashtags in this way, here are some other ways that you can spark global discourse through Twitter.

5 Ways to Step up Your #Hashtag Game - via WhyWhisper


Start or Join a Trending Topic

You can also use hashtags to attract new followers in your day-to-day strategy. The original purpose of hashtags was to organize certain words and phrases so that they are easily searchable to all users. That purpose is still relevant today, and is the basis for many meaningful connections.

If you’re tweeting about a topic that you think others might be talking about as well, do a little bit of research on the hashtags associated with the topic. If it’s something that is currently in the news, it may be an official trending topic – check the list on the left-hand side of your Twitter feed. If not, you can still include relevant hashtags in your tweets to engage others who might be searching for articles or conversation on the same topic. Some of our favorites are #socialimpact, #socent, and #changemakers. Share with us in the comments if you know of a hashtag you think we should follow!

5 Ways to Step up Your #Hashtag Game - via WhyWhisper


While Twitter and Instagram are the most popular platforms for using hashtags, they are also supported on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, and more. Be sure to consider which platforms you’ll be using and how you can integrate your hashtag into your campaign across all of them.

If you’re developing your own hashtag, make it simple, catchy, and unique to ensure effectiveness. A good hashtag is pure gold when it comes to engagement in the fast-paced world of social media, so take the time to be thoughtful about it.

What’s the best hashtag campaign you’ve seen recently? We want to know about it! Share with us in the comments below, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You?


Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You?

by Kate Vandeveld

At WhyWhisper, we work to make sure that organizations and businesses that are changing the world are able to spread the word about their work as effectively as possible. And as a widely available, generally unrestricted, and low-cost communication channel, social media is an essential part of any marketing and communications strategy.

But in order to engage the right audiences and enhance your brand, it is crucial to choose the right social platforms. Too often, organizations opt to use too many platforms, and then neglect them or use them ineffectively; or choose the wrong platforms and miss important segments of their audience.

Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You? on WhyWhisper

Here’s what you need to consider in order to ensure that you’re utilizing the social media platforms that are best for you: 

Who are you trying to reach?  

What are the demographics of the people you’re talking to? Think in terms of age, gender, location, education, income level, etc. Also, are you hoping to reach individuals or businesses?  

What kind of content do you have to share?

Do you have a lot of original content to share with your followers? How often does your content feature images that you could share on social media?

How much time do you have to stay active?

Think about this in terms of how much time you’ll have to dedicate to social media on a daily or weekly basis.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, reviewed the amount of original content you have to share, and assessed how much time you have to remain active and engaged, you can start to determine which platforms you should be using. Here’s how it breaks down on some of the most widely used social media platforms:

Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You? - WhyWhisper
  • Audience: Facebook has the largest audience of all of the social media platforms, with little variance between age and gender, though it skews slightly female. Facebook can be used to reach any demographic.
  • Content: Consider using Facebook if you have access a good deal of original content. Ideally, you’ll want to use images as much as possible on Facebook, as posts that include images perform much more successfully than those without.
  • Time commitment: Facebook requires a lower time commitment, as most posts can be scheduled in advance through the Facebook platform itself, and you won’t need to engage as actively as you would on a more fast-paced platform like Twitter.
    • Recommended frequency: 1-2 posts each day (scheduled through Facebook)


Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You? - WhyWhisper
  • Audience: If you’re trying to reach a younger audience, especially those aged 18-49, consider using Twitter. While Twitter’s audience skews slightly male, you definitely shouldn’t discount it if you are looking to reach a more female audience. Because Twitter’s users are more active than those on other platforms, with 46% logging in on a daily basis, it is ideal for reaching highly engaged individuals who are looking for the latest and greatest information.
  • Content: If you are going to use Twitter, you should have access to a large amount of original content or the time and ability to remain consistently active with your followers on a daily basis. Twitter’s interface is such that new posts are only at the top of the queue momentarily, so you have to introduce new content frequently to stay on your audience’s radar.
  • Time commitment: As noted, Twitter requires more consistent time commitment for growth and engagement. Though the bulk of your posts can be scheduled in advance through a third party management tool, you will want to be engage with your followers live as much as possible as well.
    • Recommended frequency: 4+ posts each day (scheduled through a third party management tool), plus as much live interaction with followers as possible


Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You? - WhyWhisper
  • Audience: If you are trying to reach the 18-29 age bracket, consider using Instagram. The platform’s users skew slightly female (29% of all internet users versus 22% of men). Instagram’s audience has been steadily on the rise, with 26% of adult internet users now on the platform (up from 17% in 2013), so it’s definitely worth considering if you have access to compelling visual content.
  • Content: As Instagram is a primarily visual platform, you should definitely have access to shareable images if you’re considering using Instagram.  
  • Time commitment: Instagram requires frequent sharing and consistent use for growth and engagement, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding whether or not to use it. Posts can be scheduled in advance through a third party management tool, though on this platform it is more difficult to control the visual outcome of a scheduled post than it is to post live. Because of that, we recommend testing out the management tool to make sure that posts look the way that you want them to before scheduling a large number of them.
    • Recommended frequency: Posting 4-7x/week (live or scheduled through a third party management tool), plus as much live interaction with followers as possible


Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You? - WhyWhisper
  • Audience: If you are trying to reach females aged 18-29 and 50+, you should definitely consider Pinterest. Pinterest skews considerably more female, with 42% of women on the internet are using the platform compared with just 13% of men.
  • Content: Pinterest content is focused around images, so definitely consider this platform if your content is image heavy.
  • Time commitment: Pinterest requires active sharing and use in order to grow and maintain a following. Like with Instagram, Pinterest posts can be scheduled in advance through a third party management tool, but be sure to test it out to make sure that your posts look like you intend them to before scheduling a large number.
    • Recommended frequency: Posting 3-5x/week (live or scheduled through a third party management tool), plus as much live interaction with followers as possible


  • Audience: If you are trying to reach employed college graduates aged 30-64, you should consider using LinkedIn. This platform is geared toward professionals, and those who are looking to network on a business level. Because of this, LinkedIn is ideal for B2B companies, and companies with a high level of need for new talent. It's also great for non-profits that are looking to find volunteers and engage with other similar organizations.
  • Content: LinkedIn users are looking for industry insights and news about your business or organization. If you have a good amount of that kind of information to share with a young professional audience, definitely consider using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is also a great place for finding volunteers, building professional connections, and finding new talent for your business.
  • Time commitment: LinkedIn requires less consistent sharing and use, so it is not nearly as time consuming as some of the more fast-paced platforms. As with Instagram and Pinterest, posts can be scheduled in advance through a third party management tool (like Hootsuite or Sprout Social), but we recommend that you test it out with LinkedIn as well.
    • Recommended frequency: Posting 1-2x/week (live or scheduled through a third party management tool), plus some interaction with groups that are relevant to you or your brand

Once you’ve narrowed your options down, we recommend that you get a bit more in-depth with your strategy. Consider the following:

Which platforms are your competitors using, and how are they using them?

Research where your competitors are on social media, and how successful they are on the platforms they’re using. You’ll likely want to be where your competitors are, and you can use their strategies as a starting point to determine what is working to engage similar audiences (as well as what isn’t!).

How do you or your brand stand out from competitors, and how can you use social media to showcase that?

Think about the things that make you or your brand unique from your competitors, and how you can accentuate that value through social media. For example, if your content features beautiful images, whereas your competitors’ does not, which platforms can you use to best showcase them? This way, you can draw in a different segment of your shared audience.

If used effectively, social media can make a huge difference in helping you achieve your goals, whether you want to increase web traffic, boost donations or revenue, or simply grow your following.

What are your favorite social media platforms, and why? Let us know in the comments below, or share with us on our own social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Using Social Media as a Catalyst for Social Good


Using Social Media as a Catalyst for Social Good

by Kate Vandeveld

At this past week’s Social Good Summit in New York, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made an important statement on the subject of social media:

“Today, social media is one of the most powerful tools for mobilizing communities across the oceans and generating collective solutions to challenges in peace and health.” 


While some may disparage social media as being a hindrance to productivity and a medium for narcissism, the reality is that social media can and should be used as a tool for creating real, substantive change.  Last week, we discussed using Twitter as a catalyst for global discourse, but that is just one of many ways that social media can be used to break down socioeconomic, cultural, and political barriers that hinder conversation and impede progress. As a generally unrestricted, and widely available means of communication, social media provides all of us with feasible ways to contribute to social good.

Here are some of the ways that social media acts as a powerful tool for change:

Spreads Awareness About Preventable Illnesses & Diseases

With social media, we have the opportunity to reach people across geographic and social boundaries and spread the word about pervasive issues to domestic and international audiences.

At the Social Good Summit, President Carter went on to speak about the effects of social media on global health, specifically the Guinea worm disease. Social media has played a significant role in the movement to eradicate Guinea worm disease, raising awareness about the waterborne parasite. The Carter Center even developed an app called “Guinea Worm: Countdown to Zero” that allows users to follow the progress of the Center’s eradication program, and provides information and other resources to those who are affected by the disease, as well as those who are contributing to its eradication on the ground. As a result of this effort, the Carter Center asserts that Guinea worm disease will soon be the second human disease to be eradicated.

Mobilizes Resources in Times of Need

Social media allows for the rapid spread of information, which is a crucial element in times of need. When a natural disaster strikes, natural or man-made, social media has proven to be an effective way to spread the word about how individuals can provide aid to those affected.

For example, when bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon killed three people and injured an estimated 264 others, people in the Boston area remained ready to assist in the recovery efforts, despite their personal fears and the obvious devastation.  Social media platforms became the favored method of disseminating information. As the city watched social media for more information, the American Red Cross used Twitter and Facebook to encourage Bostonians to donate blood. The bombings took place on the afternoon of April 15th, and by that very evening they had enough blood to treat all victims

Calls Upon Communities to Identify Criminals

With 271 million active monthly Twitter users and over 1.2 billion active monthly Facebook users, these platforms act as an effective means of securing information that could have taken months or even years to obtain in years past. Now, when a question is posed on these social media platforms, engaged users are often eager to respond with their knowledge and opinions, much of which is useful from a practical standpoint.

On occasion, social media has even helped authorities identify alleged criminals. On September 11th, a group of Philadelphia residents allegedly attacked a gay couple in what has been widely acknowledged as a hate crime. Authorities were able to capture an image of the attackers from surveillance footage, and shared it on social media in an attempt to identify them. In a matter of days, word spread across Twitter, and the alleged attackers were identified and arrests have now been made

These are just a few of the many ways that social media can act as a catalyst for social good. How do you use social media to further social good? Let us know in the comments below or reach out via Facebook and Twitter.


How to Spark Global Discourse through Twitter


How to Spark Global Discourse through Twitter

by Kate Vandeveld

Have you ever wished that you could engage with global thought leaders and experts, but weren’t sure where to start? You’re in luck – Twitter is here to bridge the gap between amateurs and experts and provide a platform for global discourse.

Twitter is often used as a platform for reactive discourse: Individuals and organizations use it to learn about what’s going on in the world, respond to global events, and share information they find to be of interest. But Twitter can also be used as a proactive platform for engaging and galvanizing audiences to take part in movements that are changing the world.

Here are some of the many ways that Twitter can be used to encourage proactive discourse:

Moderate a Twitter Chat

Twitter chats are a fun and engaging way to foster communication between experts and interested individuals. Twitter chats are live Twitter conversations that are usually centered around a particular topic, and promoted and moderated by an individual or organization. The host selects a (generally short) time period and a hashtag that is relevant to the chosen topic, and then promotes the upcoming chat to their followers. Anyone who wants to participate can do so simply by following and using that hashtag within the specified time period.

Givology, a social enterprise that connects individuals to grassroots education projects and student scholarships around the world, hosts and moderates weekly Twitter chats, called #givchats. Each week, Givology invites one of its partner organizations or another non-profit that they admire to participate in a #givchat. The chat is promoted in advance, so that interested Tweeters can mark their calendars to participate in the live sessions. They also encourage interested parties to submit questions beforehand. Givology acts as a moderator during the live chat, selecting questions and posting them on their own feed throughout the hour-long session, and the participating organization answers questions posed by other Tweeters, providing input on the specified issue.


Host a Global Twitter Conference

These days, many of us are able to use the Internet to engage with others who share our interests without having to actually be in the same place. The Twitter conference takes this concept to the next level, opening the conversation on a given topic to anyone and everyone who is interested in participating. These digital conferences are not just one single Twitter chat, but a series of chats focused on a particular topic that are led by field experts and leaders.

An incredible example is the MDG500 event that took place on August 18th, the 500-day milestone before the target date to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. For this online-based event, the United Nations Development Programme hosted a day-long Twitter conference using the hashtag #MDGMomentum. The day’s schedule was available to the public, so anyone with an Internet connection and Twitter account could take part in conversations of interest to them by following along with the hashtag. UNDP staff joined the conversation from all over the world, hosting and participating in crucial conversations about global issues like maternal health, poverty, and gender equality.


Create a Twitter Party Fundraiser

Twitter allows individuals and organizations to quickly capture the attention of an audience. Because each Tweet is only on a Twitter user’s radar for a limited period of time, each message carries an inherent sense of urgency that is extremely helpful in getting people to take action. It is therefore an ideal platform for promoting fundraisers.

Each year, Campbell's Soup hosts a fundraiser and awareness campaign in conjunction with the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Movement called Address Your Heart with Campbell's. To promote this year's fundraiser, they put together the Address Your Heart Twitter Part, during which time they donated $1 to the AHA for every tweet posted with the hashtag #AYH for an hour on the evening of January 27th. This Twitter party fundraiser both boosted awareness of their brand's affiliation with the AHA and gave people an easy way to contribute to the AHA through Campbell's. For more information about legal considerations in cause marketing, read Kyle-Beth Hilfer's recent post

No matter where you are geographically or what you’re passionate about promoting, you can use Twitter to as a tool for encouraging proactive conversation and engaging other passionate parties.

Have you used Twitter to engage with others in this way? Let us know in the comments below or reach out via Facebook and Twitter.



Developing a Nonprofit Strategy to Drive Donations


Developing a Nonprofit Strategy to Drive Donations

by Shanley Knox

At WhyWhisper, we see a common thread among the nonprofit organizations we work with. While driving awareness and consideration is a critical need for nonprofits, the main concern is whether this awareness will drive back to donations. 

That’s always the crux of the social media issue, isn’t it? Organizations want to see direct return on investment in order to feel that their time, energy, and budget is directly growing their capacity for positive impact.

While there is no magic formula for increasing donations, there are elements of social strategy that have been directly tied to increasing donor consideration. Below, we detail out some of our team's favorites:

Get Personal:
It’s been said that your best customer is the customer you already have. The same is true for donors. Every time a donor contributes, you have a direct opportunity to convince them to do it again — not to mention convincing their social followers to do the same. One powerful way to amplify this opportunity is by tweeting links to your donation landing page and letting individual donors know how their contribution has made a difference.

charity:water, a New York-based nonprofit committed to providing clean drinking water across the globe, takes this strategy to the next level by sending donors letters about how their donations have been used, with a link to encourage them to share the difference they’ve made via social media.

Tell a Story:

While Twitter is a powerful platform for sending short bits of information to donors, Facebook is the most effective way to tell a social story.

The more specific a story can be, the more emotionally moving it is for donors to see and relate to. This is evidenced by the success of Make A Wish Foundation's Facebook page , which features pictures, names, ages, and stories of the children whose wishes have been granted through donors' contributions. On these posts, fans regularly share their own stories, illustrating the lasting bond built by the organization. 

Make A Wish.png

Make a Game of it:

Blood donation shortages have been an issue for years. Red Cross Singapores response? Make a game out of it. 

In a recent effort to encourage blood donation, the organization created an iOS and Android application that uses social recognition, sharing, and donation push alerts to encourage donors to be actively involved in solving the organizations long-term donation shortage. 

Still not sure you want to get in on the fun? Here are 10 more examples of gamification playing a critical role in generating engagement and donations for social causes around the world.

Red Cross Connection.png

Include Digital Advertising: 

Digital advertising - and video advertisement in particular - is extremely successful when it comes to driving donations. According to a July 2013 Google study, 76% of donors research online less than one week after viewing an ad. Additionally, 57% of people make a donation after viewing a video online.

Digital Advertising.png

Go Mobile:

Last, but certainly not least, it’s vital for nonprofits to include mobile optimization in their social strategy, as over 1/3 of people contact nonprofits via mobile devices and 25% complete their donations via their phones.  Additionally, 1 in 4 people find nonprofits of which they were not previously aware, via mobile searches and 40% compare reviews of causes they are interested in on their mobile devices.

Thinking of taking it a step further, and launching a mobile campaign? Here’s a great how-to guide to get you started.

Do you have a favorite social strategy element that you use to increase donations? Be sure to share with us below, or via Facebook and Twitter.


Are You Effectively Supporting Your Nonprofit Event via Social Media?


Are You Effectively Supporting Your Nonprofit Event via Social Media?

Social media has the power to sell tickets, reach new audiences, and generate conversation. That being said, it involves more than just sharing an update. Here are a few ways to effectively use your channels before, during, and after an event: 

Create a Twitter Hashtag
Creating a unique Twitter hashtag is a great way to get fans to recognize and take part in conversation that pertains specifically to your event. It also provides an efficient way to access an organized feed of all relevant visual and written content, alongside the users who posted it.

Provide Branded Activation
Many event planners are now using tech-savvy ID wristbands for general admission and/or VIP access to their events. These wristbands can be customized for admission, ticketing, social sharing, and more -- all through RFID technology that uses radio waves to automatically identify people and/or objects. If you’re not feeling that tech-savvy just yet, you can create your own version of a branded photo booth. By placing signs or logos in photo backdrops and decorations, you establish a way for attendees to inadvertently promote your brand throughout the night. 

Use an Amplifier
An amplifier is a tool that allows fans to tweet all together at the start of an event. Some examples include Thunderclap, JustCoz and Gaggleamp. Thunderclap, for example, creates an impact through "the power of people speaking together”. If enough people in your network sign up, it blasts out a Facebook Post or Tweet from all your supporters at the exact same time, thereby creating a wave of social media attention. 

Create a TwitterWall
A Twitter wall serves as an ongoing visual reminder for attendees to live tweet throughout your event. Twitterfall and Visible Tweets are excellent for this purpose. People feel validation when seeing their tweets projected live. Meanwhile, your nonprofit gains visibility amongst attendees' online audiences. We've even seen people take online conversations offline after recognizing another's avatar! 

After Story
Once your event is over, follow up with digital participants to ensure that you effectively convert them into fans and donors. One way to continue the conversation is to collect photos with the event hashtag and post them to Facebook and flickr. Additionally, you can use an app like storify to curate tweets, photos, videos, and resources to share with attendees and fans.

Have other ways you like to promote your events? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


5 Ways Twitter Will Grow Your Social Enterprise


5 Ways Twitter Will Grow Your Social Enterprise

As a social entrepreneur, you're likely accustomed to wearing many hatsfounder, sales executive, HR director, public speaker, and marketerjust to name a few.

In each of these roles, Twitter can be an incredibly useful toolbut in the midst of doing a million things at once, its easy to lose sight of its value. How can you utilize the platform to further your career, your cause, and your story?

Here are five ideas to get you started: 

  1. Identify and Engage Your Target
    Are you looking for buyers? Users? Early adopters? Whatever your target, you can find them on Twitter. Follow the accounts interacting with your competitors. Search related industry hashtags (e.g. #socent) and join the conversation. Share compelling stories that are relevant to your audience. Once you've established a relationship, ask for email addresses and be sure to reference your Twitter conversations when sending out your pitches. 
  2. Differentiate From Your Competitors
    We know how time-consuming  (and important) it is to put together a comprehensive business and marketing plan on a budget. Well, researching the competitive landscape is an essential component of such a plan. Use your social channels to find the companies, organizations, and individuals who are active in your field. Identify what they're doing to support their endeavors, as well as what they could do better. This will give you great insight into how to structure your own marketing initiatives, and how to differentiate your product. 
  3. Become a Trusted Resource
    While you and I may know the amazing value of your product or service, others have yet to find out. This means that the majority of the population is not going to come to you out of instant admiration. They will, however, come for the purpose of learning something valuable. Curate content from others, share resources, provide insight, and engage in conversation. When you demonstrate your expertise in a useful and humble manner, the demand for your product will follow.
  4. Meet your network
    Looking for experts to advise you? New friends to support you?  Use Twitter bios to identify your prospects. Respond to a relevant article they wrote, congratulate them on a recent accomplishment, or ask them a burning question. Also, don't be afraid to RSVP to events they’re attending via Meetup and Eventbrite or ask them to meet in person. 
  5. Strut Your Stuff
    Social networks are one of the best ways to share your current and prior work. Did you write a blog post? Participate on a panel? Receive an award? Post it. All of it. You never know the opportunities that may surface because you were displaying a valuable skill set. 

Have other ideas for Twitter that could be useful to social entrepreneurs? Note them in the comments below! We're working to provide valuable resources to social entrepreneursthe more material, the better!