• Ways to use social media for social business

    By Tiana Reid, Senior Editor of SocialBusiness.org

     This list is by no means exhaustive, but it can help the small social business owner start up and consider their social media options. The best thing about social media is a low-cost way to spread your message – and meaning – in the way that maximizes productivity. But, yes, it can be time consuming. And that’s time that’s precious for start-up social businesses and enterprises that already have their resources spread thin.

    Canadian entrepreneur Amber Mac was featured on the Lavin Agency’s YouTube channel and she discussed how, for some, social media can be overwhelming. It’s true that even though there’s an immense amount of stuff (What stuff?!) available on our smart phones, laptops and hey, even on our digital wristwatches. Mac notes that there are statistics to prove that many people are less productive in the workplace. “It’s about using the right tools and being smarter,” she said. “You don’t need to live inside Twitter all day long.”

    Remember: be effective and be productive. Don’t waste your time, because in the end, your time is your company’s resources.

    Frame content for distinct platforms

    “Social media” is a broad, broad term that encompasses everything from web-based technologies like blogs to mobile-based technologies like iPhone apps. The list goes on and on, of course. For businesses, it’s important not to lump all of it together. Here are a few tips for creating distinct content among those social media platforms that you do decide is best for you and your social business. For instance, I advise not to cross-post Twitter and Facebook (or any platform!). Twitter is a place where you can tweet 12, even 24 times a day and you won’t necessarily annoy your readership. It’s the norm. But Facebook is a slower paced friend, and its users gravitate toward image-friendly links and albums. So utilize that to the best of your ability.

    Say what you mean

    If you’re doing a mini study on LinkedIn about what you think your customers would like (or not like), ask them straight up! Or maybe even use a platform like Survey Monkey if you think your customer base is strong enough in terms of participation rate. Don’t beat around the bush or undermine the intelligence of your customers.

    Mix it up

    Pictures and links and questions, oh my! These are a few of the things that make social media users click, share and engage. It’s important not to get stuck in a rut of the same old, but rather, make a conscious effort to vary your content. If anything, ask yourself what you’d like to see from a company that you love.

    Use hashtags and participate in Tweet Chats to maximize your reach

    Moving World collected a resource of the top 13 hashtags for social entrepreneurs, enterprises and investors. No need to memorize them, but keep them in mind, especially when prioritizing your messaging.


    Keep an eye out for new social media platforms that are taking off. For instance, while many people jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, it hasn’t yet completely taken off in the social business world. If you set yourself ahead of the curve, you could reap the benefits. In the case of Pinterest specifically: do you have awesome images of your product and/or service? Consider new platforms and if you think it would work for you but don’t just join and use your time if not.

  • Five socially oriented Pinterest accounts to follow

    By Tiana Reid, Editor and Community Manager at SocialBusiness.org.

    The social sector is often given flack for not jumping on the bandwagon fast enough when it comes to new technologies, and especially, social media. But when resources are strained, tweeting your latest innovation sometimes seems like the last thing on your mind. Times, indeed, are a-changing. Everyone, everywhere, in whatever industry, is taking social media seriously. (And often, too seriously.)

    To those who care (or pretend to care): it’s been ordained that Pinterest is the web’s latest social media darling. Of course, Fancy, Pinterest’s potential rival, is also getting a lot of love lately, however, Fancy focuses on, well, selling. Products are the name of the game with Fancy, whereas Pinterest’s platform more easily allows for the sharing of ideas.

    When it comes to social good, however, Pinterest isn’t exactly a mecca of sharing. In early February, Mashable rounded up 15 of the Most Popular Pictures on Pinterest. This was it in a nutshell: baked goods, sappy quotes and wedspiration (wedding inspirations, duh). But socially oriented Pinterest accounts are out there. And there are more than this list, obviously. But here are a few that the Social Business Pinterest account follows, likes and repins.


    What? Spicy kimchi stew recipes, out-of-this-world environment-friendly architecture concepts and “the most craptastic urban rebranding efforts ever” (Grist’s words, I swear).

    What’s the cause? The environment—and the independent journalism industry that cares about it.

    What to expect? All green everything.

    Notable board? This made us LOLZ

    Project Repat

    What? This social business pins the best of their hypervisual tees, circle scarves and bags.

    What’s the cause? Recycling excess t-shirts while creating jobs by collaborating with the worker-owner cooperative Opportunity Threads.

    What to expect? Fun mixed with sass. My bet is that their “Glenn Beck is a moron” printed bag will take off faster than you can say “ASAP.”

    Notable Board: Repat Roadtrip

    Echoing Green

    What? A mix of sweet-and-simple quotes, social innovation reads and visual explanations of why the non-profit does what it does—and does it well.

    What’s the cause? A network and hub for entrepreneurs, students and investors looking to build innovative solutions to global issues.

     What to expect? Inspiration. I know, I know, Pinterest is supposedly alllll about inspiration, but Echoing Green’s boards, from ‘Intriguing Infographics’ to ‘Social Innovation’ and ‘Purpose,’ are aimed to rouse you toward action.

    Notable Board: Social Innovators Collective

    Amnesty International USA

    What? The range here is broader than broadway. Everything from marketing posters from the organization itself to film recommendations and facts. Unlike smaller social business and nonprofit Pinterest accounts, Amnesty predominately pins their own content.

    What’s the cause? You already know: Amnesty is the biggest human rights organization in the world. 

    What to expect? Variety.

    Notable board: Little Activists

    Much Better Adventures

    What? Surfing, skiing, hiking. Repeat.

    What’s the cause? Working to make travel local, ethical and sustainable.

    What to expect? Photography so trippy you’ll think LSD made a comeback.

    Notable board? Morocco Planning