News about the recent developments of Haiti rapidly traveled around the world, leaving millions wondering how they could lend at hand. Social Media has played a significant role in raising relief funds and spreading news about this catastrophic event.
It has been reported that in just a single day social media websites, Facebook and Twitter, have raised nearly $1.2 million. It has also been reported that they have raised more than $3 million all together, since the Earthquake.
So why has social media made such a major impact? The answer should seem rather obvious. It’s because people are hearing about Haiti relief funds from their friends on Facebook and Twitter and feel these are more credible resources than someone they do not know asking them to help. It is no secret that social media websites are based on the relationships you form with others, which makes spreading the word virally through these websites very easy and FAST!
Tweeters from Haiti have quickly been able to report updates on the situation, helping people around the world realize first-hand the impact this Earthquake is having. Twitter has played the biggest role of raising awareness and spreading the word to receive donations. Yesterday it was reported that 4 of the most popular topics on Twitter were related to the Earthequake in Haiti. Meanwhile, Facebook has launched a Global Relief Page to help “spotlight efforts” people are making in response to the crisis.
Mobile donations are also a successful way to raise funds because it’s an easy way to donate and there is no personal commitment for individuals who wish to help out. Cell phone users can simply text their pledge and the donation is automatically added to their cell phone bill.
Immediately after news of the Earthquake in Haiti, Wyclef Jean tweeted a message asking for donations, creating “Give on the Go” which is a fundraising division of a mobile marketing company, Red Fish Media. Together they have raised over $750,000. Please Text YELE to 501501, if you wish to donate to Wyclef’s charity. Red Cross has also launched a campaign to donate $10 to Haiti via text message. Text Haiti to 90999.
The Haiti Earthquake proves that charity can go viral, which shows the impact social media has had and will have on the world. Social media has now received great recognition as a vital tool to get news out there FAST and create a dramatic impact.