How To Use Social Media To Educate, Fundraise, And Engage

By Michael Lucas

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“Social media amplifies our message,” says Mark Hedstrom, US Country Director of The Movember Foundation. “Through our corporate partners and our community, our vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health reaches a much larger and more diverse audience. By focusing on developing and delivering shareable content, we can engage our community more effectively in a conversation about men’s health.”

Last year, the US Movember campaign raised $22.9 Million, of which 84 percent was allocated to men’s health programs. Hedstrom confirms that their successes are largely due to the interactive nature of their social media marketing. Hedstrom, who lost a childhood friend to pancreatic cancer, regrets not having an opportunity to really talk to him during treatment. Today, “the moustache is about starting a conversation,” he says, “engaging those around you and supporting one another—I hope I can help others.”

We caught up with Movember’s Mark Hedstrom here, and he was happy to share his insights on social media, Movember, and fundraising.

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Movember is quite the success story—in its goals of raising funds, awareness but also participation in social media—how did the cause use social media?

Managing expenses is critical. The Movember Foundation, as a non-profit, will always be focused on controlling expenses to ensure that the vast majority of the funds raised by our community go towards the men’s health initiatives we support – prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. In 2013, 84% of funds raised went to these initiatives. As a result, we have a very limited marketing budget. Online community building, social networking and grassroots fundraising is simply much more cost effective when compared to traditional fundraising models.

Our hub, Movember.com incorporates a lot of social media components. Once a participant signs up they receive their own personal fundraising page, a Mo Space, that acts as their hub for collecting donations, staying in touch with other participants, and tracking their progress. Within the Mo Space, we provide templates that can be shared across multiple social media platforms. These pre-written, customizable social media posts help our community communicate why they are involved and help them with fundraising.

What’s in store for Movember this year both in the US & Globally? Goals to be reached?

From a campaign perspective, we hope to grow the number of participants and donations so that we can continue to fund world-class programs for men’s health, in particular, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

From a program perspective, we look to engage men, their families and their friends in a conversation about men’s health, the risks men face and encourage men to take action when they experience a physical or mental health problem.

Movember is very special in their fundraising. Specifically, they are very good at empowering their audience to raise money through their own events and groups. No other non-profit that we can think of seems to work like this. Can you explain the path here?

We keep it simple. Movember is a fun take on a serious issue. We make charitable giving accessible to younger generations; our average Mo Bro (male participant) and Mo Sista (female participant) is 30. As Movember is often times the first charitable activity for the men and women who participate, we make it easy to get involved—sign up on Movember.com, grow or support a moustache for the 30 days of Movember and raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health.

Overall our community is digitally savvy therefore we tailor Movember.com and our social media platforms to suit their needs.

As there are a number of social media platforms to choose from, we constantly monitor and assess to ensure that we adapt as our community does. Wherever our participants are, we engage them there, whether it’s YouTube, Instagram or Twitter.

What are your five go-to social media favs and why?

I look for brands that know why they exist. This lends to developing an authentic product, enfranchising their employees and engaging their customers. If a company and its employees know why they do what they do, it influences all aspects of the business—particularly customer interactions, both direct and via social media.

Wearable Technology

GoPro—They have great user generated content and use this content to tell both the brand’s and the customer’s story. They make their costumer and how they use the technology, the focal point. It is quick, easy, shareable and generates social capital for their customers.

Google (Glass w/Oakley and Ray-Ban)—From use of the technology in patient care, to public safety, to action sports, the technology is changing how we share what we experience and how engage with our environment.

Travel

Southwest has always been about something more than just being an airline. The team is highly engaged and enfranchised in what the company does. My interactions, whether in person or via social media, has always been positive.

Uber and Lyft—I do not interact with them much via social media but the easy of use of their applications, the convenience and their on-brand drivers, who are not employees, is remarkable.

Retail

Zappos—For a retailer, the customer engagement is exemplary, particularly via Facebook and Twitter. The responsiveness and quick resolution of customer questions or problems stems from the employees believing in what the company stands for.

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What’s your take on the rise of social media fundraising, crowd funding? Gofundme? ALS challenge?

It’s always great to see awareness and funds raised for important causes.

Based on the success seen in the for-profit sector, we believe that charitable giving will move more towards grassroots philanthropy. This will undoubtedly put more pressure on traditional fundraising models and charitable organizations will need to adapt.

Much like the for-profit sector, grassroots philanthropy has both risk and reward. The risk we see is the diffusion of funds (and impact) across multiple fundraising platforms and events for a particular cause. The reward being societal good.

The Movember Foundation believes in impact investing, funding the first in field, best in class, highly scalable ideas. In our experience, we have found that in order to catalyze innovation, a concentration of effort and funding is required.

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How do Movember’s partners become involved & engaged via social media?

Our partners are key to amplifying Movember’s men’s health message. They educate their community on why it’s important to participate in Movember and help us reach a new audience.

We work together with our partners on messaging and our combine social media plans, e.g. page takeovers, tweets, posts, etc., ensuring that the brands connect in an authentic way. In doing this, we have found is that both brands benefit from having an opportunity to talk to their community about something new and impactful.

Any last advice?
Join the movement. Sign-up at Movember.com