5 ways to give back and support a good cause using social media

(BPT) - Today, it's easier than ever to stay up-to-date on current events, maintain a close connection with family and friends and to share your views with the world — all thanks to the power of social media.  The convenience that platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide is now making it easier to get involved in important causes. From donating money to raising awareness, there are numerous ways to give back using your favorite social media sites. If you're interested in helping a charity, but aren't sure how to get started, get inspired with these five online giving ideas. 

Engage with online charity campaigns

Many charities are taking advantage of social media to increase awareness, find support and raise money. You can join in too, by participating in these online campaigns. One campaign going on right now is the #MakeMLaugh challenge. M&M'S(R) is teaming up with the Red Nose Day Fund to raise money for kids around the world who need our help. Each day until May 26, 2016, a new challenge, designed to make fans laugh, is shared on the M&M’S Twitter channel (@MMSChocolate). Every time fans engage with the #MakeMLaugh hashtag, the brand will donate $1 to the Red Nose Day Fund and each day, M&M’S will feature one lucky fan’s participation in the challenge to trigger an extra $1,000 donation to the Red Nose Day Fund up to $500,000. To see all the challenges and get involved, follow the M&M’S Twitter page, www.twitter.com/mmschocolate.

Follow nonprofit organizations on your social media sites

Stay up-to-date on new events, issues and campaigns by following your favorite charities online. This simple action can lead to more acts of giving in the future, and it helps you stay educated on the issues you consider most important. 

Share a cause you care about with your network

Often, the most effective way to support a cause is to get more people involved. Share posts published by charities you follow, and explain why their work is meaningful to you. In fact, 68 percent of people said they would learn about a charity if a friend posted about it on social media site, according to MDG Advertising. Friends and family who read your updates may become interested in the cause and want to help as well. 

When sharing your thoughts on an issue or promoting a nonprofit organization, be careful not to overdo it as users don't like feeling pressured to donate. A post now and then raises awareness without annoying followers. 

Pay attention to brands that support good causes

Sometimes you can make a difference simply by buying the brands that give back. Do a little digging online to find companies that give a portion of their profits to charities or important research. Then, follow these brands on your social media channels to continue learning how the money is helping. 

Sign an online petition and give social media friends an opportunity to do the same

You can do good even if you don't have a lot of money to spare — giving back can be as simple as typing your name into a box. Sign an online petition that's related to an issue you care about, and share the petition online to raise awareness of the cause to others.

Thanks to social media, it's easy to support the causes you care about even while juggling a busy schedule. Get started today by engaging with M&M'S #MakeMLaugh campaign, and continue to become involved with the issues and organizations you find important by sharing them with others. 

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