December 27, 2011

45 hashtags for social change

Image by jeffisageek on Flickr

Print out this cheat sheet to keep tab on the top tags

During the holiday break, Socialbrite is updating and republishing one of our most popular posts from last year.

By Kim Bale
Socialbrite staff

45 hashtags guide

Sending a tweet into the Twitterverse without a proper tag is like stocking a library with no regard to author or subject matter. Your messages may go unread and opportunities to connect with others may be missed.

Make room for a hashtag in your post. That will add your tweet to an existing thread, given that Twitter now turns hashtags into links. Bottom line: When used strategically, hashtags are definitely worth the precious extra characters.

We wrote earlier about how nonprofits can use Twitter hashtags. But hashtags have evolved a bit since then. Download and print out our new 45 hashtags for social good flyer so that you always have the right tag ready for your tweets.

What’s a hashtag? Our social media glossary says this:

A hashtag is a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. Similar to tags on Flickr, you add them in-line to your Twitter posts by prefixing a word with a hash symbol (or # sign).

How to create your own hashtag

Hashtags are useful when discussing a specific topic, trying to reach a certain demographic, aggregating tweets about an event or trying to raise awareness of a cause. Twitter now creates a link whenever anyone adds a hashtag — click it (say, #cause) and you’ll see a thread of most recent tweets that contain the same tag.

Anyone can create a hashtag. Just affix the # symbol to the beginning of a word, tweet it — and you’ve got your #hashtag! A hashtag can be included anywhere in your tweet — in the beginning, middle or at the end (though generally the latter). It doesn’t matter if the hashtag is uppercase or lowercase.

If you’re holding a conference — for example, #12ntc — or a special event or tweet regularly about a specific topic, you’ll likely want to use a hashtag. Be sure to announce the hashtag in advance so your followers will begin to use it. Need help with a fundraiser you’re organizing? Tag it with #fundraising and it will appear in a thread like this:

How to find the right hashtag

How to choose the right tag? Start with our flyer, then visit to, type in the hashtag and see how other people are using it. You can also go one step further and search the hashtag on an analytics website, like Trendistic, What The Hashtag or, to see how it’s trending over time. This will clue you into which hashtags are most popular and which hashtags you should avoid because they see more action than the freeway at rush hour — say, #politics.

Note: You can’t add any punctuation to your hashtag, so it’s #web2, not #web2.0.

Can’t find the right hashtag for your tweet? Create your own. Just remember to keep it short and recognizable so others will use and search it. The longer your hashtag is (say, more than 10 characters), the less likely other people will be to retweet it.

Before you create your own, check out these existing hashtags for social change and start a conversation. Have your own favorite, or spot something we missed? Please add in the comments below!

Social change & activism

1. #socialgood: This hashtag can be used to discuss any topic related to social good. Closely related: #socialchange.

2. #cause or #causes can be used to discuss subjects related to social causes.

3. #volunteer, #volunteers and #volunteering all seem to be equally popular when talking about or looking for a volunteer opportunity.

4. #4change: This hashtag was created to flag a monthly chat on how social media is helping to foster change.

5. #video4change is used to feature successful and creative video advocacy examples.

6. #giveback: Use this hashtag to talk about giving back to the world and your community.

7. #dogood: Support the movement to do good and share your good deeds with the world.

8. The Occupy movement uses these hashtags: #OWS, #occupy, #occupytogether, #occupywallst, #occupywallstreet and #OccupyEverywhere, along with local variations like #OccupyOakland. (See Occupy Wall Street: The fight for the future.)

Nonprofits & foundations

9. #nonprofit: This versatile tag can be applied to any tweet concerning the nonprofit sector (and is somewhat more popular than #nonprofits).

10. #nfp and #notforprofit: Similarly, these can be used interchangeably for discussions about not for profits.

11. #philanthropy: Tag your philanthropic news with this hashtag.

12. #charity: Mark your charitable tweets with this hashtag, or the slightly less popular #charities.

13. #charitytuesday: Share your favorite nonprofits with your followers every Tuesday.

14. #nptech: Use this for tagging nonprofits’ use of technology.

15. #foundation or #foundations when discussing news about foundations. In the same vein: Use #grant to reference all things grant related.

16. #crisiscommons: This hashtag is used largely during disasters to create crowdsourced solutions that contribute to disaster relief, along with the hashtag specific to the disaster.

Social businesses

17. #socent: Use this tag to discuss social entrepreneurship.

18. #impinv: Use this to discuss impact investing.

19. #crowdfunding: For discussions of enterprises and projects funded by the crowd. Closely related: #crowdsourcing.

20. #socialbusiness: Use this to refer to business working toward social good.

21. #changemakers: Use this when discussing change through social entrepreneurship or when referring to Ashoka Changemakers.

22. #BOP (Bottom of the Pyramid): A favorite among entrepreneurs, this can be applied to a variety of tweets from topics concerning frugal spending to untapped resources. Be aware, however, that this hashtag gets a lot of use by those outside of the nonprofit sector. The related #bopbiz might be a better choice.

23. #entrepreneurs: Great for connecting with talented entrepreneurs.

24. #csr (Corporate Social Responsibility): Use this for tweets about sustainability and corporate programs to serve the public.

25. #microfinance: Use this when discussing microfinance or extending financial services to the low-income sector. Continue reading

December 23, 2011

Happy holidays from Socialbrite

JD LasicaWe’ve been working at a breakneck pace for much of 2011, publishing an original article nearly every weekday to help nonprofits, social enterprises, cause organizations and businesses learn how to effectively use social media for your organization.

Now it’s time to take a cue from our mellow springer spaniel/cocker spaniel mix, Casey. We’re turning our attention to family, friends and loved ones during the next two weeks (while publishing an article here or there and tuning up the site between opening gifts and finding a sustainable alternative to eggnog!).

So, have a happy Hanukkah, merry Christmas and joyous Kwanzaa from your friends at Socialbrite!

December 22, 2011

Say ‘Happy New Year’ to nonprofits worldwide with one click

Click to support .NGO

Shonali BurkePerhaps you’ve started celebrating Hannukah, or you’re counting down the hours until Christmas Day. In the midst of your holiday cheer, which is well-deserved and much needed, would you take a moment to give a really great gift to nonprofits worldwide?

All it will take is one click. I’m serious.

Here are the deets:

Next year, thousands of new Internet domains will be up for grabs. One that is important to the nonprofit community is the .ngo domain (pretty obvious why, right?). So it’s equally important that the right organization be chosen to run this new domain.

Public Interest Registry (PIR) is the nonprofit organization that currently manages .org, the domain that has served the nonprofit community for more than 25 years. So it’s the natural choice for managing the .ngo domain.

They are up against venture capital and other for-profit groups that would like to gain control of the .ngo domain. However, the nonprofit community can make sure that doesn’t happen by signing this petition supporting PIR’s bid. Note: Only nonprofits should sign this form.

Continue reading

December 19, 2011

How Google+ Ripples can move supporters to action

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, cause organizations, NGOs, brands, businesses, Web publishers, educators, journalists, general public.

This post appeared originally on the ComMetrics blog.

Debra AskanaseGoogle+ rolled out its Ripples feature a few weeks ago, with just a hint of data potential within Google+ for marketing and engagement. Google+ Ripples is really the first set of metrics we’ve seen from Google around Google+. It’s not enough, of course, but worth parsing because it hints at what is to come from Google. It also offers Google+ users relevant information about the use of circles, G+ influence, and how data is spread.

What is Ripples?

Ripples is the data visualization over time of how your posts are shared: when, by whom, and to whom. Once a post has been shared even once, an option to view the Ripple will appear in the drop-down menu to the right of the post. Google adds a time stamp video to Ripples that visually shows the spread of a post over time. Quite simply, it shows the “ripple effect” of the content that you post.

Why is it important? It’s all about moving people to action

Know your influencers

1Whether you work for a nonprofit or a brand, you want to know how your social media activities can move supporters, followers, and fans to action. Ripples tells you who among your followers has real influence that moves people to act. This is especially important when thinking about campaigns and audience segmentation.

For example, I posted a link to a ComMetrics story about Google+ brand pages to my Google+ profile. It was shared six times (five public shares and one private or limited share).

Visually, Ripples shows that Janet Fouts was the most influential sharer of this post, since she influenced three other shares. What does that tell me? It tells me that Janet is interested in this type of information, that she can influence others to share, and that she may be influential within other social networks as well. If I were a running an organization, I’d find out more about my strongest Ripple influencers, create new circles for influencers, and further segment influencers by their areas of interest. (For a view of an incredible Ripple, check out a Ripple started by the Dalai Lama.)

Find new influencers

2If you know who your audience is, use Ripples to find new fans and supporters. Start with your known “superfans,” those hwo love you and share your information on other social media channels or platforms. Look at who is sharing your superfans’ posts, find those influencers, and circle them. Cultivate those “friends of friends” by thanking them, mentioning them in posts, and asking for comments.

Is there someone you are trying to reach? Find them on Google+ and find out who influences them by looking at their re-shares. Are you trying to find new fans? Search for a hashtag on Google+ and look for posts that have a lot of shares. Also, don’t be afraid to tag Google+ users in a post, if you really want to engage them. Social media is all about engagement, so find those you want to know, circle them, and engage them in a real way through conversation and sharing of their posts. Continue reading

December 16, 2011

YouTube’s viral stars: The new nonprofit ambassadors

“It’s Time,” a nonprofit viral video from Australia, shows the power of YouTube for raising awareness.

Project 4 Awesome on YouTube: 5 years of online community organizing

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, cause organizations, NGOs, brands, businesses, Web publishers, educators, journalists, general public.

Guest post by Hunter Walk
Director, Product Management, YouTube

Hunter-WalkIn 2007, YouTube stars John and Hank Green, known online as the VlogBrothers, asked everyone on YouTube to upload videos for their favorite causes and charities on Dec. 17. This YouTube community driven movement became known as Project for Awesome — so many people participated that the videos actually took over the YouTube homepage in a “flurry of awesomeness.”

Last year Project for Awesome generated 10 million video views, raised hundreds of thousand dollars, and was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for 36 hours.

Now celebrating its fifth year, P4A is a shining example of how YouTube can help nonprofits of all shapes and sizes raise awareness, funds, and friends.

Leveraging the YouTube community to do good

Kevin Wu has been using YouTube to help raise awareness and build a middle school in Kenya with The Supply, a nonprofit supporting education

At YouTube, we have 800 million unique visitors a month. That is a big, engaged audience wanting to be inspired, informed, and entertained. As seen with Project for Awesome, when you talk to the YouTube community, they talk back to you and to each other. As in any community, the YouTube community has celebrated figures leading trends and movements. Savvy nonprofits are figuring out how to interact with YouTube stars to reach a new generation of supporters.

For example, YouTube comedian Kevin Wu, aka KevJumba, has been using YouTube to help raise awareness and build a middle school in Kenya with The Supply, a nonprofit supporting education. Through his second channel on YouTube, JumbaFund, Kevin donates 100% of the ad revenue to charity. The JumbaFund channel, currently at over 43 million total views, is solely dedicated to supporting the school. Continue reading

December 15, 2011

OnSwipe: Make your site ‘swipeable’ on the iPad!

San Francisco Goodwill’s look on the iPad (click for larger version).

Free service lets nonprofits enter the new world of tablet publishing

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, cause organizations, NGOs, brands, businesses, Web publishers, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaOne of my favorite discoveries of the past few weeks has been OnSwipe, a service that enables you to optimize your website for the iPad — for free!

If you go to most websites using an iPad, the experience is hit or miss. Website navigation is quite a bit different from tablet navigation, and as a result reading on a tablet can sometimes prove to be a chore. Not so with an OnSwipe-enabled site. Your home page looks completely different — see the example of San Francisco Goodwill, a Socialbrite client, at top — and the entire experience is one where you touch instead of click and swipe instead of search for a scrollbar.

Call up or on the iPad and you’ll see what the experience feels like. If you’re game, it takes about 5 minutes to set up, and it’s free. Go ahead, do it for your nonprofit, business or social enterprise and be hailed as a rock star when you show it off to your executive director, CEO or board members.

OnSwipe: ‘Make your site look beautiful on Web tablets’

The other day I interviewed Jason L. Baptiste, co-founder and CEO of the New York-based startup, which has 16 staffers.

“It’s a very simple idea,” he said. “We let the publisher of any website make the site look absolutely beautiful on Web tablets. It’s for the new world of touch and swipe.”

It works like this:

CEO Jason Baptiste

CEO Jason Baptiste: Tablets are the TV of this generation. There’ll be millions or billions of channels.

You don’t need to add any code to your site or blog, and the end user doesn’t need to download an app. All you do is head over to and register. The process takes you through four quick steps, where you plunk in your site’s url, RSS feed or feeds, desired layout, hit Save and you’re done.

The service still has a few rough edges: For example, when I first registered Socialbrite, I entered my name under “Username” when I should have entered “Socialbrite,” and the url wound up being There’s also no Category for nonprofits or social good. And including your Twitter feed makes your tweets show up in a clunky way.

But those are quibbles. Just minutes after you register, call up your site in Safari (or another Web browser) on the iPad and you’ll see a marked difference. Your home page is transformed into a series of vertical strips holding your latest posts as well as photos, videos and more. Click on any of them and you’ll be able to read stories in a magazine-style format. Swipe and you’ll see the next one. Nice. Continue reading