Using Technology To Advance Cause and Company
Written by Tim Morral for Gaebler Ventures
Just as technology can transform a good business into a great one, technology can be leveraged by social entrepreneurs to take their social contributions and their social causes to a much higher level of effectiveness and efficiency.
Technology has transformed the way the world does business.
But by integrating your company's social mission into your existing technological infrastructure, you can also employ technology to transform the world itself.
One of technology's greatest strength is its ability to bring people together. Every day, small businesses use technology to connect customers and clients with their products and services. But as a social entrepreneur, you need to take that connection one step further. Instead of simply connecting your customers with your products, you need to leverage your technology to connect them with your cause and with others who share their social passion.
Technology and its applications continue to evolve, and the opportunities to use technology to advance your social mission increase every day. Yet there are a number of technological tools that are already at your disposal. Here a few simple tips to help you get started . . . .
If your company doesn't already have a website, your first step is to get one - fast! Your company website is the virtual hub of your business, a "home office" on the internet. But more importantly, your company website represents your company's identity to the world and if you have adopted a social agenda as part of your corporate mission, it has to be included in your site because it is a vital part of your business.
Possible Site Features
Most social entrepreneurs choose to give their cause its own page or section of pages on their company website. Others, however, decide to take it to the next level by incorporating more advanced features such as discussion boards or blogs focused on connecting people who share a passion for their cause. Hyperlinks to outside sites and media downloads (photos and/or video) can also enhance your cause's appeal on your website.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Ultimately, your website is only as valuable as its ability to attract visitors. Many small businesses engage professional help in maximizing the number of hits their sites receive through search engines like Google or Yahoo. But since your company has a business and a social mission, it's important that your site be optimized for both.
Social networking sites like Facebook are a powerful tool for attracting and retaining your customers. But they can play an important role in advancing your cause, too. Once you have created an identity on the social networking site, you can begin the process of recruiting "friends" - people who share an affinity for your company, your cause, or both. By merging your business agenda with your social agenda in a single identity, you can potentially double your company's exposure and connect with others who share your vision to make the world a better place.
Nonprofits understand that in today's virtual marketplace, some donors prefer to conduct their giving through online mechanisms. If your company has created a strategic partnership with a specific nonprofit, one of the ways you can support them is to increase their potential donor base by including an online giving tool on the front page of your company website.
Tim Morral is a veteran business writer who specializes in helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their companies. Based in Rochester, NY, Tim has worked extensively in the areas of brand communications and small business content creation.
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