November 17, 2011

Tweet Beat: Local nonprofits using Facebook to raise awareness

Print

By Michelle Hagopian/For CU-CitizenAccess — Two Champaign-Urbana organizations that might be overlooked during the holiday season are using social media to spread awareness about their causes.

Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s mission statement is “Alleviating hunger. Nourishing stronger communities.” The organization has 866 Facebook followers and 589 followers on Twitter.* The food bank serves soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food pantries in the C-U area, and distributes millions of pounds of food annually.

On Facebook, the group posts fairly regularly, linking to event pages and promoting the bank’s efforts. The group’s Twitter page, however, is less active. On average, the organization tweets several times per day, but the page can go a week without an update.

The Champaign County Humane Society has 4,069 followers on Facebook, but only 464 on Twitter.* The organization posts photos of animals available for adoption, informs the public about pet vaccines and links to its events on Facebook. Followers write on the group’s wall, often thanking the organization for uniting them with their new pets.

Like Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s page, CCHS’s Twitter page is less prominent. Although the group posts on a weekly basis, word seems to spread faster on Facebook.

With the holidays approaching, social media is a quick and convenient way to reach out to C-U residents willing to lend a helping hand.

*Numbers as of Thurs., Nov. 10.


About our Tweet Beat: 

Michelle Hagopian is a journalism graduate student in the College of Media working with the CU-CitizenAccess.org team this semester and follows the social media scene in Champaign-Urbana.

She reports on how the community is using social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook, so that users can get an idea of what different groups are talking about.

She also looks at different software to collect and analyze tweets and ask for advice and ideas from the community.

Contact her at

hagopian.michelle@gmail.com.