4 Brands Promoting Social Change Through Social Media

Part of Internet Week New York this year focused on social change at a day-long “Promise” summit. That event, produced by ThinkSocial and sponsored by Pespico, showcased brands, executives and entrepreneurs using social media to affect global change. ThinkSocial is a non-profit initiative dedicated to analyzing the use of social and mobile media, and we decided to take this opportunity to look at 4 brands that promote social change through social media.

The inspiring day was praised by Internet Week attendees and considered a highlight at the conference’s Metropolitan Pavillion headquarters June 10. At the end of each talk, presenters made socially responsible commitments. Attendees shared their own “#Promise Tweets” throughout the day, as well.

Here are the top five examples from the Promise summit of brands creating socially responsible campaigns:

1. MTV

Teen abuse and bullying statistics are staggering. One in three teens have sent or received nude photographs. Half of teens between 14 and 24 years old experience digital abuse; and teens who “sext” are four times more likely to commit suicide. MTV created the “A Thin Line” campaign to stop the spread of digital abuse. A Thin Line involves creating online social media initiatives and dedicated TV programming. The organization promises to use all platforms for the next 18 months so young people may be empowered to draw their own lines between digital use and digital abuse.

2. Pepsico

Pepsico is investing in a healthier future for people and the planet. The company in April launched the Pepsico Dream Machine, an initiative delivering recycling kiosks to venues such as gas stations and public parks. Using these recycling kiosks allows you to rack up points so you can redeem online prizes.

3. Edward Norton’s Crowdrise

Edward Norton presented Crowdrise, a DIY fundraising site he founded which crowd-sources volunteerism and social media. The “Fight Club” star hopes his initiative will lead to funding for more socially responsible projects. Norton talks more about his new project in this Mashable video here.

4. Timberland

Timberland has teamed up with Wyclef Jean to create new boots with recycled soles, due out in a few weeks. For every pair sold, $2 goes to the Yéle Haiti Foundation. In addition, reps from Timberland said they would train every consumer-facing employee (of which there are more than 8,000!) to utilize social media for communication and transparency. The company further plans to plant 5 million trees in five years in Haiti and China.

“Smart companies are being forced to shift from policy makers to social enablers,” said Ogilvy’s Evan Slater. It’s great to see corporations (and actors!) becoming socially responsibility and using social media to make a larger impact with their messages.