How to Use the Power of Social Media and Local Businesses to Fuel a Local Charitable Online Marketing Campaign

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How to Use the Power of Social Media and Local Businesses to Fuel a Local Charitable Online Marketing Campaign


It's the time to pay thanks and what better way for real estate professionals to become actively involved in their communities than to put the power of social media marketing to a charitable use online?  Today I am going to use the GiveNGoble Campaign to illustrate how you can use the power of social media and your local business connections to power a local charitable online marketing campaign.

The Give'n'Gobble Campaign is Sherwood Oregon's annual 5Krun/walk and 10K run on Thanksgiving.  The money and food raised during the run/walk goes to Helping Hands, a local food bank associated with the Oregon Food Bank.  This year they have turned to social media to fuel their donations and WOM(Word of Mouth Marketing) and it has served the campaign well. 

Here is what they did that you can emmulate to drive a local charitable online marketing campaign,

1.  Bought a domain and drove traffic to a designated website for the charity

Give n Gobble website

The website gives all the necessary information about the charity as well as an eye catching left hand side bar with 10 reasons why to participate and photos of the past year's events.  It also includes a sponsor list, a map(would've been nice to see a Google Map also), a lists of sponsors (which are logos that link back to the sponsors websites) a form for volunteers, and a press release section.

I would buy a designated domain.  Domains are pretty cheap to buy these days because domain dealers are currently holding an excessive inventory.  I might even go with a .org instead of a .com. domain.  If you are lacking time and resources to host and create a website,  I would contact a local website provider and ask for a donation.

2.  Used a flickr account to display photos

GivenGobble flickr account

Consumers like visuals and do image search daily.  Adding a flickr account for your charitable online marketing campaign just makes sense.  Make sure to tag photos well and mark your distribution rights accordingly.  Here are 14 other image search engines to consider for your campaign.


3.  Created a Facebook Fan Page to drive online awareness and donations

Some of the most effective advertising through Facebook Fan Pages has been as a result of viral GivenGobble on Facebookquizzes, contests,giveaways and strategic campaigns. A Facebook Fan Page should be part of any online charitable marketing campaign.  It should include updates on campaign activities and behind the scenes action shared through notes.  It can include polls on the wall about topics surrounding the campaign.  I would include stats on how the contribution will directly help the charity from past experience if you have those stats or in general if you do not. 

Tap into the viral marketing power of Facebook by reminding visitors to share the page with a friend.  Add the Facebook FanBox to the dedicated website for the charity.

4.  Twittering with a Charitable Purpose

Micro blogging the charitable event before, during and after makes sense.  Create a separate Twitter handle and list it in local twitter directories like Twellow. Geofollow, and localtweeps.  Think about how contributions will serve the goal of the charity and that is how you want to craft your message on your Twitter Page to create an empowering call to action.

GivenGobble on Twitter

The GiveNGobble Twitter Page makes a smart call to action by directing visitors to its Facebook Fan Page.


5.  Blog the charitable event before, during, and after it is over

Blog your charitable event before, during, and after it's over.  The blog should be built into the designated website to increase search engine rankings for your targeted keywords.  Include links to the blog in blog directories and pertinent web pages.

Give n Gobble Blog

Invite guest bloggers who are either sponsors, volunteers or participants of the event. 


Here's a few things I would add to the online marketing campaign mix

  • Radio-If you have an Internet radio show include 3 spots for the event- Before to build awareness, the day of to kick start the even, and after to discuss the results.
  • Video-Launch a YouTube channel for the event OR include videos of the event on your YouTube Channel.
  • Generational Marketing-Advertise the event through online resources where you can get volunteers like college websites. 
  • Document Sharing- Include any marketing brochures or applications on document sharing websites likeDocStoc andScribd.
  • Business Branding-Give your real estate business some credit by including a link on the charitable website/blog to your website or at the very least a business citation.  You will get some natural business branding by writing a press release and in return getting mentions in local and possibly national news.
  • Savvy Linking- Create buttons for sponsor, volunteers, contributors, to put on their website that will link back to the charitable website. 

Don't forget that a key to success of this type of campaign will be to partner up with local businesses.  Pop by in person or call them on the phone to get their assistance and their support.

It might be a bit late to ramp up a charitable online marketing plan like this in time for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is still a month away and there are charities all year round.  You don't have to wait for a holiday to get buzz going and give thanks by helping others. 

You can use the power of social media and local businesses to fuel a local charitable online marketing campaign anytime.

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Rebecca D. Levinson is a real estate marketing consultant with 17 years of experience serving real estate industry professionals.

If you need assistance with online marketing, offline marketing, social networking, or blogging contact Rebecca D. Levinson at #262-203-5231 or email


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cheryl Ritchie 11/16/2009 10:01 PM
  2. Gail Robinson 11/27/2009 02:28 PM
  3. Jane Nicastro-Disch 12/08/2009 10:54 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Show All Comments
Liz Loadholt
Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC - Mount Pleasant, SC
Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC

Rebecca ---- golly!!!! this is an awesome idea --- I love it --- thanks for sharing.


Nov 16, 2009 08:16 AM #1
Dan Edwards 425-276-7008
Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue - Bellevue, WA
Rebecca, I love your post, they are creative and comprehensive. I love to leverage Social Networking to help others. I printed your blog out and will be working down the checklist! Excellent!
Nov 16, 2009 11:15 AM #2
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Thank you Liz.  I hope you are able to use it.

Dan- Thank you for your kind words.  That's great that you already like to do these types of things.  I lessons are all around it is a matter of if we are listening really.  It's funny because this evening my youngest son was showing us his new projects he brought home from school and one was a book about who can be a community helper.  He cut and pasted pictures of firemen, teachers, doctors, librarians all sorts of professionals.  I hope to one day see a real estate professional in a book like that.

Nov 16, 2009 12:15 PM #3
Chris Head
William Raveis Real Estate - Norwell - Norwell, MA
Realtor - Marketing Specialist - Norwell, Marshfield, Scituate Real Estate


Great, informative post!  Just what I need to get our local Habitat project more exposure! Do you know any inexpensive methods to host an online auction to sell donated items?

Nov 16, 2009 11:09 PM #4
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Rebecca, you always give us clear, concise instructions on how to do something, and do it well. Thank you!

Nov 17, 2009 01:16 AM #5
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Chris- That is so exciting. Please share your project with us when you get it up and running.

Lottie- Thank you that is my goal, mission, focus and purpose so I really appreciate your feedback.

Nov 17, 2009 04:12 AM #6
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

These are some great ideas.  Thanks so much for sharing them.  I just did a post about a veteran's event and now I'm going to do a follow up post with photos.

Nov 17, 2009 08:30 AM #7
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Tammy- That is excellent, you could even post some of those on Flickr.  Above is a full on blown out plan, but of course it can be adapted to suit the need and purpose of the plan.

Nov 17, 2009 10:51 AM #8
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate


You are such a wealth of information - Thank you!

Nov 23, 2009 10:34 PM #9
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Marzena- You're very welcome.  I am glad you found this information useful.

Nov 23, 2009 11:56 PM #10
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Rebecca - I saw your featured post today and although I don't use Foxfire and the post didn't apply to me, I thought I'd look at some other posts on your blog.  I agree with Marzena.  You really are a wealth of information.  I'm going to reblog this post and subscribe to your blog.  You are just amazing!

Nov 27, 2009 02:27 PM #11
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Rebecca, this is a very timely post. I just volunteered to help a new Film Festival in our area come together - and although I'll be using my Producer skills from a past career, passing this on to the Marketing people

Nov 27, 2009 03:47 PM #12
James K Barath, CMPS
Canopy Mortgage, LLC - Crown Point, IN
FICO Pro, Certified Military Housing Specialist

I can attest to the effectiveness to this approach. This actually looks like the game plan of a local faith based charity who emulated the steps to great success. When I say great success, the charity was able to raise in excess of $20,000 in less than 4 months in order to feed 500 families Thanksgiving dinner.

Nov 27, 2009 03:55 PM #13
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Gail- How nice of you to say.  Thank you so much for your subscription it means a lot to me.

Sharon- Fantastic I am glad this can be useful.  You were a producer?  Wow I love the real estate industry, it brings so many people from different lifestyles, career paths, etc. together.  Entrepreuners.

James- That is true success.  When I was resarching The Give N Gobble campaign was the perfect example.  THe fact that there are other things you can do to increase the effectiveness just made it that much more powerful.

Nov 28, 2009 12:20 AM #14
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