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9 Excellent Celebrity-Powered Social Good Campaigns [VIDEOS]

celebrity | Channels | charity | comedy | features | Film | mashable | non-profit | social good | Social Media | Stars of Social Good Series | video | youtube 0 No Comments

The Stars of Social Good Series is supported by CITGO and the Fueling Good Campaign, helping to change the world one mile at a time through contributions to local charities.

celebrity imageWant to see John Mayer make fun of Justin Bieber? Want to see Ed Helms run around Africa in a silly safari outfit? Now do you want to see them do it for charity?

Celebrities and non-profits have been pairing up for a long time to help give good causes some exposure and a much needed PR boost. Below we?ve combed through some of the best videos to bring you nine amazing celebrity-powered social good campaigns. We?ve picked a wide range of stars (from first lady Michelle Obama to Ke$ha) and a wide range of causes (from malaria prevention to anti-bullying).

There is, however, no way of including every amazing campaign out there. We had to leave some standouts behind, like Matt Damon?s work with, Leonardo DiCaprio?s commitment to environmental issues and dozens more. You can check out for a quick cheat sheet on what your favorite celebrity is really up to, or just take a look below for some spectacular examples.

We know we missed a bunch, so share your favorite celeb-backed campaigns in the comments below. Join the conversation.

1. Comedy Fights Malaria ? A Bazillion Stars

In order to put an end to malaria in developing countries, Malaria No More tapped a ton of stars including John Mayer, the cast of The Office, Orlando Bloom and Aziz Ansari. As the campaign suggests, humor played a big role. Other videos asked to lower infant mortality rates and get kids to “Bieber” age, or followed Ed Helms as he “hunted” malaria-causing mosquitos in full Safari garb.

2. The Lazarus Effect ? Bono and Friends

Bono teamed up with a bunch of his celebrity friends to illustrate what $0.40 can buy. The video supported the Lazarus Effect (a (RED) campaign) that aimed to help HIV-stricken people with just two life-saving pills. Bono has long been working on causes in Africa through and lent his star power to (RED)’s efforts.

3. Let’s Move ? Michelle Obama and Beyonce

First lady Michelle Obama has made nutritional eating and childhood obesity her main causes. She started Let’s Move as a way to inspire kids to eat better and exercise. Beyonce joined the effort by retooling some song lyrics to customize a workout song, complete with choreography. Beyonce delighted students at PS 161 in Harlem, New York, with a surprise visit and impromptu dance workout.

Let’s Move extends to all facets of childhood health with videos that sing the benefits of basketball, hockey and tennis. And one video even enlisted the help of Elmo and White House chef Sam Kass.

4. It Gets Better ? Dan Savage, Pop Stars & Everyday Folks

Following a rash of gay teen suicides, Dan Savage started the “It Gets Better” campaign to tell LGBT youths that though they might be bullied now, their lives will improve. He opened up a YouTube channel where anyone could submit a video of support, including just about every celebrity in existence.

There are videos from President Barack Obama, Glee‘s bully Max Adler, the San Francisco Giants, Ke$ha and more.

5. LIVESTRONG ? Lance Armstrong

Although Lance Armstrong has come under fire as of late, his work with LIVESTRONG and the Lance Armstrong Foundation has been a tremendous success story. Diagnosed with testicular cancer, Armstrong battled back physically, not only rejoining competitive cycling but using that platform to spread awareness and raise funds for cancer research. Nike, one of Armstrong’s early sponsors, even lent its support.

6. ? Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert may be best known for his comedic right-wing punditry, but he does a lot of amazing work supporting, an online platform where people can help fund local classrooms around the country. Colbert has not only lent his name, but also given the non-profit air time on his show, asking his followers and fans to help contribute. This video is from a 2009 panel Colbert moderated for the organization. Turns out his Spanish is pretty good and that he was stuffed into a fair number of lockers when he was a kid.

7. Crowdrise ? Edward Norton

Edward Norton co-founded Crowdrise when he originally ran in the New York City Marathon and raised money for a conservancy in Africa. He helped create a platform where anyone can raise money for a cause. This year, he re-partnered with the marathon to turn the historic event into an historic fundraising opportunity. Rather than fade into the background, Norton has been an active advocate and knowledgeable spokesman for the organization and online philanthropy in general.

8. Pencils of Promise ? Justin Bieber

Boy-wonder Justin Bieber has made philanthropy a part of his celebrity persona. In this clip he’s supporting Schools 4 All, a program run by education non-profit Pencils of Promise that aims to build a series of schools for needy communities around the world. Bieber promises to visit the school that raises the most money. Considering the kid’s capable of shutting down whole shopping malls with his presence, that’s a big deal. Bieber has also shown his soft side in music videos like his participation in the “We Are The World” remake for Haiti and his own video, “Pray“.

9. ? Usher & Friends has a long history of asking celebrities to help motivate young people to make a difference. In the above video, Usher asked youths unable to vote in the 2008 Presidential election to make their voices heard. Other stars like Rachel Bilson, Rihanna and the Jonas Brothers have used the platform to help promote their own causes. By calling on so many different celebs, DoSomething is able to compile an impressive roster of talent while giving some serious spotlight to varied causes and projects.

Series Supported by CITGO and the Fueling Good Campaign

The Stars of Social Good Series is supported by CITGO and the Fueling Good Campaign. It all starts with one person helping another. Then that person helps two more. Pretty soon you have a neighborhood, a community, an entire city ? one act of kindness inspiring another. That?s why CITGO donates thousands of gallons of gas to worthy charities. It?s our way of keeping the momentum going, one mile at a time.

More Social Good Resources From Mashable:

Do Celebrities Really Help Online Causes?
Is Purchasing Power the Best Way To Help Good Causes? [OPEN THREAD]
12 Top YouTube Videos for Social Good
7 Easy Ways to Do Good Online Beyond Donations
How Non-Profit Organizations Are Bolstering Citizen Media Around the World

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5 Tips for Group Deals Success

business | Facebook Places | features | foursquare | groupon | Groupon Now | LivingSocial | mashable | yelp 0 No Comments

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

While many small business owners have considered offering a group deal, only 10% have actually run one, according to recent research from MerchantCircle. And while the results have been promising for these early adopters ? and 77% say they would run another one ? group deals don?t work for everyone. Among the people who said they wouldn?t offer another deal, 42% said it was not effective in customer acquisition, and 24% said they lost money.

Given these mixed results, it is critical that entrepreneurs do their homework before embarking on a group deal to make sure they?re positioned for success.

Here are five tips to help you get the best results:

1. Shop Around

While Groupon and LivingSocial may be the most we Read More

19 Essential Google+ Resources

features | google | Google Lists | Google Plus | List | Lists | resources | roundup | Social Media | Social Media Lists | Tips 0 No Comments

Already using Google+? Follow Mashable News for the latest about the platform?s new features, tips and tricks as well as our top social media and technology updates.

Google+ hit the news feeds like a strategic and popular ton of bricks. But we haven?t stopped there. In addition to breaking news, Mashable has provided how-tos and tools for maximizing your Google+ experience. We?ve sourced reviews from some of the network?s early adopters, and we?ve also welcomed your input as you navigate one of the most buzzworthy social outlets of the year.

Read on for Mashable?s roundup of all resources Google+. Gather tips, analyze reviews, participate in polls and, as always, voice your thoughts in the comments below.

Google+ Tips, Tools and Talk

Screenshots: Inside Google+

Google+ Logo

This is the Google+ logo.

Google+ Icons

The Google+ icons. Starting top left and circling to the right: Circles, Hangouts, Home, Sparks, Profile, Photos.

New Google+ Navigation Bar

All Google sites will sport the new Google+ navigation bar. It includes notifications, profile information and content sharing options.

Google+ Stream

This is the Google+ Stream, where users share content and see what their friends are sharing. It is similar to the Facebook News Feed.

Google+ Circles

Google+ Circles is Google’s version of the Facebook friend list or the Twitter List. Users can select multiple friends and drag-and-drop them into groups. This makes it easier to send stuff to friends, family or the entire world.

Google+ Circles Editor

This is the Google+ Circles editor in action. Google has created unique animations for adding and removing friends through HTML5.

Google+ Sparks

Google+ Sparks is Google’s content recommendation and discovery engine. Users can search different topics and find relevant articles, videos and photos. Users can then share that content with their friends.

Google+ Hangouts

Google+ has a unique video chat feature called Hangouts, which lets you chat with up to 10 people at the ame time.

Google+ Photos

Google+ allows you to upload and share photos with your friends. It includes photo tagging and a simple browser-based image editor.

Google+ Profile

Google+ Profiles are like most profile pages — it includes basic information about the user like interests, occupation and profile photos.

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10 Tips for Better B2B Community Management

b2b | business | Business Lists | communities | community management | contributor | features | forums | List | Lists | online communities | Social Media | social networking 0 No Comments
Business Network

Maria Ogneva is the Head of Community at Yammer, where she is in charge of social media, community programs, internal education and engagement. You can follow her on Twitter, her blog, and via Yammer?s Twitter account and company blog.

The communities most of us are familiar with tend to be customer or fan-facing. However, business-to-business (B2B) communities are also an important part of the social media experience.

Social media has changed the way we relate to each other, and even when you talk to business users, you are interacting with people inside those companies first and foremost. To ensure success in managing your community of business users, here are 10 best practices.

1. Know When to Create Your Own Community

It doesn?t always make sense to create your own community. Depending on your intentions, you may opt to join an already existing community. If you plan to lead conversations focused on serving your industry in general, just join that community and take a prominent role there. If, however, your community is more narrowly focused around your product, you will probably want to create a unique destination.

2. Think Through the Purpose

If you opt to create one, remember that each community should have a purpose and a vision ? otherwise, chaos will ensue. Are you creating a user community or a broader best practices forum for your industry? Do you want to foster a better dialogue between customers or inform the product road map and gather feedback? Or both?

How will community members interact, contribute or learn by being a part of your conversation? Will it revolve around vertical applications of your product? If so, you may want to think about having several vertical-based communities.

3. Establish Membership Guidelines

Think about whom you want to invite and how people should join. If you?re aiming to create an industry-wide best practices exchange, you may opt to have a completely open community. If your community is more of a value-add for VIP clients, with personalized help from their account managers, you should opt for a private, invite-only community. You should also figure out if your membership will be open to employees of your company, and if so, which ones. Your community?s purpose should drive these guidelines.

4. Understand Your Members

It?s imperative that you understand what business users and their employees need from your product. When your community serves business users, its job is to help those people get their jobs done. Think about how you can make them look like rockstars in front of their peers and managers.

5. Outline Roles

Depending on your type of community membership, you?ll need to structure participants? roles. This is especially necessary for a newly launched or relaunched community. In a large community, a subset of superusers can become moderators or take on an advisory role. This status promotion should be aspirational. Make it clear how someone can achieve that status, and empower the community to ?self-police.?

If you have a more intimate community where both employees and top customers participate, place employees in consultative roles, but beware of clashing objectives.

6. Establish a Vision and Charter

The clearer you are from the beginning, the better off the community will be. Establish a charter and a set of goals driven by your community?s purpose. Let members know which behaviors are frowned upon, and which will not be tolerated. Share all of this with the community as well as internally with your company.

7. Success Metrics

Now that you?ve stated your purpose, membership and roles guidelines, decide how you will measure success. You should track community health metrics, such as growth, engagement and the percentage of active users. Additionally, make sure you align your success metrics to overarching business objectives. If a better customer experience is the primary goal, you should measure the impact of your community on satisfaction scores and customer sentiment. If education via best practices is a goal, you should see fewer support tickets and higher usage and renewal rates.

8. Have a Community Manager

Each active community should have a designated community manager. Although you should empower your community to self-sustain, active community management establishes accountability.

9. Establish Internal Processes

You should work cross-functionally to ensure that the community doesn?t operate in a vacuum. You will probably have amazing insights and feedback coming from inside the community. Ensure you are sharing insightswith the right teams internally to facilitate dialogue.

10. Enable Sharing

People love to share their successes, whether for bragging rights, to be viewed as an expert, or to help others. On the other hand, listening to others? successes helps people visualize success. This is especially key for business users who are often tasked with proving ROI and who need to point to demonstrable examples of someone else?s success. In your community, encourage members to share their successes publicly and point these stories in the direction of other community members who are grappling with a similar problem.

Of course, there are basics of solid community management that apply across both consumer and business communities. You should be building up community advocacy, facilitating (not forcing) the conversation and monitoring engagement. Ask yourself if your community helps people do their jobs. If the answer is no, course-correct, and you will be on your way to success.

Images courtesy of iStockphoto, studiovision, max_carpenter

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