SocialVibe emerged six months ago as a new way to drive money to your favorite causes online. It combines the power of building an online network of like-minded people with corporate sponsorship. Using user-determined widgets and a click-through model similar to online advertising, SocialVibe gives you a way to passively generate a constant stream of interest and income for your cause.
SocialVibe is a bit more involved than yesterday’s mashup of TwitterFeed and Social Actions. You must sign up to use it, as you would with social networks like Facebook or MySpace. You can create your sponsored widgets for your cause without creating a profile, which is good. Even the most socially conscious of us might be turned away if the complete setup was required before we could start using the widgets. Being able to jump right in makes it easier for the busy among us to play too.
Creating your widget on SocialVibe is fairly painless, and only takes a minute or two. Using an interface that reminds me of Apple’s Cover Flow, you thumb through your potential sponsors and causes until you find one that suits your beliefs, interests and passions. I chose Animals as my cause and Apple as my sponsor. Once you are done, it gives you several ways to insert the widget into your existing social profiles. Even better, SocialVibe does all of the work for you - you tell it your profile address on your chosen site like Facebook or MySpace, and it shows up on your profile page where you tell it to (in my case, in the About Me sections on most of my social networks).
The widgets created by SocialVibe are somewhat customizable. You can add your photo (or your logo, if you are a socially conscious business) and choose various colors to match your profile on various sites. SocialVibe has more to offer than widgets - it’s also a regular social network. You can find friends who are into giving back and hook up with them, creating a network of people who are socially conscious. You can then watch each other generate points for your various causes and interact around the concept of social giving.
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What’s great about the ease in which SocialVibe adds widgets to existing social networks is how it taps into a younger generation of generous souls. Integrating with MySpace and Facebook means that SocialVibe is allowing a whole new generation of teens and twenty-somethings to start thinking about social causes and how they can help. It also brings awareness of the sponsors to a younger generation, in addition to the causes.
SocialVibe is doing a good job of driving money to its causes. Over the last six months they have generated over $120,000 for the charities they support. The best part of this is that SocialVibe users don’t donate the money or spam their friends. They just put a passive widget on their networks and the click-throughs generate the sponsored donations via SocialVibe and its family of corporate sponsors. They have everything from the NBA and UFC to Apple and Adobe in their sponsor lineup.
You can read about SocialVibe and how it plans to continue to grow at its corporate blog. One example cited by both SocialVibe and Adobe of the value to a company or brand of being a sponsor is how SocialVibe Adobe endorsers generated 12.4 million unique impressions by their friends and community members for 54.2 million total impressions. That a huge amount of passive brand endorsement in just six months, so the benefits of being a sponsor are as clear as the benefits of hosting a widget on your profile. Giving doesn’t have to be hard, and SocialVibe and their sponsors are working to make it both fun and easy.
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