But just how powerful can these social networks be for social good campaigns, and are the users of these networks receptive?
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In a recent SurveyMonkey Audience survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, age 18 or older, who identify themselves as regular social media users, 51% of respondents noted they hear about new social good initiatives on social media first; and nearly 46% said they hear about social good initiatives most often through social media — topping TV and word-of-mouth campaigns by more than three times.
But these social media users aren't just find out about social good causes through these platforms; a majority of them are also donating time and money to charitable causes.
According to the survey data, an average of nearly 64% of users who identified themselves as a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and/or Google+ user said they've donated $100 or more to charitable causes in the last year, and an average of just 6.5% have given no money at all to charitable causes in the last year.
Based on this data, self-identified LinkedIn users are the most charitable with their money, with less than 5% who donated no money to charitable causes in the last year, and more than 70% who said they've donated $100 or more during the past year. Facebook users made up the highest percentage of users among these five social networks who had not given any money to charitable causes in the last year — more than 8% — but roughly 64% said they've given $100 or more in the past 365 days.
The old adage "time is money" rings true when it comes to the percentage of users who invest time in charitable causes versus giving money. Among these five social networks, 23% have donated no time to supporting a cause during the last year. On the other hand, an average of nearly 43% of users state that they have given more than 10 hours to a charitable cause in the past year.
Once again, LinkedIn users appear to be the most charitable with their time, according to the survey data, with less than 21% of users who invested no time in causes in the last year, and nearly 49% of users who donated more than 10 hours. Facebook and Twitter users topped the charts among these five social networks with roughly 26% and 24% of users, respectively, who invested no time in charitable causes.
It may not be a surprise that more LinkedIn users have the ability to donate money or time to charitable causes — roughly 55% of the user base is 35 years old or older, and nearly 40% have a household income of $100,000 or more, according to data from Quantcast.
But LinkedIn is in no way looked at as a driver for social good causes. According to the SurveyMonkey results, less than 1% of all respondents believe LinkedIn is the most effective network for social good initiatives, and more than 92% have never found out about a charitable cause or been incentivized to donate to a cause through LinkedIn.