Social media has the power to do more than just help brands promote products. Thanks to social media, Brandon Stanton, the man behind the “Humans of New York” blog, helped raise $1 million for a middle school in Brooklyn.

For those users who have never heard of “Humans of New York”: Brandon launched his blog and created social media channels in the summer of 2010 with the idea of taking pictures of 10.000 New Yorkers. The project became famous and Brandon started to not only take pictures of the people but also to quote them or add touching stories.

While searching for interesting New Yorkers, Brandon met Vidal Chastanet from Brownsville, Brooklyn who attends Mott Hall Bridges Academy.

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Stanton asked the 13-years-old boy who most influenced him. The answer was Ms. Lopez, the student’s school principal, since Ms. Lopez believes in each of her students and tries to make them believe in themselves, too.

The picture of Vidal went viral on social media. Stanton himself was very impressed by the story so he decided to reach out to Ms. Lopez. He heard that the principal was raising money to help her students go on a trip to Harvard in order to show them that it is possible to study there. Stanton decided to support the fundraising initiative and in just a few days his campaign raised over $1 million for Vidal’s school. The funds will enable students to visit Harvard, support programs and provide scholarships.

The Power of Social Media: HONY Meets Barak Obama

The story inspired not only thousands of ‘Humans of New York’ followers and social media users, but also the president of the U.S. Barack Obama. Obama invited Vidal Chastanet, Nadia Lopez and Brandon Stanton to the White House.

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‘Humans of new York’ is the perfect social media success story that proved again that social media marketing and Internet marketing do really work – if you know how to catch attention and offer an emotional experience through captivating, provoking and inspirational stories and images. The concept of fundraising through a social media marketing campaign is not new and Humans of New York is an incredible example of how social media marketing can help communities.

About iRISEmedia is a Toronto Internet Marketing agency and SEO company offering social media marketing and search engine marketing services. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.

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