Yes It Can!
My boss, Lori Taylor does a great deal of social media marketing work for clients all around the world. She loves helping her clients reach their goals through the use of social media marketing. But her true love is the work she has done for Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
By leveraging the power of social media marketing Lori has brought attention to the great work being done everyday by DAV.The tools she has used to this end are the most common social media networks in use today: Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube. She uses the power of relationship marketing to target the DAV message and reach the exact demographic they are trying to reach.
In fact, social media has proven it is arguably the most effective tool ever conceived for social change. This has something to do with the fact that social media networks are built around the premise of building relationships. When we have a relationship with someone–a friend, a family member, a spouse, a co-worker, a brand or a business–we have a tendency to place more trust in them than we would in someone who was a stranger. So when someone in our social media network sends out a status update asking for our help, whether it is financial or a volunteer opportunity, or just a request that we get involved in some way, it is much more effective than a traditional marketing effort with the same message aimed at the same audience.
From a marketing perspective these relationships, this trust, is also what helps us convert friends into customers. Social media helps us build those relationships but the messages transferred along these relational lines of communication have varied widely. It might be a request we buy a certain product or visit a specific store or even see a particular movie. Whatever the message it is made stronger through the use of social media because it travels through lines of relationships.
The recent revolutions which began in Tunisia and swept across the Middle East began via social media. The call to action came via a status update or a Tweet and traveled through that users entire social network, buoyed by the relationships they had built. Because the message was a call to action for people to become involved; to not be afraid of standing up for themselves, their families and their neighbors, it carried.
The power of social media to change the world, and your business, is unparalleled. And if it can change the world, just imagine what it can do for your business.
“The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism,” wrote Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker just over a year ago, in October 2010. “With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give voice to their concerns.”
While Gladwell’s piece as a whole actually goes on to argue that social media has caused “slacktivism” to pass as real activism, rather than changing and bettering the ways activists operate, this year’s movements and uprisings proved just the opposite: Creating real social change through online tools is possible. Occupy, the Arab Spring, and revolutions across the globe all began with an idea, spread via the Internet and social media; there are studies that prove social media’s worth to various causes, too.
“It is our large numbers — and the unprecedented ability to easily connect them — that give us more power to influence change than ever before,” wrote fellow TNGG-er Wynn Harrison in July 2010. Social media activism has activated the strength of weak ties.
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