Social Media as an Advocacy Tool
It seems that 2015 is the year of the social media campaign. Millennials are becoming obsessed with “getting involved” on their social media sites. Hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook are becoming a popular way for regular people, and even celebrities, to spread awareness for different causes.
The newest social media campaign that’s been taking the internet by storm this month is Put The Nail In It. It has racked up a few celebrities to help with their cause. In a recent article by Adweek, they state that after the first week of the campaign launch, “the hashtag #PutTheNailInIt has scored Safe Horizon 850 interactions on Twitter and more than 520,000 impressions.”
Other campaigns have come out this year, including one that was positively received when it was first presented during the Super Bowl in February. Some might remember the charismatic “Like A Girl” campaign that P&G started to raise awareness about the negative continuity that the phrase “like a girl” has on girls and young adults. Following the aired commercial, celebrities and companies started posting the video on their social media sites with #LikeAGirl. Even though the campaign reached great heights earlier this year, it still manages to bring a strong stream of tweets on Twitter in June.
The White House’s, It’s On Us campaign, which launched last year, has continued to strive on social media over the past few months. With their celebrity videos, t-shirts, and interactive pledges including changing profile pictures on Facebook to the It’s On Us logo, has turned the topic of sexual assault awareness to an everyday conversation starter. Over the year, with the help of social media and celebrity involvement, the It’s On Us campaign has partnered with over 80 different organization, companies, and universities. Using #ItsOnUs on Facebook and Twitter there are numerous links to videos, facts about sexual assault, and information about victims getting help.
So why is it important to continue posting links and videos, and hashtagging on social media sites? It gives people the opportunity to efficiently share campaigns and bring awareness to social problems that might not have reached a grand scale of people otherwise.
Today, social media is able to take something as important as domestic violence, self-esteem issues, and sexual assault and bring them forward to a larger audience, in only 140 characters or less.
In my experience, using social media has proven to be the easiest, cheapest, and most efficient way for anyone to bring attention to a worthy cause. This past year, I worked on the It’s On Us campaign at the University of Illinois and with the help of retweets, videos, hashtags, and links to the It’s On Us official site, my fellow volunteers and I were able to advocate for the campaign at a large scale, and in turn, gave U of I one of the highest pledge sign-up rates in the country.
Social media is not just for Throwback Thursday’s and Selfie Sunday’s, but could and should be used as a way for everyone to advocate for a cause that they believe in. With purpose and strategy, it can be a very powerful tool for advocacy. It’s as easy as one click.
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