On Social Media Activism, aisha

   

How to Get the Social-Media Generation Behind Your Cause

For Young Adults, Activism Can Be Hitting ‘Like’ on Facebook, but Brands Can Use This to Their Advantage

By: 

 Published: June 28, 2010

 

 

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Once social activism meant protest marches, civil obedience and sit-ins. But for today’s 20-somethings — sometimes called “slactivists” — supporting or denouncing a cause is as simple as hitting the “like” button on Facebook or posting a hashtag to Twitter. And that’s often where it ends.

But that can also be where it begins, if marketers use social-media tools widely to get young adults more heavily involved in their cause-marketing efforts. For this demographic, sharing information about causes and social issues they feel passionate about is the first step to getting involved in a more concrete way, such as donating money or time, according to a study by ad agencyTBWA/Chiat/Day.

 

Social Causes that Move Young Adults chart
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Social causes that move young adults

“Young adults are changing activism, redefining it,” said Eliza Esquivel, planning director of TBWA and author of the study. “Knowing and talking about social issues to them is now considered a form of activism.”

 

TBWA’s study, which was done with research partner companies Flamingo and Changing Our World, explores what social causes are top of mind for young adults and outlines how marketers can devise programs that successfully engage this group.

Adults born between 1982 and 1992 came of age during a decade that promised an “embarrassment of riches,” said Eliza Esquivel, TBWA’s planning director and author of the study. “They were told that the future was theirs to win, and they’ve been very empowered, very educated, and as a result this is a very optimistic group.”

At the same time, they are a group that witnessed spectacular failures of institutions and corporations, having witnessed the scandal at Enron and now being bombarded with news of misdoings by Goldman Sachs and BP. Thus along with their optimism, this is a group equally prone to cynicism about corporate efforts.

 

AD AGE INSIGHTS REPORT
To buy a copy of the full study, go toAdAge.com/whitepapers

So how can brands engage them? The study offers 10 ways:

 

Take the time to understand what motivates them. Among the reasons young adults gave for taking up social causes are feeling like they can do something to help; knowing their involvement will make a difference; actively seeking out involvement; receiving information that prompts them to act; and the fact that getting involved feels fun and social.

Be the source of information that prompts them to act, and seed it in places where they go for news, online news sites; 78% try to stay informed about the causes they care about.

Make it social. Figure out how your cause-marketing effort can fit in to conversations with their network. A great example of this is to employ “mobile philanthropy” like the recent text-donation number set up by the Red Cross following the Haiti earthquake that raised over $30 million.

Use what you’ve got. A full 75% of young adults believe corporations have the material resources to help, and 60% think corporations have the knowledge to support social causes.

Make sure your program has a way to prove to this group that their involvement made a difference. Sixty-four percent of young adults say they would get involved with a marketer’s program if they believed the involvement was large enough to make a difference.

Overcome the barriers. The top three reasons young adults don’t get involved are time constraints; skepticism their involvement will make a difference; and lack of opportunities to get involved. Thus cause-marketing programs need to make involvement easy, convince participants they count, and make it accessible.

Don’t underestimate the element of surprise. Brands can lose standing through inaction. Nearly half of young adults surveyed feel that companies are morally obligated to help support social causes, but fewer than 5% believe brands are best positioned to solve problems related to poverty, human rights, health and education, even though they have the knowledge and resources to do so. By making the effort, brands can gain good will.

Consider starting an L3C, staffed by young adults, as a real surprise. Many states, like Vermont, Illinois and Michigan, are now allowing the formation of L3Cs, low-profit limited liability corporations whose aim is to offer significant social benefits.

Ignite their creativity. Technology and creativity can play a large role in social activism. Tap into this group’s tech savvy by creating cause marketing platforms that allow them to show off their digital photo, video and gaming skills.

Consider going open source. Young adults’ passion for information and sharing can create a platform for open-source activism. The possibilities are endless: digital sit-ins, homegrown edutainment campaigns, and glocal iReporting of issues.

MORE STORIES FROM THIS ISSUE

 

I liked the part where Eliza Esquivel said “Knowing and talking about social issues to them is now considered a form of activism.” i think that there is some truth to do. I mean how many times do we bring up social issues or current events and act like we partake in it? it refers back to slactivism and how we should challenge ourselves to take collective action as a group and act as a whole. people always say that young people, college students especially are the most active and are most likely to react to and take initiative in society.

Aisha -Cyber Bullying

Video

On cyber bullying Sharing information with friends and peers is great and effortless now-a-days, yet when it comes to spreading negative and hateful messages about someone we are taking advantage of technology for the wrong purposes. Bullying has gone virtual and the virtual world is where kids play today. The messages on their phones or ipods follow them where ever they go. Instead of dealing with insecurities and feelings, teenagers badger the weaker, the younger, and the shy. Cyber bullying has led to many cases of suicide and has broken many hearts. Ryan Patrick Halligan’s suicide story was just too sad to watch. The fact that there was a kid that was obsessed and fascinated with death that pushed him to hang himself, it’s just disturbing. The kid’s website demonstrated all types of ways to kill oneself or the ideal way to kill yourself based off of your personality! This is so sick and haunting that there are people in the world who are so lost, mentally especially. One of the presenters on the video we watched caught my attention when they said that reading words, or text, makes it REAL, it HURTS. When I thought about it, it made sense. When you read a text message you repeat it over and over again in your head, especially if it’s good news or bad news. The truth is so many people are abused and bullied in so many realms, online and offline, at home, at work…etc. Victims of bullying, and abuse, need to know that they are not alone, in life, online or offline. This is where anti bullying and abuse campaigns can help build awareness and possible save lives.

Video & My Thoughts- Aisha

Minors have taken their personal lives and put them online, a virtual society that they have become addicted to living and sharing each moment via the internet. They have begun to share intimate conversations to the public with complete strangers, that in some cases they don’t even discuss with direct family members. They are expressing themselves through pictures, videos and profile status. The notion that anyone can read or access what you post is partially true and false. There are ways of accessing information about people from social networking sites, but not everyone is interested and won’t be able to find every bit of information. In other words, the information is out there, but chances are you’re not going to find it all. The video showed that these teenagers were able to form digital representations of them, testing their identity and trying the character on. The fact is that this generation seems to be very comfortable living a private public life, exposing themselves to the rest of the world, and in some cases, without limitations or boundaries. When a minor is online representing himself or herself in a certain way, you have to ask who is in control here. And who is going to see this?  The video demonstrated that some parental control is necessary. Parents need to intervene and guide their teenagers. Teenagers need to understand how to use social networking sites and their function. Even though privacy settings all us to control who sees our information, people still go to extremes in revealing too much information about their life. What happened to the time when privacy was respected? The information era and new media technology has made us believe that information exchange is the big idea, that we all have so much to say and feel and should/could share it with everyone. Self-censoring is necessary and even teenagers need to be professional and appropriate when online. ImageImage

A Day in the Life of Social Media

Video

How powerful can social media be? Watch and find out.

Straight to the point. The main idea here is that ” When only 14% of people trust advertising and only 90% trust recommendations via social media”… the impact of social media and brand promotion is great, widespread. People are focusing and are attracted to the content of the message, they rely upon it and trust others for their recommendations. We can discuss social media marketing as a vehicle or tool as a promotional strategy. Here, we can understand how advertising agency’s and businesses go where their audience is, online and self market themselves. I believe that when businesses go online and are active in new media, its audience will feel more trust and loyalty to the brand because they know that it is there and not passive. No more beating around the bush, the information and content is out there and social media is almost like social awareness of all the high tech applications and new media vehicles. You may also understand from the video that you cant fight the social media, its everywhere and you are prone to taking action or participating in social media in one way or another. Today, for marketers its all about the way they are choosing to communicate and reach the target audience and the content of the social media or media text.

Part 3: Katie Couric on Social Media and Real-Time Journalism

Video

Part 3 of 3 Interview. Brian Solis talks with Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, a correspondent for 60 Minutes, and host of “@katiecouric”, her new webshow on CBSNews.com

I enjoyed watching this interview. They discuss some privacy issues and mention cyber bullying and how our online identity does affect who we are as individuals in reality. I admire Katie Couric and agree with her point of view, when she discusses self-censorship and editing, she addresses the anonymity issue with Facebook for example. I also liked the part at the end when Solis says that we have control over social media and the changes that are arising.