The power of social media for social change .... and small business!
by Jon Law, on May 26, 2013
The power of social media is pretty well established but it is exemplified in this protest organised via social media. The March against Monsanto protest on Saturday 25th May 2013 saw two million people rally against multi-national corporation Monsanto. There were protests in 436 cities in 52 countries which aimed to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the corporations that produce such foods.
Social Media Power for the people!
This protest irrefutably highlights the power of social media, in this case, as a tool for social/political change. In combination with activists and bloggers Tami Canal created a Facebook page March Against Monsanto to raise awareness of the event across the globe. According to the Guardian she had hoped for 3000 people to join in the event but ended up with two million. Powerful stuff.
What's more, and further highlights the power of social media, the Facebook group was only started on February 28th, this year. So in the course of less than three months they were able to get two million people protesting!
Utilising social media in conjunction with blogging and digital media the message certainly got out there. A general social media strategy combining media is how it works and is a lesson that small businesses can learn. Of course, it would be expecting too much to get a million people down to your opening event but a concerted social media effort could spread the word at the very least.
A well planned campaign, in conjunction with a bit of luck and some joined-up thinking and a multi-pronged approach and you could get a lot more out than simply spreading the word. Harnessing the power of social media for your business events or product launches has great potential.
Harnessing the power of social media may upset the Facebook Gods...
It seems that Facebook may not be totally impartial to the March against Monsanto message. The Natural News site reports that several Facebook users who posted images from the march had their accounts, or more accurately account privileges suspended. They must have done something pretty inflammatory to warrant such censorship, surely?
I suppose it depends on your view but pictures of kids holding placards is stretching the inflammatory label a bit. That, it would seem was the crime that caused the Facebook God's wrath!
Social Media reporting when the mainstream won't
Despite the campaign and the subsequent march being such a resounding success and pretty newsworthy you'd think, the mainstream have ignored it. That's not entirely true as the Guardian carried a report, other than that a Google search for March against Monsanto only lists the Guardian report in the news section - that is the first entry. The other results are for blogs, American sites and the Huffington Post.
Not very impressive from the British mainstream media BUT once more the power of social media and blogging comes to the fore. As a small business promoting an event or product launch it can be difficult to get noticed by the mainstream media but bloggers and other social media platforms could and would take notice given the right circumstances and a well organised promotion.
Harnessing the power of social media can be a great method for getting found online and Lollipop Local can help you in your harnessing efforts. Give us a call - 01702 476 517