We Take Sides Blog

Social Change in the Era of Social Media

December
29 2017

Social media can make strides toward a more educated and innovative future. It has the power to shift behavior and attitudes.

Companies and nonprofits are using social media to increase their global reach using several communication channels. Airbnb, the hospitality and lodging service, used YouTube as a platform to take a stand for social good by sharing their “#weaccept” video. The video encompasses a diverse world that Airbnb accepts despite religion, race or sexual orientation.

TOMS, a popular shoe company, implemented a social media campaign using the hashtag #WithoutShoes. This initiative took over Instagram to help children in need around the world receive shoes. The campaign eventually went viral and the hashtag generated hundreds of thousands of posts. For every barefoot Instagram photo posted with #WithoutShoes, a pair of shoes was donated to a child in need. An interesting concept of this campaign; participants did not receive prizes. This goes to show that people are not only customers, but they also believe in the TOMS brand.

The nonprofit, Watsi, is working toward making healthcare available to everyone, specifically individuals in developing nations. Watsi is able to extend their reach through donations, crowdfunding and forging personal connections between the patient and donors. Donors are able to see the patient’s progression over time based on medical needs and donations made. Watsi is changing the way people in need are receiving medical treatment by using the Internet and social media to keep donors informed and connected to the people they are helping.

These companies and nonprofits are creating effective opportunities to reach out and educate individuals on pressing matters that need to be addressed. Creating improvements in society can be greatly influenced by communication growth of all forms.

Food for Thought: Currently, is social media the most effective method to send a message and influence social change?

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