The new face of social change, Facebook and social media networking

When you want to get something done in your neighborhood and to a larger extent your state or nation it used to be a long and arduous task. The fact of the matter is to get anything done you need money or numbers. Numbers being people who will vote the same way you would vote for a candidate, issue or topic.

Many of us do not have the money to have influence on government or corporations so we must use the power of numbers to make a difference. When starting a campaign for change the first thing you need to identify are your stakeholders. What are stakeholders you may ask? Stakeholders are people, businesses, and groups that want the same result as you do on a particular issue or election. Notice I didn’t say they had to agree with you, because they don’t. Stakeholders may want the same result for a completely different reason. The important thing is they are willing to work with to get the result. This is where Facebook and social networking media comes into the picture.

It only takes a minute to set up a group on Facebook titled Citizens for ____________ (you name it) or Citizens against ____________. Soon there will be people joining the group and seeing what you have to say about the topic at hand. Meetings can be set and funds collected by letting people know where they can send a contribution or link to a website that is able to take such donations and there you have it-the beginning of a campaign.

Statuses are also an awesome way to get the word out about your issue. By creating a short, punchy phrase that can go on Twitter or Facebook you can have it go viral. Usually viruses are considered a bad thing however in this case it is the best thing ever! One person will see your awesome phrase and share it or re-tweet it. They tell some friends, their friends tell some friends and before you know it the topic is setting the world-wide web afire with passion for your topic introducing it to a whole new group of people, potential stakeholders for your campaign.

When approaching a politician or corporation with only your opinion it will only get so far however, a viral campaign about a topic can get you very far. With a substantial amount of followers mainstream media interests may follow, generating attention from the public-at-large which if they are supportive of your cause can get you all the way to Washington D.C. depending on the issue you are campaigning for.

So if you haven’t learned about social networking you are missing out on a powerful tool for change. There are classes seminars and tutorials not to mention a lot of content on the net and in print to help you get started.

Next time we will begin to discuss how to effectively communicate your ideas to people of influence in a way that will get you heard and get results!

Til then.
Sophia

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