Social media is so much more than just a network of sharing information. It is now easier than ever for anyone, anywhere in the world to get their voices heard on any number of issues. If used properly, social media can be an extremely powerful and effective advocacy tool to promote social justice and legislative change. The list below presents credible scholarly articles, websites, and Ted Talks videos that examine the use of social media for advancing and rallying advocacy efforts.
This article examines digital challenges and opportunities for nonprofit advocacy groups involving social media. The author argues that organic Facebook outreach put forth by organizations (not individuals) has not proven to be very effective as an advocacy tool. The author then provides recommendations for campaign managers in order to create a more effective social media campaign.
This article examines social media use among advocacy organizations. The authors discuss how the emergence of the internet has changed the way political information is shared, and the concept of instant on-the-spot availability of political news and opinions through social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook. The article includes interviews with digital strategists conducted at multiple United States advocacy organizations in order to evaluate the importance placed on social media and their experiences using these platforms.
This article discusses the concept of social media as a tool to promote civic engagement among university students. The study focused specifically on current social issues deemed important to student populations, and the function of social media within those issues. The authors also examine the recommendation for education on best practices for using social media as an advocacy tool, and for further research needed regarding technology-mediated, issue-focused advocacy by university students.
The authors in this article examines the use of the hashtag when mobilizing organizational advocacy efforts on social media. Little research had been done at the time of this article on how advocacy organizations use hashtags and their effectiveness. Therefore, the authors conducted a study among 105 constituent members of the National Health Council to examine an inductive coding scheme of the types of hashtags used and also analyzed the effectiveness of social media messaging involving hashtags.
This article from the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice provides resources for community practitioners on ways to enhance advocacy efforts with social media from a psychological perspective. The authors of the paper examine a multitude of sources among a variety of subjects to discuss effective ways that social media can benefit traditional advocacy and social change efforts. The article provides examples of social media use in specific movements across the United States.
This Ted Talks video features Seth Godin, an entrepreneur and blogger, who claims that the Internet has ended mass marketing and has revived the human social unit of tribes. Godin discusses the idea that tribes act as collective groups of shared ideas and values and are therefore instrumental in creating change. He urges his audience to gather their tribes and use their shared voice to bring about social change and justice.
In this TedX video, POPVOX founder Marci Harris, discusses the need for this platform in today’s digital world. POPVOX is a neutral, nonpartisan platform for civic engagement and legislative information that delivers messages to Congress on behalf of constituents. Harris explores how to tie your message to something Congress can actually do – “it’s tough to hear, if the message is unclear” she states.
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