Social media is a controversial beast. For marketing agencies it signifies great marketing potential; during Covid, social media created connections and community; for some it signifies a much more unpleasant place to spend time. With such a mixed reputation, for #SocialMediaDay 2021 we’re taking a look at all the amazing things social media has achieved in recent years.
Social media has created awareness and driven change
The world-famous #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements both catapulted into the public eye thanks to social media. Me Too founder Tarana Burke used the phrase in 2006 to raise awareness of women who had been abused, but it was only when Alyssa Milano used #MeToo in a viral tweet in 2017 that the cause got global recognition.
#BlackLivesMatter gained momentum on Twitter in 2013 and by 2020 when George Floyd was killed in police custody, was being tweeted 3.7 million times a day!
Social media has created support for people
Three words – Ice Bucket Challenge.
This incredible fundraising phenomenon was created by the ALS Association to fund research into Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Within 15 days it had raised $15 million in donations from over 300,000 new donors and the like of Obama and Lady Gaga were taking the challenge. Social channels have helped the ALS Association raise a further $100 million.
#CupforBen broke hearts and almost broke the internet! Ben suffers with severe Autism. In November 2016 his Dad made an emotional plea on Twitter for people to search their cupboards for a certain style of Tommee Tippee drinking cup which was no longer in production. Ben would only drink from this specific cup and had been hospitalised twice due to severe dehydration because the cup was unavailable. The tweet went viral and someone came forward with a spare cup. Tommee Tippee also found the original cast and produced 1,000 more cups just for Ben.
Social media has given us another view of the world
When NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly went into space in 2016, he took the Twittersphere with him. Using #YearInSpace he shared incredible photos of Earth, first-hand insights, and a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session to show us our world from another world.
Social media has given us incredible marketing potential
For marketers, social has given us a measurable channel which connects with well-targeted customers in their favourite places – the holy grail! In 2018, social media enabled Disney to raise $3 million for Make-A-Wish through their #ShareYourEars campaign. For every photo of a person wearing Mickey Mouse ears and #ShareYourEars Disney donated $5 per post. This campaign got 1.77 million photo posts and 420 million social media impressions!
Social media has created survivors
Thanks to geo-tagging and the real-time nature of social, the channel has become a vital tool in disaster relief. Aid agencies use the data to make informed decisions about where to send help first, and use the speed of the media to drum up volunteers and aid from local and international communities.
The instant and ubiquitous nature of Facebook has enabled the platform to create a ‘Mark Yourself Safe’ feature which allows people who were close to a crisis location to let their loved ones know they are safe instantly without sending multiple messages when communications might be difficult. Following disasters, social has also become a great source of support for those effected by enabling survivors, family and friends to connect with others no matter where they are in the world.
Social media has created connections
For a long time, the channel has made communication easier and brought community to marginalised groups like the elderly and disabled people. The pandemic has pushed even more people to use digital media to reach out to make connections, discover new hobbies, provide support to others and to spread information.
Of course for all these incredible things social media has helped create, in the wrong hands social media can be extremely damaging. At ThinkOTB we think it’s important to use social media monitoring tools to check social media campaigns haven’t attracted any abusive or damaging comments. For larger brands running multiple social campaigns, social media moderation is a hugely helpful way to protect their campaigns and followers from abuse and pick up any negative comments which may damage their brand reputation. At ThinkOTB we believe that, just as our clients would protect their customers in-store, we should protect customers online