Posts Tagged ‘behavior change’
Many organizations dedicated to social change have been using social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) to get the word out about their work and encourage donations. These strategies can be very effective and best of all—they are low-cost and often offer quick results.
But social media can be more than just a PR tool to raise your profile among donors and stakeholders.
As different demographic groups become active via the plethora of mobile and Internet-based applications, social media is emerging as another powerful tool for behavior change.
Internet-based social networks are generally already well-segmented, so if you can get a few of the key opinion leaders within the network to take on your message as their own, your message can travel quickly and directly to your target population. As those influencers begin to blog, tweet, text, or share the desired behavior change message with friends, it assumes a life of its own. Other members of the network are inspired to comment, revise, or pass on the message, and suddenly it has taken on an authentic, powerful, viral form.
With this type of viral messaging strategy you lose control over the message itself, but you gain authenticity and multiplicity which can be quite powerful in shaping the social norms that influence our behavior.
If your outreach campaigns don’t include a social media component, you are likely missing a segment of your target audience. Many people—particularly youth—have moved away from television, radio and print media, and now spend much of their free time on the Internet. The early adapters have even begun to move away from the personal computer to their mobile phone, where they rely on messaging to communicate with peers and the broader world around them. So if you’re not integrating these strategies into your outreach campaigns, you might be missing the boat.
Perhaps the best thing about a social media strategy is that you can monitor impact on a daily basis and receive immediate feedback from your target population, something that is virtually impossible when working with traditional unidirectional media.
If something isn’t working, you can quickly correct it and tweak your message or steer your strategy in a new direction. And you can learn a lot about how your target population thinks, feels, and expresses themselves—without spending thousands of dollars on elaborate research studies.
By Elizabeth Beachy, Upleaf Co-Founder and specialist in Strategic Behavioral Communications