The value of social media for organizing is common knowledge in many instances, most notably the Arab Spring. But how useful is it now?
In this post I look at social media from the perspective of someone starting an ad hoc lobbying group, wondering what channels, if any, could be helpful..
I want to campaign to change some laws when the Legislature is back in session in 2015, assuming the upcoming election results in bodies receptive to the changes I intend to propose. Unfortunately (and fortunately) one person can’t dictate the laws (although I think I’d do a great job dictating the laws, others would probably disagree).
I am sure others would love to see the changes I would propose in my campaign and would help demonstrate the need for the changes, including some who would help with lobbying. Some people would have stories to tell which would be more effective than a whole boatload of facts and statistics in persuading members of the Legislature to approve the changes. The question is, how do I find these others? It will not help to find the disgruntled, those who will piss and moan but not do anything, I need to find those willing to act.
In theory the beauty of social media is that you can use it to find other like-minded individuals. It would seem Facebook would be perfect for the job. With Facebook algorithms as they are now is that the posts from a new page with few Likes may not make it to the news feeds of users who have Liked the page. I’m not in a position to pay to boost posts for my ad hoc non-profit lobbying group. So what would be the point of using Facebook?
Twitter might work, but the number of active users is small compared to Facebook and I am not sure it will help me find my target market.
Examining the other major social media channels I am not sure they would help, as I note in the following paragraphs.
The issue is not one which lends itself to pictures, which eliminates Pinterest. Even if it were I’m not sure my target market would find me. The lack of pictures probably also puts Instagram out of the picture.
It’s not a work or professional issue, eliminating LinkedIn as an option.
The number of people reading brand new blogs is small, so I’d have to find ways to drive traffic to the posts Which comes back to Facebook and Twitter.
Clearly I need to research other, less well-known social media channels. Is there one that would do the job?
The power of social media is not all it’s cracked up to be.