Social media and social change

Recent events have once again reminded us of the power of social media for social change that the Arab Spring so dramatically demonstrated last year. Whether for fundraising or toppling despotic regimes, social media is revolutionizing the ways that we think about information sharing and collective action. 
What implications does this have for our efforts to communicate for conservation? Our research clearly shows is that an Internet presence is critical for communicating for conservation action. 
Preliminary results from our youth focus groups suggest that there are limits to reaching young people through social media, however. Social media is perfect for inspiring young people to take immediate action and organizing an event, e.g. “Click to donate”, “Send this letter to your senator”, “Come to our beach cleanup”, but less effective for education or information sharing, e.g. “How to manage invasive species in your backyard”, “Scientists look at how people may be influencing evolution in raccoons”.
How have you used social media in your efforts to communicate with your audience? What have you found to be successful?
Posted in Communications Research, Social media, Youth.

Alyssa Isakower

Alyssa has consulted for The Ocean Project coordinating World Oceans Day since 2011 and is more excited for June 8th every year! She is interested in all things social media, and has been thrilled to work with partners of The Ocean Project around the world on exciting conservation outreach, both on the ground and online.

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