Using Social Media for Change

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Image by danish. via Flickr

Talk about social media and many people automatically think of its business uses. While it’s as good a tool for individuals as it is for business, most social media talk at the moment is how it can benefit businesses. I’m as guilty as the next person for this, as it’s an area I always recommend clients both new and existing take a serious look at.

Yet there’s another area of social media that’s often overlooked, even though it’s quite possibly the most important use of all – using social media for social change.

There’s no end of advice around the web on how to use social media for business change, yet try and find information on how it’s being used for society and the results are less impressive.

Thankfully, there are some great organizations and influential blogs that are using social media to encourage change worldwide.

Social Media for Social Change, for example, is the brainchild of Michelle Riggen-Ransom, co-founder and Communications Director of BatchBlue Software. Michelle and guest writer T.J. Sondermann use the blog to show how technology can change the world for the better. Topics include Education, Non-Profit and Family Action Plans. There’s some great information on there and is well worth your time. is also making headway since its inception in 2005. Its core message is about effecting change both social and environmental. Excellent use of their blog and interaction with their readers and visitors, as well as various projects using social media outlets, has seen become a leading light in social change.

One company that I have a lot of time for is Kiva, whose aim is to eradicate poverty through micro-lending. Individuals or groups can offer micro-loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, offering a more viable way to escape poverty than charity handouts that may never get past the ruling Government. Kiva uses the Internet and social networking to great effect and is making a difference to those that really need it.

With these companies and the likes of Max Gladwell, Pop! Tech and more, social media is maturing into a medium that is much more than a business marketing tool. If we really want to encourage the “social” part of social media, then these sites and others like them are leading the way.

How will you make change?

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