Advantages of Social Awareness on Social Media
In today's social climate, college students are taking the lead by using social media to spread social awareness. These ideas and values have always been present, but in recent months following this summer's Black Lives Matter protests, people feel the need to take matters into their own hands. Miah Latvala, a sophomore at Hofstra University, is the director of social awareness for her sorority, Delta Gamma. Her position is fully dedicated to using her organization's various social media platforms to educate their followers on different social issues. She works with her chapter management team by staying up-to-date on social issues and educating other members.
Latvala commented, “On my Instagram and Twitter, I reshare infographics and breaking news on my story pretty often. I have even created a special story highlight on my Instagram dedicated to important world and social topics. For my sorority, I create various infographics that spread awareness and also created a page highlight for those who might be interested.”
These strategies of spreading social awareness are directly beneficial to college students because they are society’s next generation of CEOs, entrepreneurs, and leaders. There is a growing emphasis on being associated with organizations and companies that align with the same values of the audience. Social media is the best place to spread this type of information because this is where most of the younger generation gets their news and information. When asking Miah about the benefits of using social media, her response was relevant to the thoughts of many college students, “Personally, I don’t have much time in my schedule to enjoy live TV as much as I would like. I get most, if not all, of my news through various social platforms. For many college students like myself, this is the case. I find it particularly helpful when people I follow share breaking news or infographics as it keeps me up to date about what’s going on in the world, and allows me to step outside my bubble.”
One thing about social awareness is that a simple post won’t change the way people feel about different issues. These feelings are deeply rooted in the psyche of an individual and it takes more than facts or statistics to change their mind. When a public relations specialist is figuring out a way to make their company or organization socially aware, many factors come into play.
Will I lose clients if we go through with this campaign?
Will the loss outweigh the gain?
Am I knowledgeable enough about this topic to put a story out?
Will this story help or hurt my company?
A major point that has to be stressed through a social awareness campaign is the “so what?”. Explaining why a certain issue is important, and explaining the effects it has on our society as a whole makes it more personal. A lot of the issues we have seen in the past few months are dealing with basic human rights. In your campaign, you have to make sure to offer other resources along with your posts so if the reader chooses to, they can take the next step to further their knowledge on the topic.
Social awareness campaigns have shown success throughout the years, some that deserve recognition are the #MeToo movement, the ALS ice bucket water challenge, and #OccupyWallStreet. All of these movements set the scene for campaigns to come. If it doesn’t change someone's mind, the least it will do is increase awareness about these issues and encourage people to use their platforms to take a stand.
Written by: Bridget Van Well