Why Social Media Activism?
In 2023 so far, statistics show the average time spent on social media for an adult in the US is over two hours a day. Over half of X (nee Twitter) users say they receive most of the news through that platform. Just as major new networks went from reporting the news to analyzing the news 24/7, social media evolved in the same way. With a record 90% of Americans actively using social media, if there is a topic or cause you are passionate about, social media activism can be a great way to reach more people.
Types of Content
Social Media Strategist Subhi Sbein, sbeih.jpg on Instagram, recently did a breakdown of the five categories of content for social media activism: proof, education, analysis, updates, and solidarity. In our face-paced social mediacentric world, it’s not just about how much you post, but what you post that can make the biggest impact.
Proof needs to be clear, unbiased evidence of what exactly is happening. When posting in this category try to include real time footage. If you are advocating for people on the other side of the planet, this can still be done by resharing the content of people who are there. After being shown real footage and photos, it’s reported around 49% of people who were non-profit supporters wanted to take action based on the footage alone. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so let the imagery help tell the story. This is the most important category.
Education gives your audience background information for context. If you think of proof as being the “what”, think of education as being the “how and why”.
Analysis is commentary to offer perspective. As Subhi says, “It’s how we identify what lens we should be viewing through and how we should be responding to the current event.” As a part of this, it’s important that you include the voices of people directly affected by your cause. Sharing ideas of how to help would also be appropriate content for analysis.
Updates are always needed as situations change or worsen. You should be sharing the latest news and statistics. Let your audience know when there is still an ongoing problem. You will mostly be sharing numbers and figures in this category.
Solidarity is the last category and one that most people tend to jump to first. However, as you can see now, it’s far more effective once you have shared content from the other categories first. Poems, graphics, and illustrations would all work here, as well as just clearly stating where you stand. Even with the hard-to-understand algorithms of social media apps, which determine who sees what, we do know that engaging with posts is what gets a post or topic seen by a bigger audience. So always like, share, and comment on posts of others supporting your cause as well.
Remember activism is not just online so it's important to share information on things like, volunteering in-person public awareness campaigns, how to email or call politicians and what organizations donate money to help. LIFE has people on the ground all over the world working hard to get lifesaving essentials in the hands of people needing them most. These huge efforts rely on donors, like you, to make their lifesaving efforts possible. Share with friends and family so they too can join the effort and more lives can be changed.