I’ve been bogged down with work for the whole of last week and it’s been a craaazy week but I’m getting back on track again with editing the documentary, and it’s almost done now, so YAY!
But doing this course has been really interesting, and I like that I can learn things from my subjects and tie them in together… for one of my other assignments I’m focusing on social media, and came across this video by socialnomics09 about the ROI of Social Media and it’s really interesting to look at all these numbers and realize the effectiveness of social media in terms of marketing anything and everything globally and getting very good returns!
Social media is good for marketing and all… but what about using social media to generate awareness in social issues?
I was interested in looking at how social media could be used in addressing problems affecting youths, and considering youths are one of the heaviest online and social media users, it would be more effective to target them online instead of using traditional media like ads
If you’ve heard of TWLOHA, you’ll realize the capability of social media in spreading awareness. TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms) is an American-based nonprofit organisation aimed at spreading awareness about depression and suicide, and since its conception in 2006, TWLOHA has spread globally and helped thousands of people get help and stay alive by bridging the gap between traditional means of getting help (therapy, hopelines, etc.) and the people who need help. They don’t try to give you information about depression; rather, they are there to show you that they understand and know what you’re going through, and assuring you that as much as pain is real, hope and help is real as well (TWLOHA’s vision).
One of the more interesting aspects about TWLOHA and how they grew is the fact that they did so through community and participation, as well as social media, and as such is viewed more as a grassroots movement instead of some charity organisation. A sort of community was formed in the sense that anyone who knew about them were not only sufferers but also people affected by sufferers (friends..family..) and supporters of their cause – and their cause was spread through social media, word of mouth, and merchandise… but most importantly, their supporters became their “brand advocates” by supporting and promoting TWLOHA widely among their own networks and communities. TWLOHA was also heavily supported by popular bands in the U.S. who would wear their merch and from there, spread the word of TWLOHA to their fans… TWLOHA then became topics of interest in band forums, and their fans quickly became supporters of TWLOHA as well… and I guess in a way I’m becoming TWLOHA’s advocate as well, by spreading their cause to you, my readers, through social media such as this blog, and my Facebook and Twitter.
So I thought it would be really interesting to see how social media could be used to spread awareness on other youth problems such as mental health and substance abuse among youths.
Also… if you’re interested in supporting TWLOHA or other great causes, you should check out SocialVibe as well. It’s a social media and a community aimed at connecting people with charity organisations to generate attention to worthy causes and also to help raise money through donations that YOU help raise by spreading the word to your networks :)