The power of social media is astounding. These days’ social media sites are not just catching up with old friends, staying in touch with family or even marketing a business. Social media sites are overthrowing governments; assisting friends and family locate loved ones during a natural disaster and raising consciousness and money for philanthropic efforts.
Who would even think a site where you “manage a farm” or “Poke” people to say “Hi” could do such profound things. But in the past couple of months Facebook has turned into THE source for all things important.
We all watched as the Egyptian people overthrew their government, the entire movement was basically planned and orchestrated on Facebook. After the earthquake and tsunami the world waited on Facebook for word that the people they knew in Japan were OK, and this past weekend Facebook was used to raise donations for Japan.
The South By Southwest Conference & Festival (SXSW), an event featuring original music, independent films and emerging technologies, was in Austin, TX this past weekend.
During the Conference Charlie Annenberg Weingarten, founder of Explore.org and Director of The Annenberg Foundation (both philanthropic organizations) announced Explore.org would donate up to $100,000 to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation a dog rescue team on its way to Japan to help in the search and rescue efforts with help from Facebook Users.
Weingarten announced that “for every ‘Like’ of the ‘Dog Bless You’ Facebook page (#dogblessyou, #dogs4japan), Explore will donate a dollar up to $100,000…C’mon people, let’s help those quake victims!”
The announcement was sent out and began being shared, Yahoo and Mashable picked up the story and it began flying around in Status Updates across Facebook. Dog Bless You reached 100,000 Likes around 6:00 p.m. CST on Sunday evening. As of this morning they have over 114,000 Friends.
Prior to this, these Friends had probably never heard of Explore.org, The Annenberg Foundation or the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, but now over 100,000 people are aware of these organizations and perhaps even a small fraction of these Friends will become more involved in these efforts.
So, what does this mean to you, the business owner utilizing Facebook for your marketing efforts? It proves that people are on Facebook, they are participating, watching, listening. Facebook is fast becoming an invaluable tool in all areas of people’s lives.
You may not be doing anything philanthropic or raising consciousness, but just by being on Facebook you have a voice and the ability to capture people’s interest.