I recently read a report by Waggener Edstrom Worldwide called “DIGITAL PERSUASION: How Social Media Motivates Action And Drives Support For Causes.” And the question is, with social media allowing any individual to be an influencer today – what does influence really mean? And when you have a definition, how do you attract the unique breed of causes supporters – the ones who have potential to be true influencers?
Naturally, a study was conducted and four categories of influencers were established: Mainstreeters, Minimalists, Moderates and Maximizers. The report adds that no one group is better than another; in fact, each of these groups can be extremely beneficial to a cause, as long as organizations know how to engage them – and keep them engaged.
Below are a few interesting facts the from the survey:
– “Among digitally engaged, charitable Americans today, the decision to visibly support a cause or social issue apparently has less to do with appearing knowledgeable or charitable to their peers, and more to do with influencing others to join them in their support of the cause.” Wait, not only are those engaged individuals passionate about a cause – but they’re also passionate about spreading the word? We give those people two thumbs up.
– “Although respondents seem to understand the importance of using their personal brands to secure others’ support for their chosen causes, they still rank this well below more traditional means of support – such as volunteering or donating money – as the single best resource they can contribute to a cause.” Well, we couldn’t agree more.
– “Respondents themselves recognize the role of social media in effectively getting the word out about both local and global causes. More than 8 in 10 (82%) agree that it’s effective in getting more people talking about causes or issues.” Hooray social media!
– And here’s a little hint for organizations: “What’s the most effective platform in an organization or cause’s arsenal? According to respondents, it’s Facebook.”
So, what should you take from this? Well, if you’re an organization – get a social media guru stat! If you already have one – pat them on the back.
If you’re an engaged individual who interacts via social media – woot! Spread the word, create awareness and show your support – you’ll see, people will listen!
This survey is long, detailed and extremely interesting – read the full report for more facts!