Social Media and Social Change

People who know me and my work know that I stand for inclusion, full participation, and involvement of all people in community. At our agency, CLASS, ( or in the teaching I do at the University of Pittsburgh, or in the consulting or public speaking I do (, the corpus of the message is that diversity is good and that all people matter.

As a change agent I look to advance this message in the work, writing, and speaking I do, but in thinking about ways people become influenced, we can not  forget social media. There are many social media outlets, but the primary ones most of us engage are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Many people I know are active on all three platforms. 

Now each of these have their primary bent, with Facebook being mostly social, Twitter being mostly news/entertainment oriented, and LinkedIn being primarily business oriented. Still, the message of inclusion, community engagement, social capital, and participation are relevant to these big 3 social media outlets.

So, how can you take advantage of these outlets if you want to step up your advocacy efforts. First is to be able to succinctly articulate your message in a way that the average person will understand or find relevant. Don't be preachy or sanctimonious, but focus on the key points of relevance. Next, when you see a post that aligns or matters to you, share it with your community. Take a minute to add your alignment with the post and ask others to share it as well. 

When you do the math, and look at the exponential impact of a post that gets shared by a number of people, the reach can be enormous. You can never know the overall impact, but we do know however, that most behavior unfolds from social influences in our life. That is, we tend to mimic or model the behavior of others that we value. This can create a sea change in attitudes. 

So take a minute now to try this out. If you think this post is important, share it now. Repost it, or add to the construct with your own thoughts; but don't miss the opportunity to influence your virtual social capital. It is one small way we can change the world!