Overwhelming influence of social media could change laws

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According to the results of the #socialis project from cyber-bullying charity The Cybersmile Foundation, nearly half of UK social media users believe that brands and individuals can use social media for political good – influencing opinions on racism and gay rights as a result.

Created by Branded3, the campaign sought to understand how important social media users from sites such as Twitter and Facebook felt their influence could be on the world. 49% argued social media could change politics, with 46% saying it could help influence gay rights and 45% saying the same for racism. Similarly, the central role that social media has played in revolutions over the past few years may account for why 38% said it could help impact the result of civil unrests.

Interesting, 38% said they believed social media could change the world with regards to its influence over big brands’ ethics. Often a contentious issue for massive brands with perhaps less than perfect transparency over their ethical standards, this is sure to be an area that will have more of a focus in the future, as more continue to join the ranks of social media sites and share their thoughts on such matters.

By providing concerned consumers with an easy platform on which to communicate with brands over any and all issues, the power that a social media campaign can have on a brand’s reputation is overwhelming. Companies looking to embrace social media and really make the most of it should thus start listening, or at least respecting, the views of those with truth in their accusations.

By starting a campaign using a popular hashtag for example, or rallying with others who share similar worries about the brands, social media users have more power than ever to dirty a brands’ name and raise awareness for its less than ideal practices.

Social media users are the ones with the power to change the world for the better. Are you ready to listen?