As we've seen with the rise of social media and the Internet, it's never been easier to have your voice be heard in the world today. A recent example is the interest and awareness generated by the "Kony 2012" video campaign. The campaign's success serves as proof that people who have a cause or want to start a movement can do so effectively on the Net.
This means you can be the media. You are a publisher, if you want to be. If you have a mission, cause or purpose close to your heart, you can now fulfill it more easily than any other time in our history. Of course, it takes courage to stand up for what you believe.
There's no excuse for not turning your passion or purpose into a way of influencing others into awareness or action. This is the perfect time to do it.
Here are five ways to start your own Social Media movement:
1. Choose your cause. If there's been something that's been in the back of your mind, something you've been thinking of doing for a longtime, do something about it. Choose what your movement is going to be. Helping raise awareness for any cause, no matter how niche, is a good choice, as long as it's important to you. It could be teaching young children how to be more financially aware, helping find homes for animals, talking about self-image issues for teen girls or Alzheimer's awareness.
2. Choose your platform. There are so many different platforms online today for spreading your message it can be confusing, and it's going to be impossible to do them all. So, choose two or three different platforms. For example, you can start with a blog as the hub for your movement. Then you could add in YouTube with videos that are supporting your cause and in alignment with what you're doing on your blog. And a third option could be Twitter or Facebook accounts, two great places for finding like-minded people for gaining interest and support and starting conversations.
3. Begin publishing. Now, you have to have content that's out there talking about what your vision is, what your cause is, or what you want to change or bring awareness to in the world. You can't have just one blog post or one video about whatever your movement is about. Once you begin publishing, publish content consistently. Make sure that you're going to be publishing something at least once a week, so people know and expect it, and so the search engines won't ignore you since you have no new content.
4. Ask for help. Once you gain some momentum with your movement, ask for help from other experts or other people who are interested in the same cause. You can assemble a "panel of experts," which has multiple benefits. One is you'll take some of the work off of yourself from having to post once a week (or more) and you'll have new perspectives and conversations about your topic, while still providing new content for your followers.
5. Keep moving forward. Just like anything that is worth doing, starting a movement doesn't happen overnight. But, if your heart is in it and if it's something you've been thinking about for a long time, just keep moving forward. You'll see momentum build for your movement. Who knows how you can positively change the world?
Jeff Herring and Maritza Parra are social media marketing specialists. They work with small businesses, both online and offline, to dramatically increase their visibility, customers and revenue using online marketing.
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