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Posts Tagged ‘power of social media’

A peace message from Puerto Rico

December 17, 2012 1 comment

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Social media is a known to be a powerful marketing tool and therefore in Puerto Rico its users are using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote the message of peace.

This small island in the Caribbean has been facing a huge wave crime in the past few years with over 1,000 people being murdered in 2011 alone. Recently a publicist called José Enrique Gómez was carjacked by 4 suspects with no guns, taken to an ATM machine to withdraw $400 and then set on fire. This violent murder has been the final straw for the citizens of this island who are tired of living with nothing but crimes reported on the news.

People have taken to social media to pour the messages of peace and to promote the end of the violence in the country. Several Facebook groups popped up overnight reaching over 50,000 supporters in 24 hours. They all have been promoting the message of “Todos somos Jorge Steven” (“We are all Jorge Steven”) and “Los Buenos Somos Mas” (“The Good Guys are More”). The hashtags associated with this peace message: #todossomosjorgeenrique, #unabrazoparapuertorico, #losbuenossomosmas and #bastaya are still being used weeks after the movement started. This is a good sign because in the social media world movements rise and fall with a lifespan of a few days at most. This message of peace has also been kept strong by increasing support from local celebrities like Ricky Martin and by the news spreading globally and supporters joining from other countries.

This social media movement has also moved the message from the social media outlets to major news outlets not only in Puerto Rico but around the world. It has also inspired the citizens to voice their message from the virtual world to the real world by organizing vigils for victims, peaceful marches and conversations in daily life.

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The impact of this virtual conversation has taken one step further. The mother of one of the suspects saw her son’s picture on Facebook in a movement to find the perpetrators and made him turn himself in to the police.

This movement has been causing some powerful impacts to the social health of a wounded country. There is hope in how the conversations are being kept alive and that people are not forgetting to keep interest in spreading the message. Hopefully 2013 will be the first time in over a decade where Puerto Ricans will see a year in decreasing murder rates and less violence in their daily lives.

Banning social media sites for employees – how smart is that?

November 19, 2009 1 comment

Over half of U.S. workplaces are banning social media networks for their employees. Most companies fear that interacting on social media networks might distract employees to do the “real” work. The question remains how important sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are for the exchange of useful ideas, thoughts and knowledge in the Web 2.0 era. So what is the real power of social media?

According to Nielsen Wire, two thirds of the world’s Internet population visit social networking or blogging sites:

  • Facebook currently has more than 300 million active users, 50% of which log onto Facebook in any given day. The fastest growing demographic is 35 years and older.
  • LinkedIn, considered a professional networking site, has 45 million users representing 150 industries around the world.
  • Microblogging site Twitter’s largest user group are adults 35-49. In May 2009, it had 18.2 million unique visitors with the lowest retention rate of all sites mentioned, but the fastest-growing percentage points of all networks.

Countless books have been written on the power of social media. P&G run a test in March 2009, where social media experts, digital masterminds, and experienced interactive marketers created a scenario that generated 1,200 hits for a site within 60 minutes: P&G Tests the Power of Social Media

And we, the “young folks”, would virtually not exist without a Facebook profile (and probably miss a lot of very important things). Traci Armstrong talks about the benefits for employers when Facebook access is granted to employees: Give Employees Facebook Time

Through being part of social media networks we communicate today. Plus, given the information stream available, social networks provide information and educate us all. Rather than being afraid that employees are distracted, companies cannot ignore the power of social media networks as information providers and revenue generators anymore.

Remember the times when we ran into a problem at work and the only way to fix it was to ask a colleague (btw, how did we manage to be successful back then?). Well today, you can ask a colleague and the Internet. So banning social media is counterproductive – companies might as well ban the whole Internet. And that’s too outdated to even talk about.