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Tweet for a Cause: Use Social Media to Advocate for Change

'Once a community is galvanized online, it's much easier to facilitate real-world action'

By Jessica Roy - September 28, 2010
Say goodbye to clipboard-wielding political campaigners and expensive charity balls: Activism is going digital. Organizations from nonprofits to startups are harnessing the power of social media to spread the word about their initiatives. By tapping into both global and personal networks, charities like 350.org and the American Red Cross have implemented impressive cross-platform social media strategies to galvanize supporters and raise awareness about their causes.

Social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook have become the new ground zero for these grassroots movements. Last year, in order to raise awareness about a worldwide day of activism, supporters of 350.org Twitter-bombed popular celeb tweeter Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk), eventually goading him into tweeting about the cause. Environmental magazine Grist's irreverent video advertisements have received thousands of hits and have popped up on popular sites like Poynter. It's online guerilla marketing strategies like these that have helped to capture the public's attention and raise the profile of big and small charities alike. So how do these organizations do it? Here are some guidelines from the pros on how to use social media to advocate for change. ...

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