Using Social Media to Facilitate Social Change

Social media are powerful for engaging individuals in conversations and building community. Social marketing is a platform for companies to use their voices and resources to improve quality of life in communities where they do business or any corner of the world. Now, these two ideas intersect in a campaign launched by Nike. The iconic athletic brand has a social marketing campaign called "Back Your Block". The program awards grants to community organizations that seek to use sports as a vehicle for making a difference. Social media are integrated into the campaign as organizations that apply for a grant can then use tools such as Facebook and Twitter to encourage people to go to the campaign's web site and vote for them.

Demonstrating concern for local communities is not only good business sense, it is fulfillment of philanthropic responsibilities business concerns are expected to meet by society today. While supporting community organizations can have a desired business effect of "doing well while doing good," the impact of such a campaign is enhanced when individuals are drawn into it as Nike is doing by allowing people to vote on grant applications. Nike's campaign is not just about the company supporting a cause. It is also about individuals (Nike customers and non-customers alike) who are being drawn closer to the brand as they support their favorite local organizations. Nike's program is a winner, not only for the potential positive change it may bring, but for giving power to the people to help make change possible.

Marketing Daily - "Nike Launches New Grant Program via Social Media"

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