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The power of social media

Posted by
23 Sep 2015
There are 7.2 billion people living on earth and out of that figure 3.1 billion use the internet, that's 42% of the world's population and out of that 3.1 billion 2.078 billion are actively using social media sites. Social media is a powerful resource and for many it's either used for social purposes such as keeping in touch with friends or by businesses for marketing purposes. In recent years, many believe that social media is developing a bad reputation with the likes of cyberbullying and addiction. However many people focus on the negative rather than the positive impacts that social media has on the world, and believe it or not but both people and businesses have used their social media presence for the greater good and the outcomes have been amazing.


After the photograph of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler washed up on the shore, went viral on social media and appeared on the front cover of all major and local newspapers, Europe received their wakeup call.  

In the UK, it led to an online petition which went viral on social media and received an overwhelming response with hundreds of thousands of people signing to show their support to allow more refugees into the country. The response and support made such an impact that it led to David Cameron changing his initial plan of bringing peace to the country rather than accept more refugees to now publically announcing his plan to accept more refugees.  In addition to this, the hashtag #RefugeesWelcome was trending in the UK with businesses, celebrities and individuals from all over the UK showing their support with the tweet and some of them even offering up their homes for the refugees to live in.

Here in the Liverpool office we were touched to hear the story of a young boy called Finn who was fighting for his life and was in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. Through the use of Twitter and Facebook Finn's mother spread the word of his story and the bone marrow donor drives that were being held around Liverpool. After people from all over Liverpool donated, including all of us in the Liverpool office, Finn found a match and he is now on the road to recovery. And the donor drives not only helped Finn but through all the other donations, other people who were need of a bone marrow transplant also found a match.


I'm sure everyone remembers the Ice Bucket Challenge in aid of ALS charity that went viral last year. The challenge started after a young man from the US was diagnosed with the illness, and friends of the man started the challenge to raise money for the charity. Through the use of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube the challenge went viral and people from around the world were participating, including our very own Directors at our annual teambuilding, celebrities and politicians. From July to August 2014 the challenge raised $98.2 million which was a massive increase compared to the $2.9 million raised in the year before during the same period - all through the use of social media.

As you can see, in the past two years alone social media has had a powerful impact on social issues that affect not only us living here in the UK but also those around the world and that's not even all of them. Click here to read more about how social media has helped with the capture of one of the 2013 Boston bombers and how the 201
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