But should we care? Does it really matter how many likes we get? What is the actual conversion of likes to tangible and measurable public action for our causes? Quite often wanting a like, whether for personal or professional use, is down to that competitive edge, the more likes I get, the more I'm liked, right? Well not necessarily. A flick of a like button is easy enough, but converting that to actual action is much harder. Actually only a small percentage of our followers get to see those carefully worded status updates or tweets calling for action. But that doesn't stop us from wanting more. Although likes and followers can be bought these days, and therefore not necessarily a measure of success, ultimately social media actions leads to some digital rivalry and quite often an incorrect measurement of success; more likes make me (or the cause) more appealing and ahead of the game, which in reality may not be true.
Avoiding the physiological complexities of why differing personality types use or need social media, and aside from our own personal blogging, what does a significant social media presence mean for causes? We're all told how critical our digital presence is for our businesses and how social media can transform our campaign activities, however that often leaves those with limited success feeling like a rather ineffectual muppet when it comes to all things technological. One can certainly argue that social media has driven forward some very successful campaigns. You only need to look at the latest ice bucket challenge that promoted the awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to it's research, or the march against SeaWorld, no doubt effectively fuelled by public interest and reaction to a strong social media campaign. In other situations it can link to much needed signatory platforms, linking the public movement and interest and leading to further action that otherwise may have taken weeks/months to move forward. And quite often for well known established organisations, with staff dedicated to promoting their online presence, social media can really contribute towards successful funding appeals and awareness programmes. Interacting with your social media audience, can encourage your audience to become part of the journey, engaging with them emotionally and instigating that physical action, whether it be a donation or a call to action. However, on the flip side, one can also challenge whether some action taken by social media campaigns has any tangible effect for the cause in hand, and only serves to justify minimal action taken by an individual, to make them feel like they've "done something" losing out on actual real action that would support the cause more tangibly.