Social Media & Grassroots Marketing

We are living in a digital age.

Tweets, hashtags, blog posts and internet memes consume the attention of most everyone nowadays, leaving many grassroots and nonprofit organizations asking themselves: how can participating in all of this help to move my mission forward?

Having a dedicated community on social media can translate into immediate and tangible action. The role social media and digital marketing play in grassroots organizing cannot be understated- even today, one viral tweet or Instagram shoutout from a celebrity can lead to a spike in supporters or donation conversions for a small organization overnight.

Never has this fact been more relevant than in the realm of modern political discourse. Nowadays amplifying your message to those with power is as simple as pressing “Publish,” and when communities rally behind an online message together it can directly lead to those in power taking notice.

Collective online action can happen on any scale, from your local neighborhood to around the globe. Hashtags like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter began as a trending online topic bringing attention to the discrimination and abuse women and people of color continue facing to this day. The message of these movements resonated with a global audience, causing policy makers and leaders to carefully reexamine the role their own practices play in perpetuating harm.

This phenomenon directly relates to our work as welcomers and storytellers: quite recently, President Biden announced his determination to maintain the refugee admittance cap at an all-time low of 15,000 individuals. Immediately following this announcement, immigration and refugee support organizations around the country (including many Network members) took to social media expressing shock and outrage at this reversal of his campaign promises. Shortly following this online condemnation, Biden quickly announced he would be increasing the cap before the end of the fiscal year.

Before writing off social media as a potential waste of time, remember this response to the presidential determination. Social media allows us to spread our message of welcoming, speak truth to power and hold our leaders accountable to supporting our newest neighbors. There is tremendous power and utility to be found within these platforms — especially in the realm of political advocacy — and any grassroots organization would be wise to consider ways they can leverage them to move their mission forward.

Learn more about the Hello Neighbor Network. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. Sign up for our newsletterto be the first to know when applications open.



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Dustin Butoryak

National Membership Coordinator with the Hello Neighbor Network (Pittsburgh, PA)