Bauer Business Focus

Social Media And Social Movements

Guest: Professor Leiser Silva

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Social media is a powerful medium to organize and mobilize social movements. But to be successful in the use of social media, Professor Leiser Silva with the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston says organizers must frame messages beyond motivation and mobilization.

“Although social movements like the Women's March are often originated on social media by core users like politicians and celebrities, it is actually the peripheral users who are responsible for the reach of messages.”

“The most important messages for sustaining a movement are prognostic, or those that refer to solutions for the problems aiming to be addressed by the social movement, and diagnostic, or those that establish what is wrong and who is to blame.”

“Messages focused only on mobilization will not suffice to sustain and grow a movement. To reach a wider audience, they have to resonate with peripheral users.”

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