From the #IceBucketChallenge to apps like GoodGuide, Americans are taking to their phones, keyboards and touchscreens to learn and take a stand on issues they care about – and the result is powerful. We're proud to share the 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study examining how Americans are engaging with social or environmental issues online. If you think a click of a button isn't worth much, consider this: Nearly two-thirds (63%) say after learning of an issue online, they are more inclined to donate or support that issue in other ways. Other findings from the study include:
- FIRST LIKE, THEN SUPPORT: 64% would be more inclined to get involved in those ways, such as volunteering or donating, after first "liking" or "following" an organization online
- IMPACT TRUMPS BRAND: Nearly six-in-10 (58%) Americans say it's more important to be able to have an impact on the issue than be familiar with the organization they are supporting
- CONTENT THAT EDUCATES AND ENTERTAINS: Nearly half (48%) prefer written articles or stories when seeking out social or environmental content, and almost as many look for videos (44%) and pictures (42%) from organizations
- MILLENNIALS LEAD: 71% of Millennials use social media as a platform to talk about the issues they care about (vs. 52% U.S. average)
- HISPANICS HARNESS APPS: Hispanics are more likely to use mobile apps to learn about a social or environmental issue (67% vs. 56% U.S. average), be rewarded for behavior change (72% vs. 58% U.S. average) and learn about ingredients or components in products (68% vs. 57% U.S. average)
Digital engagement around social and environmental issues allows everyone to be an activist, a philanthropist and a hero. The opportunity for organizations is to convert that click of a button into a powerful gateway for deeper impact. To break through, organizations must understand the distinct motives, behaviors and preferred channels to customize the experience and ignite action; whether it's a seamless way to sign a petition after reading an article, a viral social good hashtag or compelling issues-based video.