If you’ve been watching the news recently, be it in the papers, TV or online, there is no doubt you’ve come across the commotion on Wall Street that has spread to several major cities across the U.S. Even here in our hometown of Austin, the Wall Street protests spread to the footsteps of our city hall in an event that was attended by the hundreds, and was a peaceful, informative demonstration. The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading like wildfire across the U.S., and it is by no accident. Those on the doorsteps of strategic locations in major cities are young, internet savvy, and fed up with many segments of the U.S. economy. And how are these protestors spreading the word of their cause? By the most effective means possible: social media. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few of the social media campaigns that Occupy Wall Street is using to grow awareness to the point that they cannot be ignored.
The Occupy Wall Street Facebook page currently has over 160,000 likes, and it’s growing steadily at an alarming rate. The admins of this site aren’t just posting random rants either, they’re effectively pulling on the heart strings of their target audience by posting news about location updates, links to forums, and supply needs of the protesters themselves. Through FB, they are reaching thousands of interested and/or participating U.S. citizens, and painting an overall picture that is much more compelling than a single news article or blog about the event. The Facebook movement has also splintered off into city-specific pages as well, including Occupy Austin and Occupy San Diego.
Being that YouTube is the second most popular search engine (just under Google), there’s not a better place online to post videos so the people can see what’s really going on behind the scenes. Just type “Occupy Wall Street” in YouTube’s search box and you’ll find pages and pages of videos flooding the video channel. The vids cover riots, police brutalities, and celebrity interviews about the event; again bringing the whole campaign to a reality for those who are not physically there. And considering that Google ranks web sites by YouTube videos, the massive amount of uploaded videos has only boosted search rankings for www.occupywallst.org.
Hashtag “OccupyWallSt” and you’ll find thousands of tweets posted and shared by the minute. Twitter has been the leader in real-time news reports for the protest, where Twitter users can find out the latest news almost instantly about the event. Also, many major news sources such as CNN and ABC are using their Twitter accounts to update their ever-evolving stories covering Occupy Wall Street.
Many people have been comparing the Occupy Wall Street protest to the famous protests of the 1960s, but modern technology has made this one far more advanced and social. During the 1960s you had three sources to discover news about the protests: TV, Radio, and Newspapers. With today’s advancements in social sharing, citizen and traditional news are being shared through thousands of outlets via social media, giving this protest a much larger and more effective outreach.