Alabama Abortion: Using Social Media To Bring About A Change

Lakshay Kumar
May 19, 2019   •  172 views

For years now, social media has been rife with marketing campaigns. Brands have taken social media marketing to the next level. Companies have gone all-out with their marketing campaigns online, some examples being the digital wars between Burger King and McDonald’s. Amidst all of these brands, some social causes have also benefitted from the opportunities available online. It’s only fitting that social media be used for social campaigning as well, right?

Among the notable ones are the #metoo campaign, an almost completely social media driven campaign where women spoke up about years and years of sexual harassment doled out to them in the past. Recently, another topic has been picked up and that is the Alabama bill on abortion in the state.

Alabama is a south-eastern state in the USA where recently, the state Senate launched a bill which puts a near blanket ban on abortions. The bill makes no exceptions for victims of rape and/or incest and doctors who help women to abort their foetuses could face up to 99 years in prison! A discussion about the bill is probably due for another day. This is an article about how social media has been increasingly used to promote social topics and ignite debates.

The Alabama case is a perfect example of how social media mobilisation takes place in favour or against any topic. Online platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit are filled with arguments from both sides of the story as social media gears up for yet another showdown on a global stage.

Popular figures like Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne have been involved in driving public opinion with their posts against the involvement of men in making decisions and laws which affect women.

Hashtags have been a very popular method to get a social media campaign running. Research has shown that hashtags are effective because they extend beyond your followers. Using a hashtag means that anyone who is also interested in a topic would be able to see your post and not just your own followers.

The #metoo movement also started because of its simple and easy-to-use hashtag which went viral. The Alabama case has also given birth to some hashtags like #youknowme, #mybodymychoice and #shoutyourabortion. Thousands of women took to Twitter to express their anger and shared their stories as the movement gathered steam.

Social media campaigning has numerous benefits for brands. Not only is it cost effective, it also increases the brand awareness in the market. For a social issue like the Alabama debate, social media is the perfect tool to increase awareness about the issue and get as many eyeballs as possible. To bring about a change in legislation, it is imperative to get people to raise their voices and a good social media campaign would do just that.