Many people are of opinion that internet groups and Facebook causes are meaningless, having little or no real-world implications. But some events and numerous studies suggest otherwise. Significant contribution of young internet users in recent events like the protests and revolutions in North Africa and Middle East suggest that internet in fact nurtures activism.
According to the study carried out by Pew Internet and American Life Project, 80% internet users were part of a voluntary group vs. 56% non-users. Internet users were also found to be more active members of the group. 69% internet users and 54% non-users attended group events or meetings, 64% and 47% respectively volunteered time to the group, 60% and 50% contributed money, and 34% and 19% took up a leadership role in the group. Among the internet users, majority of social media users, 82%, were actively involved in a group. This includes 85% of the Twitter users.
The results of Harris Interactive study conducted for World Vision indicate that large numbers of teens were involved in charitable causes in a number of ways. In this segment too the involvement of social media users was slightly higher. Totally 43% teens and 45% social network users were actively involved with charitable organizations, volunteering time at soup kitchen and participating in events like a walk or a run. Around 26-27% teens provide financial support to various causes.
These figures indicate that internet groups and causes on social networks are not meaningless and marketers can consider it in their company internet marketing strategy. Cause based marketing can be especially profitable for marketers targeting younger age group.