Using social media to mobilize Millennials

Every New Year brings with it things that are, well, new in that they put an exciting new spin on familiar practices. I wanted to share two of these with you that caught my attention as they are focused on social change, depend on crowd engagement and target increasingly influential Millennials.

The first is Pando Projects which taps into the collective brainpower of Millennials to provide technological and managerial support to people with a great idea but without a business plan. Each project takes advantage of a customizable website with promotional, fundraising and volunteer management tools. Every idea also gets an immediate social media presence, and thanks to the help of other Millennials, gets instant business acumen that can be the difference between success and failure.

Pando aims to scale change by making meaningful ideas more executable and brainpower more accessible, and while its only in the pilot stage, its attracting volunteers from an unlikely demographic of under-30’s. To me it’s a powerful demonstration of the power of social media as people support projects based a personal connection to the cause or issue. And judging by the first 15 pilot projects, Millennials are demonstrating an inspiring willingness to assume responsibility for the change they want to see in the world.

The second example is Loudsauce, a crowd-funded ad platform that aims to change advertising into a platform for meaningful change. How it works is simple. You browse the roster of campaigns for issues or causes you care about, choose the level of funds you want to donate and the medium you want to use (TV, billboards), see the meaningful ad appear, and then spread the word on Facebook or Twitter.

Loudsauce enables the community to inject meaning and responsibility into the wealth of for-profit advertising we swim in every day.  And like Pando Projects, Loudsauce looks to media-savvy Millennials who recognize the power of marketing and re-purpose it to build a better world.

Both concepts are almost unimaginable only a short few years ago and speak to a powerful shift in marketing enabled by social media and increasingly driven by Millennials. These same young social activists will become the founders of companies and industry leaders that will transform the products, services and role of brands in near future. Such positive efforts, while just starting out, are exciting and speak to a brighter future for us all.

Do you think we’ll be seeing more socially responsible advertising? Do you agree that Millennials will cause a shift in the way brands market?