SMU professor shares insight on social entrepreneurship through new course
By Lucy Sosa / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kony 2012 phenomenon exploded when Invisible Children posted and promoted this 30-minute YouTube video on their Twitter and Facebook pages last year. The video received over 80 million views in less than a week, and it became the world’s fastest growing viral phenomenon in Web history.
So how did they do it?
According to serial entrepreneur, start-up marketing strategist, and adjunct SMU professor Trey Bowles, the success of Invisible Children’s Kony video highlights the importance of social media to social mission organizations.
“Social mission organizations are becoming so prevalent because social media opens up new circles to other people that allows you to create and mobilize that movement,” said Bowles, who is teaching a new course at SMU this semester called Social Entrepreneurship: Creating a Movement and Innovating Through Social Good.
Bowles’s has dedicated his career to starting and building companies in both the for-profit and non-profit sector. As a team leader for Streamcast Networks, Bowles helped launched Morpheus, the largest growing Internet company in the history of the Web. He’s also served as a pro-bono consultant for organizations like Tom’s Shoes, Art House America, Hope International, and Falling Whistles.
Bowles’s start up philosophy is simple. Companies and organizations, whether they are for-profit or non-profit, need to figure out what the appropriate structure is for them in order to be successful and accomplish their goals.
“It doesn’t matter what social good you are trying to share, or social injustice you’re trying to right, you’ll never be able to do it if the business doesn’t work,” he said.
While most for-profit companies do an effective job reaching out to their investors and clients, Bowles believes non-profit organizations can do more to increase communication with their volunteers and donors.
Considered to be a social media expert, Bowles developed a model for content creation and distribution that finds the best solution for a company or organization’s social media strategy. According to him, every piece of content has meaning and value, but the message must be tailored for each social media platform.
“Same message, you’re just reaching people in different ways,” he said.
The success of the Kony video proves the importance of establishing a social media strategy that “allows you to be efficient with the amount of time you’re spending, and in the end, it allows you to have an optimal plan of attack in return.”
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