What are your most common experiences with social media?  Have you used Facebook to invite your friends to a big event, or used Twitter to post a link to a campaign you support?  While these are more common, new capabilities of social media are only just being realized.

For example, social media will play a big role in the upcoming presidential campaigns and election.  Social media has promoted Earth Hour, an environmentalist movement to reduce your electricity usage and become more aware of the planet.  And now the latest:  social media is employed by thousands of people in the United States who wish to avoid deportation.

Immigraton Social Media

Many peoples' passports to stay in the U.S. have been "stamped" by social media efforts

In 2009, what started as a mere attempt for Walter Lara to stay in the United States two weeks prior to his deportment became a national movement.  When Maria Lacayo, Lara’s childhood friend, heard about Lara’s situation, she created a Facebook page dedicated to keeping his dream of staying in the U.S. alive.  She linked to her own Twitter page as well and provided her email address.  Overnight and by default, she became Lara’s campaign manager.  She had over 400 emails with people offering advice and pledging their support, as well as wanting to plead his case to higher authority.

Regardless of the details, thousands of people received news about Lara’s impending deportment, including Florida Senator Bill Nelson.  With his help, Lara received a letter of deferment that has since been renewed.

Others in similar situations have reached out because of inspiration gained from Walter Lara’s success story.  There now exist several organizations whose main focus is to use the tools of social media to prevent deportation.

This is just one successful example of the newest way that social media marketing is being implemented.  What do you predict the next major use will be?

Jamie Bates