Martin Luther King Jr.’s Influence On Social Media

Social Media Inspiration: 7 Martin Luther King Jr.  Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. helped people who didn’t have a voice come together and changed the world’s perspective on racial issues in America.

As we honor him, let his teachings guide our actions. They still hold true in today’s social media connected and empowered world.

How different would Dr. King’s movement been if he had today’s social media platforms and technology? 

7 Martin Luther King Jr.’s social media influence (Quotes)

Martin Luther King Jr.’s social media influence is visible in how we use and participate on social media today.

Here are seven quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. that teach us how to live and participate on social media platforms.

1. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 

Social media requires a different way of engaging with your target audience. In today’s connected world, take steps to find your way. You need to participate and be present.  

Take The First Step-Martin Luther King Jr QUOTEActionable Social Media Lesson:

  • Listen to Dr. King, “Take the first step in faith.” Just do it.

2. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Social media is about the community and the greater good. Dr. King’s words ring true on social media. Social media is participants and marketers pay-it-forward.

Social media participation is about contributing to the community, not what’s in it for you.

This is particularly important when dealing with millennials. To put this in perspective, Martin Luther King Jr. was a member of the Silent Generation. He spoke to early Boomers. Yet Dr. King’s message still inspires millennials. (Check this generational research.)Martin Luther King Jr's social media influence

Actionable Social Media Lesson:

  • Find a way to help other people on social media each day. This applies to brands and individuals. It can be as small as engaging and sharing with other people.
  • Ask how you can be of service to your community. Skip the me, me, me.

3. “Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.”

Social media heeds Dr. King’s lessons. As a brand and a business, you must be willing to help the community. Social media requires transparency.

Social media isn’t about being promotional. Customers and the public have the tools to make themselves heard.Martin Luther King Jr's social media influence

Actionable Social Media Lesson:

  • Help your community on social media. Think beyond your next marketing promotion. Support your customers and the public.

4. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into [a] friend.”

What a beautiful way to express this sentiment.

Reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s social media influence in your communications.

Listen to your disgruntled customers and their problems. Acknowledge them and respond to their issues to turn angry customers into raving fans.Martin Luther King Jr's social media influence

Actionable Social Media Lesson:

  • Pay attention to what prospects, customers and the public say about you on social media. Respond to issues quickly, take the conversation offline and sincerely work to fix problems.

5. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” 

How true! Since there’s always an electronic device within arm’s reach, our fingers can quickly tap out a response without ever thinking about the person at the other end and their current situation and perspective.Martin Luther King Jr's social media influence

Actionable Social Media Lesson:

  • Don’t rush to answer or leave a negative comments on social media. Your words will remain forever. The writer might not speak the language or have another reason for his communication.

6. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” 

Follow Dr. King’s social media influence to distribute information that helps others. Also, participate to help the collective good.Martin Luther King Jr's Social Media Influence

Actionable Social Media Lesson:

  • Think us, not me on social media.  What can you do to help others and improve the small world around you.

7. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 

Social media provides tools to enable anyone to be a publisher and promote their ideas. Let’s reach out and let our voices be heard supporting higher level ideals.Martin Luther King Jr's Social media influence

Actionable Social Media Lesson:

  •  Use social media for change. Skip the push marketing. Think about how you can help make the community better one small communication at a time.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s social media influence is strong. His beliefs are at the core of social media engagement.

Marketers and social media participants can learn a lot about social media engagement and, more broadly, life in general from Dr. King’s teachings. May we all be better for it.

What do you see as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s social media influence? Which of his quotes resonate with you regarding social media?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

To learn more about Dr. King, please check out the King Center for Non-violent Social Change.

Here are some related articles of interest.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on January 16, 2012. It has been updated.

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