You’ve heard about it, and you might have even participated in it — the Ice Bucket Challenge has been getting some major social media love this summer (and is not showing any signs of slowing down). While this challenge is targeted at promoting awareness of ALS, one can’t help but notice that the challenge is becoming a little bit of an egotistical show off, and an excellent PR opportunity for celebrities (seems like everyone from Victoria Beckham to President George W. Bush has been involved in the challenge one way or another).
As we were discussing the effects (and side effects) of this viral social media campaign here in the office, here are some interesting facts that we were able to uncover:
- According to The New York Times people shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and August 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter between July 29 and August 17.
- The New York Times reported that the ALS Association had received $41.8 million in donations from July 29 until August 21.
- More than 739,000 new donors have given money to the association, which is more than double the $19.4 million in total contributions the association received during the year that ended January 31, 2013
- The ALS Association, which had raised $64 million in all of 2013, raised more than $10 million on Thursday, August 21, 2014 alone. Wow!
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Some bloggers say:
- It is a great way to raise money — but it is a horrible reason to donate it. When you are inspired by a viral fad to donate your limited dollars to a charitable cause, you ignore the diseases that genuinely threaten people.
- It’s self-promoting.
- It’s insensitive to people who have been affected by the disease
- Dumping ice on yourself is bad for your health
- It’s a waste of water
- ALS is classified as a rare disease and, thankfully, only about 600 people die from it every year in Canada. (The top three being cancer, at 72,000 deaths per year; heart disease, at 47,000; and cerebrovascular disease, 13,000).
The verdict is—egotistical or not—this is how social media works. Social media, in a way, is egotistical, but if the means justify the ends (at least in this case), we think it’s brilliant that social media has this power to do good in a fun, and super cost-effective way for a non-profit organization.
Do you want your social media campaign to go viral? Of course there’s no guarantee that a social media campaign would go viral. You can’t request a viral social media campaign from your marketing agency, but what you could do is to ask yourself these simple questions today:
- Do I know who my audience is on social media (the better your know your “fans” the higher quality content you will be able to create, and get more quality engagement as a result)
- Do I try new social media avenues (the truth is social media is all about trial and error, being agile and flexible in your social media marketing is key)
- Do I know the results of my social media efforts (ongoing goal-setting and consistent KPI monitoring will ensure that you not only engage on social media, but also align your social media marketing with the rest of your organization’s goals, as your company and your brand grows)
How’s your social media marketing today? Curious to see how your online presence can be improved? Give us a shout, or stop by— we always have chocolate!