One of the first things marketers learn about when venturing into the world of social media is the importance of creating great content. I can remember an assignment during the Social Media Marketing Mini-MBA course I took this summer that asked us to create content buckets. The idea was to fill each imaginary bucket with examples of content that would be viewed as relevant, meaningful and helpful to various types of customers.
Little did I know that one of the greatest examples of the power of social media would literally come in a bucket — complete with great visuals, a call to action, video, and content that most definitely moves! Yes, I’m talking about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has taken the electronic world by storm. In fact, you’d pretty much have to have your head permanently stuck in a bucket not to know about it!
What started on Facebook with a few kids and parents has mushroomed into a social media fundraising frenzy that has raised more than $31 million for the ALS Foundation. It has also significantly raised the awareness of this horrible disease and the need to find a cure. While I certainly knew about ALS, my daughter didn’t have a clue. It simply wasn’t something we thought to talk about. She knows now — and has her own video on Instagram to prove it!
To some, this challenge may seem hokey and annoying — and to others even a waste of water. To that I say, $31 million and counting! While the actual call to action may seem a little off (by giving people the option of donating or dumping ice water on their heads), it’s working. People are doing both.
This morning, my Facebook feed featured George W. Bush, Ben Affleck (who was nominated by Tyler Perry) and Jennifer Garner taking the challenge and passing it along to the likes of Bill Clinton, Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel. If ever there was an example of a successful social media campaign for a great cause, this is it.
Perhaps the most touching – and telling – video I’ve seen so far is from Chris Pendergast, the founder of ALS Ride to Life. He was diagnosed with this disease 21 years ago and is still fighting. Take a look, and go get that ice bucket ready! Better yet, make a donation to www.alsa.org. I made mine this morning.