COM0011–Blog 1: #SocialMediaCompaignsWork

Whether you are a supporter of social media campaigns or not you have to admit that their impact is immense. Social media is changing the way we communicate; there is no doubt about it. Companies use it to promote their products or services and charities use it to educate about their cause or to raise funds. The ability to reach so many people in real time and all hours of the day impacts our online experiences, delivers messages and gives everyone a voice.

According to Mashable the top five social media campaigns for 2014 are:

  • Burger King’s “Motel King”
  • AT&T “@SummerBreak”
  • Tombstone’s “Bites of Fright”
  • Chevy and the American Cancer Society “Paint Social Media Purple”
  • Nestle Coffee-mate’s “Stirring up Love ‘Outside the Cup’”

Businesses are connecting themselves to social causes, for example Chevy and the American Cancer Society “Paint Social Media Purple” campaign, which focused on cancer survivors. This 60-second campaign was featured during the 2014 Super Bowl and invited people to ‘purple’ their Facebook profile in exchange to Chevy donating $1 do the American Cancer Society.

Not on the list, but fresh in my memory is the “Bell Let’s Talk” campaign. Since 2010 over $67 million dollars has been raised using this initiative. Say what you want, but social media made all the difference with a  “record 122,150,772 million tweets, texts, calls and shares on Bell Let’s Talk Day—and a new Bell donation for mental health of $6,107,538.60.” That’s pretty good coin for a one-day awareness blitz. Some may argue that companies use this as a form of advertising and that they are benefiting when they attach to social causes like cancer or mental health, but the bottom line is they do raise awareness and they do raise funds.

Last year the ice bucket challenge was all the rage. The first time I saw it appear on Facebook I had no idea what it was for. Eventually it came to light that people were dumping ice-cold water over their heads to avoid donating to ALS; in short, you make a donation to ALS or you dump water over your head. Critics complained that this campaign failed because there was more ice dumping than donations and some went as far as to complain that it was a waste of water, but say what you may, it did raise awareness and it did raise funds.

There is a common theme here; raising awareness and raising funds.  Some people participate. Some people complain. Some people participate and complain, but the end result is conversation, awareness, donations and even a sense of community.  I’m curious to see what the next social media campaign will be.

3 thoughts on “COM0011–Blog 1: #SocialMediaCompaignsWork

  1. I saw that you had read my blog post on “hashtag activism”, so you know my personal beef with hashtags! But these types of hashtags make more sense to me from a fundraising/awareness perspective. The ‘Bell Let’s Talk’ campaign simply required people to use #BellLetsTalk on Twitter, and the company donated money to mental health initiatives. That’s a bandwagon hashtag that is actually profitable in the end for everyone! The companies listed on the Mashable site created a fun hashtag that is interactive for their customer base, got people talking about their product, and presumably buying their products too. These campaigns have a set purpose with set goals that they wish to achieve. It’s when people start hashtagging big world events with no purpose other than to hashtag it is where I take my issue. Marketing hashtags = win (most of the time!).

  2. I have been thinking about what you said about the hashtag with no purpose. I kind of like those too. While some people may just be jumping on the bandwagon, and some people use it to be rude and insensitive, most people use it to feel like they are part of something. Let’s take what happened in Ottawa in October. It was frightening. There really wasn’t anything we could do at the time, but #OttawaStrong gave us a sense of community. It is a small gesture, but small is better than nothing. What #OttawaStrong resulted in was people showing up down town to ‘reclaim’ it and a record-breaking attendance for the Remembrance Day celebrations.

  3. I agree that social media is a way to create massive awareness for issues or charities. It is the pep rally, the protest, the campaign of our day. Not just for our own small community but on a global basis. Very cool!

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