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.