We are all soaking in the power of the ALS #IceBucketChallenge and it doesn’t look like we will be drying off any time soon! This fundraiser and public awareness campaign for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is shaking up social media and the hearts of people across the globe. As of Monday, August 25, The ALS Association received $79.7 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 25). People are not only dumping ice over their heads, they are donating money for continued research and learning about ALS and its paralyzing affects on humans.
The #IceBucketChallenge started as a friendly challenge among sports figures and in less than a month grew to a worldwide phenomena. The true power of word of mouth and social media marketing proves itself here. Sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones and those that have not been vetted around a conference table for months.
There are three consistent elements in each of the Ice Bucket Challenge posts: pictures or videos of real people, a hashtag, and tagging of others. The pictures and videos provide a human element to this cause. Many who do the challenge share information about someone they know that had or is living with ALS. This human factor pulls on our heart strings and makes us want to get involved. The second element, the hash tag, allows us to follow all the activity around this event and by using it in our posts see how we become a part of this greater thing. Finally the tagging of others to complete the challenge ups the viral ante! Do you really want to be THAT person that ignores the call out and keeps the ball from rolling? Most likely not.
I challenge you to take these three elements-pictures/videos, a hashtag, and tagging-and apply them to your own social media campaign. Your campaign could be focused around a contest, a challenge to share information, or a request to do something specific. Is there something like this that could help your organization or event achieve its goals? Try it out and let us know what happens!
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