ALS Ice Bucket Challenge taught us about Social Media Marketing

 In Facebook, Marketing, Social Media, YouTube

At Fat Guy Media, Social Media Marketing is what we do. A good Social Media Marketing Plan builds brand recognition, drives traffic to your business, and engages your customers. Here is what we learned from a recent Social Media Marketing venture that went viral. If you’ve logged into social media in the last few months you have probably seen #ALSIceBucketChallenge everywhere. Raising money and awareness for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has become maybe the most popular social media marketing campaign, ever. And to think it wasn’t started by the ALS Association at all. Last year at this time ALS Association raised $2.7 million, with the help of this unintentional social media marketing craze ALS Association raised $94.3 million in the same amount of time. No denying the fact that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a success. Although it is probably impossible to mimic this challenge and get anywhere near the same success, here is what it can teach you about social media marketing.

Keep Social Media Simple, Fun, and Creative

People go on social media for entertainment so give it to them. Be creative with your next social media marketing campaign, create something that people will want to watch or even participate in. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was simple and fun, anyone and everyone could get involved. There was no barrier of entry for this type of campaign; bucket, ice, water, camera, and a good attitude, that’s all you needed. Social media showed people of all ages and walks of life grabbing a bucket and joining the cause. From celebrities to school children, your average Joe to Bill Gates, all joined. Timing was key also, do you think this would have gotten half of the participants if this was done in December?

Competition on Facebook Works

Arguably the strongest part of this campaign was peer pressure. One nomination led to another and soon entire friend groups on Facebook were participating. People love challenges and putting friends in the hot seat. Tagging a nominated friend on Facebook for all to see made the challenge inescapable. Add a great cause to back the campaign and it was almost impossible to not participate and donate.

Power of Video

With smart phones and mobile devices being in everyone’s hands (or pockets) it was easy for many to jump on the bandwagon and be their own Spielberg. Videos are becoming more widely used on social media, especially by the younger users. Many users are less likely to read a lengthy article and more apt to click ‘play’. The short length of the videos played a large, positive role in the popularity of the ALS social media marketing campaign. With most videos under 30 seconds participants and viewers were not investing much time by creating or watching the challenge acceptance, dousing, and nomination. With other social medias such as Twitter and Instagram adopting video sharing, social media marketing will be using video clips more and more.

Call to Action is Key

The call to action for the Ice Bucket Challenge starts in the name, people weren’t asked to participate they were all challenged. The goal for business is always to make a profit, but this call to action didn’t exactly ask for money but participation, and it worked. Although many donated and the contributions were incredible, people were still able to participate and spread the message along for free. Making the challenge time sensitive also contributed to the success of the call to action. Giving your nominee 24 hours to respond forced people to be prompt with a response and kept the momentum of the challenge going. How do you think your business could benefit from the lessons learned through the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Are there things you can incorporate into what you’re doing now or in the future? Although we cannot guarantee anything that will have the same success and notoriety that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has had, we have created many successful Social Media Marketing plans that have helped companies flourish. If interested in how Fat Guy Media can help your social media, please feel free to give us a call at516-535-5353 or e-mail us at info@fatguymedia.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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