I have always been fascinated with how fast things can spread on social media and how this can be used for social good. Recently a campaign has exploded online which I’m sure you have heard of by now – Kony 2012. It’s a campaign put on by the Invisible Children, a non profit organization in the US. They’ve sparked this campaign through a 30 minute video (see it embedded below). The video has only been out since Monday and its unbelievable what has come of it. As of Wednesday night they had over 15 million views (that’s only 3 days of it being online) with their YouTube and Vimeo video combine. And they’ve got people talking! Opinions are flying, sharing and liking and tweeting are going crazy in the social sphere.
Leveraging social media for social good is a huge passion of mine and from personal experience I know it can be extremely difficult to gain interest for a cause. Kony 2012 did an amazing job strategizing how to overcome the 3 key factors faced by all social good campaigns:
1) How to get a mass amount of people to care about something
People (for some reason) LOVE everything celebrity. News about Snooki and the Kardashian sisters are hot topics in comparison to serious issues in the world. Take the comic above (from the Inquisitr). How many of you have found this to be true? People love stories about glamor and sex and what you ate for breakfast more than they do about world issues. So Kony decided to bring these two together. If celebrities care about what’s the LRA is doing, then the general masses are more likely to as well. They created a very, very diverse group of celebrities and political figures to target as support advocates for their campaign. From Taylor Swift to the controversial Conservative Radio Host, Rush Limbaugh, they’ve tried to gain supporters that are politically diverse and appeal to a multiple groups of people. Get diverse celebrities with different fan bases involved. An excellent way to expand your reach.
2) How to keep people’s attention once you have it
People get bored. Have you heard about Haiti lately? Or how Japan is doing since the last earthquake? Internet ADD is very obvious and fair enough; there is a lot going on out there and it’s hard to stay focused on one particular thing. To mitigate this, Kony created an expiry date on their campaign. They want to have Kony in custody by the end of 2012. A set goal helps focus people’s attention. It’s too soon to tell if this will hold true for the Kony campaign but either way, creative approach.
3) How to translate interest (once you have it) into action
In order to get people to do what you want them to, you have to make it as clear as humanly possible. Do not assume people will know. At the end of the Kony video, they actually say “THERE ARE THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW” and then offer these options: the pledge to show your support, purchase a bracelet and an action kit, donate money, and share on social networks. All options are easily located on their website eliminating any confusion as to what you should be doing next.
Kony’s Non-Profit Campaign Sets a Great Example
Kony2012 has shown many of us invested in social change what a focused and thoroughly planned out campaign can do. All-in-all, it is amazing how a non-profit can spread their message so fast and with such intensity using Social Media. The possibilities for marketing social change have grown exponentially in the past few years and I think we are barely scratching the surface of what can be done.
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