Cold as Ice — But HOTT ALS Awareness

You’ve seen the videos on Facebook. People are pouring ice over their heads and nominating their friends to do the same.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has taken Facebook by storm, and as a Social Media Marketer and someone who has recently lost a loved one to ALS, I think its radical! It’s cold, it’s fun and its Social Media at it’s finest. So, what is it all about?

The Ice Bucket Challenge is helping raise money and awareness for ALS, (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. How does it work? Players have 24 hours to either pour ice over their head on camera or donate to ALS. Many participants choose to do both. After they’ve made their decision, they appoint three people to “take the challenge” and the cycle continues. Even celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Martha Stewart and Matt Lauer have drenched themselves!

This campaign is a perfect example of just how powerful Social Media can be. Holy hell, it spread like wild fire (but way colder…), the movement has generated millions of dollars in less than week! The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $4 million in donations compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year. That is some powerful stuff right there! This goes to show that Social Media is an important tool that many organizations should utilize to grow their business!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. How do you create a successful social campaign? It must be engaging, exciting and you must provide your audience with a reason to spread the word.

Engaging – The Ice Bucket Challenge’s tactic of nominating friends on Facebook, who then nominate more friends, who nominate still more friends explains why the campaign has gone viral. It’s a genius way of quickly reaching a lot of people.  It forced users to interact with the campaign because their friend’s tagged them in posts. They felt a sense of duty to participate. How could you not accept the Ice Bucket Challenge? It’s raising money for a good cause and let’s face it, most of us love a little friendly competition!

Exciting – You have to come up with tactics for your social media campaign that are outside the box.  The norm doesn’t cut it anymore in the social space. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’s campaign was fun for people to participate in because they had to pour ice over their head—and quite honestly, it’s a little scary but for some reason you’re totally down to do it!

Reason For Growth – Why should people choose to spread the word about your campaign? Will they get something in return for doing so? The Ice Bucket Challenge raised awareness and money for the disease. People feel good after participating and they feel connected to the cause. Good karma, anyone?

This all boils down to Strategy. Ensuring a clear and concise message, and thinking through each detail of the campaign. It’s important to know who your audience is and how you are trying to target them.

Now for the fun part… Social Radiant has been nominated to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! We accept this task and will also be contributing $100 to the organization, which will help provide local services to people with ALS, global research to find a cure and advocacy efforts to raise awareness of this devastating disease.

We elect Empire State College, The Fitness Artist, Modern Mix Marketing, and Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery to take the plunge! Game on!