The influence of using social media to bring awareness to causes, even those that are the most obscure, cannot be denied. The ease and accessibility of garnering information online allows for a greater audience than ever before, as users share the stories with friends and family members, who are also using social media. This phenomenon, known as “going viral,” allows the spread of a wealth of information over great distances, often at no cost to the person or foundation heading the cause in the first place.
A good example of this effect is the recent furor surrounding the “ice bucket challenge.” Celebrities, media personalities, prominent businessmen and everyday people alike rallied around an idea that had languished for nearly 75 years, almost forgotten by the public consciousness. While there have been prominent individuals suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, studies showed that lack of media attention for the disease had the detrimental effect of a public lack of awareness for the issues and challenges facing both those who suffered from the disease, as well as those striving to find a cure. Funding for programs to assist victims of the disease had insufficient levels of funds and priority for grants to scientists and researchers attempting to find a cure was severely lacking.
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The public, however, was galvanized by the spectacle of famous people pouring buckets of ice over their heads in the name of ALS. Images were shared on Facebook, emails were forwarded and users posted video to YouTube and shared the links with their friends. In short order the cause for ALS collected in excess of 100 million dollars and provided a textbook example of the efficacy of social media in highlighting a cause.
While causes that seek the aid of the public online do suffer from the same disinterest plaguing other foundations using traditional means of raising awareness, studies have shown that the arresting sight of an accessible and appealing video is difficult to ignore and it further becomes an image people are excited to share with others. Furthermore, people are then compelled to research what captivated their attention further. More people searched for “ALS” than for “ice bucket challenge” as a result of the campaign.
SolutionReach has studied the finer points of appealing to a large social media audience and understands the techniques necessary to draw a large viewership to any cause. Utilizing a clear, transparent and simple to understand website information, a compelling call to action that gives interested viewers a way to interact with a cause either monetarily or by sharing the media with their friends and a relevant and challenging message are all elements of a successful viral campaign. With simple, personalized solutions that utilize these winning measures, any awareness campaign can reach the audience it needs and receive the attention it deserves. Let the net-savvy professionals aid your efforts to reach a wider audience by harnessing the impressive power of the internet today.