Companies often ask us, "How do I create viral content? How do I break through? How do I reach my audience and start a revolution?" These questions can be complex and difficult to answer. But every once in a while everything comes together in just the right way and gives us an example of the power social media has to change the world.
The ALS Association raised less than $2 million last year to help fund Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research. This year, thanks to a brilliant idea and the power of social media they have raised over $30 million and show no signs of slowing down.
With the ice bucket challenge the ALS Association tapped into people's desire to help and their need to share with friends via social media. Social media content is most powerful (and has the best opportunity to go viral) when it includes humor, emotion, shock value and a call to action specific to the users' community. The ice bucket challenge packs all of these ingredients in the perfect mix at the perfect time.
Simply visit your Facebook page to watch the viral effects of the ice bucket challenge. You will see presidents, celebrities, your next-door neighbor and your sister get doused with ice water to serve a bigger cause.
Social media can sometimes seem overwhelming, complex, and fickle. But it is nothing more than a tool to spread your message. What will you do with it? How will you leverage social media to grow your company, improve your life and change the world? This month, Social Media Delivered owner Eve Mayer became part of the global viral phenomenon that is the ice bucket challenge.
Challenged by Richard Nino, Eve accepted and subjected herself to an icy dousing. In turn, she challenged Jonathan Bird, Tom Niesen, and Bob McPherrin and took a moment to share a social media tip. She offers a reminder that social media is still just a tool, and it's how we use it that matters.
To help keep the ice bucket challenge rolling, for every like on Facebook and retweet on Twitter Social Media Delivered will donate $1 to benefit ALS research. These posts can be found here and here. Eve's nomination, Jonathan Bird, accepted and offered the same promise donation on his blog.
Here is what Eve did:
Here is how Jonathan Bird responded: