The Power of Social Media Inclusion
We’re in the final quarter of 2014, which means there are less than 90 days until the New Year and the celebration of a new year
on its way. 2014 has been yet another banner year for social media, digital marketing, and the era of curation as the companies surrounding the trend make waves. In a 10 article series, we are counting down the events of the year and looking at how each of these events presents a key and critical takeaway for what matters in marketing, and more. In the 5th article of this series, we look at how inclusion on social media drove marketing.
At the end of August with the weather still hot, there began the brewing of a movement. In this movement there involved people pouring water over themselves with ice and then challenging their friends to do the same within the next 24 hours. In the weeks following, everyone from the President of the United States to the CEOs of major US companies took the challenge as well, dumping water on themselves and opting to donate huge sums of money.
Welcome to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Social media has always been at the center of marketing psychology and taking a stand. From shopping to rooting for a sports team, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have always been great for sharing important information from news to product launches. The latest to experience an upsurge in donations was the ALS Foundation, whose goal is to increase awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that causes the loss of muscle function.
The result of the Ice Bucket Challenge was monumental, garnering more than 739,000 new donors to the foundation and $41.8 million dollars in new money, double what the foundation saw in the previous year.
The Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t the only event that drove social sharing however. Facebook themselves also drove initiatives to both fight Ebola as well as get out the vote for Election Day, sparking renewed interest in both areas. For causes of all sorts, social media in 2014 showed that with enough of an audience, anything can happen — especially when celebrities get involved.
The Curatti Takeaway
As marketers enter 2015 they must remember the experiential nature of marketing and the importance of keeping the audience involved and engaged, much like the ALS Challenge as well as Election Day or Ebola. The ALS Challenge won’t be the last time that end users get involved either — as nonprofits or companies take a look at the impact, they too will be launching get-involved campaigns as well.
On a greater scale, the inclusion of people in the entire marketing experience represents the coming change in how marketing stories are told, as we explained in this post. The social media inclusion makes the process much more personal and gives users the ability to enhance their identity, show off their experience, and give their endorsement for a specific marketing opportunity or social movement. In turn, participation spreads because friends also want to share in the identity, experience, and endorsement as well, meaning that the future of business doesn’t necessarily mean social media, but more so the fact that customers drive business, no matter where it goes.
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