The Ice Bucket Challenge and the Power of Social Media

Ice bucket challenge

Whether you love or hate social media you can’t deny if used properly it can be pretty impressive.

Take the ALS ice bucket challenge which began in America for the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – the US term for Motor Neurone Disease) and has raised millions over the past few weeks for the cause in America.

It then went on to go worldwide and in Ireland we have raised over €1.1 million to date for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA). This is a phenomenal achievement and a really really clever way to get the whole world involved for such a good cause.

The simple idea of the Ice bucket challenge, to throw a bucket of ice water over yourself and nominate others to follow suit while each donating €2 to the cause is a simple idea that went viral through social media and now you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t taken part in the challenge.

Celebrities, politicians, sports stars etc have all embraced the challenge and pushed it out to their huge numbers of online followers through Facebook and Twitter.

This is just one example of the power of social media and it comes off the back of another very successful viral social media campaign for charity, the ‘No Make-Up Selfie’ in aid of Cancer awareness. This campaign encouraged women to post a ‘no makeup selfie’ to their social media pages and nominate their friends to follow suit. Again they each donated to the charity and in Ireland we managed to raise over half a million euro for the Irish Cancer Society as a result.

These are just two recent examples of how social media if used properly can be a huge channel to push your message out.

We often have clients who are too afraid to go online and set up social media pages as they have heard all the horror stories that come with being accessible online and let’s face it we can all think of one or two stories where social media went badly wrong. However, this is not an excuse to ignore the power social media has, the simplest of ideas can go viral in minutes through social media and so can your business.

…can you afford to ignore a communications channel like this?

Social Media is only a scary concept if you don’t know how to use it, so don’t be afraid of it, learn it, embrace it and use it!

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR and Social Media Consultant with Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin


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