For some it was one of the best uses of Social Media for good in years. For others it was a classic example of narcissism masquerading as charity. What no one can deny is that for weeks their Facebook Newsfeed was jam packed with nothing but Ice Buckets. More importantly for marketers, is what did the success of the campaign teach us.
1) Go with the Flow – It doesn’t take a brainiac to notice the types of posts dominating the Newsfeed. It started with Drug Wars, morphed into Farmville, Spotfiy, Rdio, and other apps featured in the feed. Sometimes Page Like Ads, native page posts, and YouTube videos have been prominent. Today I see Video and Instagram dominating both my desktop and mobile feeds. Without Facebook prioritizing Video (and in the process showing how fast/easy it can be uploaded in comparison to YouTube) the Ice Bucket Challenge wouldn’t have been a success.
Rather than trying to cram older tactics like a Facebook Offer, Marketers should embrace the trend and try to get ahead of the curve. Our money is on Hyperlapse. The new Instagram app easily shares across platforms and its speed has the ability to showcase multiple branding elements without using sound. Take a look at some great examples thus far:
2) Tagging Still Matters – Facebook may love video, but the most viral content still involves a tag. You can see this at various Events with Photo Booths. They always encourage you to either Share or Tag a photo using an iPad or another tactic. People forget when Facebook launched its photo product, it was horrendous. Photographers laughed at the idea that it could unseat sites like Flickr. The Tag changed photography on the web as we know it. Brand that can find innovative way to encourage a tag will always get an organic lift.
3) People Will Get Behind a Good Cause – I predict that anyone who logs into Facebook bi-weekly will see a minimum of 5 posts around breast cancer this month. It doesn’t matter if its ever affected them or their immediate loved ones. Society recognizes it as a major issue, therefore your social graph reflects that view. Brands will be all over this.
The overall theme is that staying on top of social media trends while remembering the core principals of social, emotion and sharing, can help a brand crush it.