Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the launch of the Invisible Children's video about Joseph Kony.
I vividly remember watching the 30 minute video for the very first time. I was completely sucked in and immediately wanted to help. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. Two days after the release of the video, fans (and critics) took to Twitter and managed to tweet 2,468,227 times about the video. The amount of positive and negative tweets are about 50/50, but statistics say even bad publicity can work in your favor.
The most shocking part about the popularity of the video was that many people were forced to think that tweeting, posting to Facebook or sharing on other social media platforms was going to be enough for the mission of Invisible Children to be accomplished. This theory is called slacktivism.
A challenge non-profits have when marketing their goals and efforts is that they need to compel their audience beyond tweeting or sharing the cause or story online. Their marketing has to be so inspiring and authentic that the viewers are absolutely compelled to get out from behind the computer and act.
With slacktivism being an obstacle, is social media the best place for non-profits to market their campaigns toward a goal?
Any time I have volunteered locally it was because of word of mouth and group participation. There weren’t any fancy videos, tweets or photos on Facebook inspiring me to join in on the volunteering. Social media can be extremely impersonal, even when it houses all our personal thoughts, opinions and interests. Without the personal connection that word of mouth or group participation can induce, non-profits can suffer from these expensive social media campaigns. Ultimately, non-profits should spend money on awareness building campaigns but keep the grassroots level marketing in their plan to ensure people are inspired and actually join the cause.
To be active in the Invisible Children cause, click here.