Social media has recently proven itself as an integral component of an effective communications campaign and is now widely seen as an absolute necessity by many companies and organizations. We at Domus fully understand the importance of social media as it relates to the overall communications mix and have implemented many successful campaigns on behalf of our clients.
While social media is largely seen as vital to the success of an organization’s communications campaign, it can be difficult to quantify the true value of social media itself. Understanding this, social platforms such as Facebook are beginning to provide metrics that track page view traffic, growth of page “likes,” etc., in order to provide tangible evidence. As social media continues to evolve, there will undoubtedly be more and more ways to assign value to a campaign.
While hard numbers and metrics are needed to calculate the ROI of a campaign, all questions regarding the potential of social media have recently been put to bed, thanks to a recent video produced by Invisible Children. This is one of the strongest examples of the massive influence that social media can command when implemented properly.
Invisible Children is a U.S. non-government organization that has focused its efforts on ending the violent acts of Ugandan militant leader Joseph Kony and his militia, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The organization’s goal was to increase the visibility of Kony so that his acts can no longer go unnoticed and to provide enough international pressure to bring him to justice.
The group launched the KONY 2012 social media campaign on Monday, March 5, 2012, and in a matter of five days, the film had received more than 52,000,000 YouTube views. Variations of KONY 2012 had also inundated Twitter as worldwide trending topics. It’s important to understand that Kony’s militia has been active for over 26 years and has lived in relative obscurity for much of that time until this social media campaign attracted worldwide attention.
Why did this social media campaign explode?
1). It’s a noble endeavor to stop a warlord, especially one that forces children into military service 2). The video enacts an emotional appeal and personalizes the situation 3). The film provides viewers with a way to support the cause without even leaving the comfort of their own homes (supporters are urged to donate, sign virtual petitions and share the story via their personal social media network). 4). The organization clearly identifies the goals of the social media awareness campaign: increase the visibility of Joseph Kony.
There has been criticism over the overarching priorities of the cause and negative reaction from Ugandans. Regardless of whether you believe in Invisible Children’s cause or not, the effectiveness of the social media tactics employed cannot be argued. KONY 2012 is truly an awareness campaign that has achieved exactly what it set out to accomplish in an extraordinarily short amount of time.
Still not a believer in the power of social media? Think again.
Greg Smore is a Senior Account Manager at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com/. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-772-2805.