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Social Media’s Influential Role In Virtual Fundraising

Analysis of The Recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and No Make Up Selfie Campaign

Millions of social media users can be seen pouring ice cold water accompanied with ice cubes over their heads after which they challenge / nominate more people to do the same. This Ice Bucket challenge has become an internet phenomenon that has swamped social media. This challenge has had a profound effect, successfully generating millions and millions of dollars for the ALS research charity as those participating in the challenge are encouraged to make a donation once they have uploaded their video to social media.

This is not the only fundraising campaign that we have seen take over social media; the no make- up selfie for Cancer research also saw over £2 million pound be raised as internet users posted their bare and make up free faces over their social media channels, similarly nominating others and donating to the charity as they uploaded their picture.

So what makes a successful marketing campaign?

From both of these recent campaigns we can identify three factors that have influenced the campaign’s success.

Strong Call To Action

If you ask any marketer what is a fundamental aspect of any marketing campaign they will most likely provide the answer a powerful call to action. As you can see in the campaigns mentioned above, the ALS ICE Bucket Challenge and the No Make Up Selfie campaign have both contained strong call to actions in which 3 more people are nominated and instructed with a challenge that they must complete within 24 hours.

Engages Emotion

These campaigns have also engaged users as emotions; another powerful marketing technique that can strongly influence the success of a campaign. In these instances nominees are likely to feel inferior if they do not complete the task that they have been challenged to complete. Similarly, as the intent of these campaigns is to raise money for charity, such good causes, nominees will most likely feel guilty if they do not take part in tasks.

Likeable and Shareable Content

Both of these campaigns have attained huge viral success as social media users continue to like and share these entertaining videos and images that have been posted online. An online community has been created, a community that supports and encourages other people to take part. As more and more people like and share the content that is posted, online awareness of the campaigns and the charities in which money is being raised for continues to spread.

So, if you are thinking of starting an online campaign, make sure you consider the 3 factors mentioned above that have a clear influence on a campaigns success.

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Sophie Angell
Sophie is part of the Digital Marketing team at WNW Digital, concentrating on running your social media channels, writing blogs and writing content for your websites. You can follow Sophie on Twitter @SophieWNW or alternatively email her at

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