The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: A Social Marketing Masterpiece

Ice Bucket Social MediaIn 2014 the digital world was taken by storm thanks to a piece of marketing genius known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge consisted of dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head followed by a donation to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge experienced a social media frenzy never before seen once videos of individuals from all walks of life taking the challenge began to surface on websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Between late-July and mid-August of 2014, the challenge was mentioned on Twitter over 2 million times. The sudden attention to ALS research helped to raise millions of dollars for ALS charities.

It is not a stretch to say that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a social marketing masterpiece. The question at hand is what lessons from the challenge can we apply universally in the world of digital marketing? One of the most important design aspects of the ALS challenge was the user generated content interface. The challenge was designed to be undertaken and shared by individual users. This meant that the challenge designers simply had to plant the seed of digital marketing and allow the users of various social media sites to complete the bulk of the work.

It is also important to recognize that the ALS Ice Buck Challenge was adopted by key players in social marketing. Celebrity involvement in a digital marketing campaign almost always guarantees the success of the marketing program. This is especially the case in the world of user generated digital marketing. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge revealed that certain users in the realm of social media carry enough weight to be considered marketing hotspots. These hotspots should be targeted in order to optimize the visibility of the marketing campaign. This was done particularly well in the case of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Social media marketing companies like I Think an Idea specialize in targeting key marketing hotspots and greatly expanding the reach of marketing campaigns. In particular, I Think an Idea uses the latest marketing methods and tools to develop social marketing campaigns that operate in much the same way that the amazing ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Operated. This ensures a productive and effective marketing program that achieves optimum visibility.

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