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The Social Wave Of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Are You Left Out?

“Please don’t tell Chris I posted this on my Facebook page, but can someone nominate him to take the ALS #icebucketchallenge?  He’s feeling left out”…. That, my friends, is the sign of a viral campaign that has taken flight.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has hit a chord with the masses and broken through the social media noise.  I personally enjoy watching my friends and family yelp as they pour ice cold water over their heads, and it appears that many others do the same.

From an analyst’s perspective, I wanted to know the bottom-line numbers to determine if this viral social campaign has done more than simply raise awareness.  According to the ALS Association: “As of Sunday August 17th, 2014 the ALS Association has received $13.3 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year.”  A financial boon, no doubt, but how long will it last and what lessons can other non-profits and for-profit brands learn from this campaign?

Ice Bucket Challenge

Using our VI social analytics platform, I was able to quickly determine that the hype is still on the rise within Facebook and Twitter, but the buzz from traditional and online news sources has already peaked.  The CNBCs, the Mashables, and the local newspapers of the world have reported on the initial success of the campaign, but have moved on to the next story.

The viral nature of this challenge is still growing with individual social media users, but how soon will Facebook and Twitter mentions begin to dwindle and will the ALS Association be able to turn those first- time givers into long-term donors?

With the evolution of this challenge, I have seen an interesting shift in discussions about donating to the cause.  Initially the spiel was you that must donate if you don’t accept the challenge within 24 hours, but in almost all of the videos I have watched in the past few days, the challenge takers mention already having donated online in addition to taking the #icebucketchallenge. This is a prime example why this campaign has not only raised awareness, but also lots of money.

I am curious to see what other non-profits jump on board with copycat challenges to take advantage of the upswell and if any can replicate even half the success of this challenge.    And Chris, I am with you man. I haven’t been challenged either.  Maybe I should get out more….

Tags : social media

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