The right social channel can spur the perfect frenzy

I’ve been caught up recently in two of the latest social media frenzies – the Ice Bucket Challenge and the Simpson’s Marathon.

Beyond the fun and community building of each, they show how to effectively use the right social media channel to achieve your goals. Neither would have been as successful without being on the right platform.

By now you know about the Ice Bucket Challenge; I’m sure you or a friend have done it. You dump a bucket of ice water on your head to support ALS awareness and then nominate four others to do the same or donate to the cause. This viral sensation, which leverages video posts within Facebook, has raised $42 million dollars from July 29-Aug 21. The sight of friends, family and celebrities getting doused is the kind of content perfect for Facebook.

The brief nature of the videos, and the ability to watch it right in your timeline, enabled the challenge to go viral. This would not have been as effective using Vine videos (too short) or pictures on something like Pinterest (too hard to capture). With FB’s massive reach and the fun, easy nature of the challenge (let’s face it, seeing anyone getting water poured over their heads is funny) it took off in ways it would not have in other channels. There’s no need to rely on timeline advertising and the content is driving itself.

The Simpsons Marathon is a different story and one that really works best only on Twitter. “The Simpsons” will be one of the main shows on the new cable channel, FXX. To promote the channel, FXX is running in order all 552 episodes from the show’s 25-year run during a 12-day marathon from Aug 21-Sept 1.

“The Simpsons” has created tons of popular catch phrases and people have been quoting their favorite lines for years. Twitter is perfect for sharing those soundbites. The show itself is leading the way through the handle @EverySimpsons – tweeting quotes, screen grabs, show schedules and commentary from writers of the show, many of whom haven’t discussed their episodes in years. The rapid fire nature of the marathon aligns perfectly with the rapid fire posting in Twitter, something that wouldn’t be as fun in FB.

By tweeting and sharing, the network is driving people to the TV to watch or record their favorite shows, many of which they haven’t seen in years. They’ve also smartly promoted their Twitter handle and the hashtag #everysimpsonsever during the marathon to achieve a synergy between TV and social.

ach event is igniting a sense of community; one a very strategic promotion and one that is social lightning in a bottle. Both events showcase the best of social media and the power of their respective channels.


About John Buonora

Social Learning Manager and Strategist working on career number three. An Old School guy with Millennial skills and a lover of my family, sports and food.
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