There’s has been quite a bit of controversy regarding the Kony 2012 video which was made by Invisible Children. I’m not here to say they are right, or wrong, what I will say it does leave a lot of questions and rightly so. I’m not writing this blog to discuss their rights and wrongs of what they did, there are enough people doing that already. I want to talk about their social media strategy.
On the social media front, this is a very good example of their social media strategy that was well executed. You can see that Invisible Children defined their goals and objectives and had a clear strategy of how they were going to achieve their goals, which let’s face it, they did! Invisible Children saw the power of video, online and social media and have been using it since 2006.
- To make Joseph Kony famous so they can get the US government to take action.
- To raise funds for technology to track down Joseph Kony and bring him to justice.
- To stop and put an end to Joseph Kony and the LRA.
Invisible Children certainly made Joseph Kony famous and certainly raised funds but what has it done to their reputation, time will tell? Now they are seen as pulling off a scam, seen as being dishonest, seen as ripping people off all because of how they put the message together in the video and now the world is in uproar and pointing fingers at how they do business and how their money is spent.
If their motive or strategy was to use this video to create this kind of reaction they got and to be the most viewed video on the internet, they achieved this, the more people criticized the video, the more it made news.
On the social media front again this proves what I’ve been saying for years. The key aspect in having a powerful online presence and to make an impact requires:
- A good story that entertains
- A story that is real and provokes emotion
- And most importantly teamwork or a strong syndicate/support group.
I don’t think Invisible children expected what actually happened in terms of how much this video went viral but they did see the key elements required to making this video go viral and to achieve their goal. So what were the key elements?
- Target audience: Young American individuals who would relate to other children being abducted and abused.
- Influencers: These are the people who have the power to influence others, the culture makers and policy makers, , when they speak the world listens, celebrities and politicians. (teamwork)
This mix is quite powerful, if you think about it and I have to commend them for their brilliance because the mix of young individuals, superstars and a good story, is really a match made in heaven.
They targetted young people in their video and asked these individuals to message their favourite celebrities to share this story, to stop this dreadful thing that Joseph Kony is doing. (The video is most popular with females between the ages of 13-17 and males from 13-24 years old).
- Over 78 million views on YouTube
- 1,334,696 likes on Facebook
- 2,635,115 talking about this on Facebook
- This video managed to raise $5 million in 48 hours.
- On Twitter #stopkony ranked higher than the new iPad
The fact that I’m blogging about Kony 2012 and the fact that you are talking about it, and it made news headlines, shows the power of social media and maybe it’s time to start thinking about how you can use it to help you achieve your goals. There are still too many companies who keep wanting to focus on promoting themselves, rather than telling the story.