5 Strategies to Help Your Campaign Go Viral - Charity Savant

5 Strategies to Help Your Campaign Go Viral

It’s almost guaranteed that every single charity worker has been asked to come up with the “next Ice Bucket Challenge.” The success of the campaign is a testament to what collective action can accomplish – from a huge increase in awareness about ALS to thousands of dollars raised for research.

As the challenge picked up steam, we all wondered: How did they do it?

With so much online and offline activity crowding people’s spaces, getting a campaign to go viral really feels like you’re rolling the dice. But with a few simple strategies you can increase your chances of your campaign being seen and, more importantly, shared.

Here are some tips:

1. Make it visual and shareable

Some campaigns are designed to be shared. Some are designed to be participated in. Either way, make sure there is a visual component that will catch your audience’s eyes. This can be as simple as an infographic, or asking your Twitter followers to post themed selfies with an accompanying hashtag.

2. Keep your message simple

Don’t overcomplicate things. Have a simple call to action – what do you want people to do? How will their participation make a difference?

3. Consider timing

You can’t control when the next Kardashian noise will hit the media, but there are timing factors you can control. Avoid launching a campaign around elections, during other campaigns that might be too similar, or during holidays/vacations that might be disruptive. If it’s not already a crowded space, consider aligning your campaign timing with an official day dedicated to your cause – like World Water Day, or International Day of the Girl.

4. Seed your campaign with your closest friends and donors

This not only gives you a head start with your campaign, but lets your donors into some behind-the-scenes action and makes them feel special. Choose people in your network who have influence and reach, and ask them to share or participate in your campaign.

5. Don’t rely on just one channel

Your audience will decide what channel they use most. With the ever-changing world of social media, it’s best to make sure your campaign is shareable across many platforms, and let your audience decide where they’ll share it. Remember to integrate some offline activities as well: pitch your campaign to the media to get more attention; include your campaign in any products your sell; and talk about your campaign with anyone and everyone who will listen.

One final thought. Get comfortable with pissing people off. The more eyes that see your campaign, the more people will disagree with it. Be prepared to deal with complaints – and compliments too!


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