Everyone likes winning something or gaining a reward or recognition from something that’s enticing and makes us all want to participate. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been steamrolling through the summer. Everyone in your Facebook feed –from Jennifer Lopez to your friends-is pouring ice water on their heads to raise awareness and funding for ALS research. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
But besides the ALS Association, which has raised more than $15.6 million in just a short period of time, there has been another big beneficiary: none other than Facebook. The social networking has report of more than 28 million users who have posted, commented or liked activity related to the Ice Bucket Challenge! It is reaching and connecting people on a global scale with the United States followed by Australia with the most posts.
There are several key reasons why Facebook is drawing so much traffic and participation from its users. First off celebrity posts were uploaded directly on Facebook and not from elsewhere. Usually, Twitter is the go-to social media platform for celebrity poss but Facebook has been actively trying to change this trend. A great example of these changes is the Ice Bucket Challenge which has drawn James Franco, Ben Affleck and Oprah, among other celebrated people to participating in posting videos of themselves accepting the challenge and getting trenched in ice water to Facebook. The fact here is that most celebrity videos were uploaded exclusively on Facebook and not on YouTube or other social networking platforms.
The Challenge works so well in strategically getting more people to get involved because people who have done it must nominate new contenders for the challenge. The most memorable might have been Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s challenge to Bill Gates.
Not only celebrities, but ordinary people have also been participating with their own video uploads. Between June and August, more than 2.4 million videos were uploaded onto Facebook and many of those posters did so for the first time! Facebook’s video ads are still being rolled out so this is good news! By getting Facebook users accustomed to clicking on video links will most likely contribute to those efforts.
It is safe to say that the Ice Bucket Challenge has been a great benefit in prompting user traffic and participation on Facebook, it also highlights what sets it apart from Twitter. Facebook’s News Feed algorithm gives preference to news updates over user updates and Twitter’s real-time nature makes it great for breaking news stories. Facebook may also have a bias towards good news because the News Feed is influenced by what user’s click on. If they want to read all good news, the News Feed should reflect that. Even if you only read a particular kind of story, it is difficult to not see trending topics like the passing of Robin Williams.
Birth announcements and engagements usually tend to float to the top of the News Feed which is why Facebook will never be Twitter. Straight factual news may be better for those who want to quickly check the current events, however, inspirational stories like videos of the Ice Bucket Challenge are better for advertising.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is a great demonstration of just how well popular contests and giveaways can bring a traffic boost to a site or platform. The chances for a business to gain from this kind of challenge or contest only increase when there is a prize up for grabs. A lot of traffic will be made up of new visitors who want to sign up or join on your website or social media page.
Something also important to remember is that a contest or giveaway’s popularity depends on your ability to promote it. Even if you have the most exciting contest with the most glorious prizes, no one will participate if they don’t know it exists. Informing your audience is as important as having the prizes to reward them with. This is when a strong social media community comes in handy to spread the word. There are plenty of opportunities to host a contest, challenge or sweepstakes-think anniversary of your site’s accomplishments or reaching a certain number of likes! There are tons of opportunities to increase your traffic and to coax participation out of your audience!