— This is a re-post of my original post on Google+ —
I have this thing about watching a TED talk every day. I even gave it one of those catchy phrases:
‘TED talk a day keeps senses awake’
Anyway, one of the two talks I saw today (a repeat) was about Mr. Splashy Pants by +Alexis Ohanian:
On this second viewing of the video, I finally got the real lesson of his talk: The biggest hurdle to organisations using social media successfully for serious causes is not that they are not media savvy. The biggest hurdle is that they take themselves and their cause too seriously.
A grim face, shocking footage and a serious message can help them gather sympathy and possibly some donations. Yet, such a message rarely helps develop a tsunami of support that a campaign like Splashy Pants can generate through social media.
People like sharing quirky, fun things. They share it even more if these quirky fun things are connected to a good cause.
No one, other than people already committed to a cause, want to consistently swamp their friends & followers with grim videos and messages for donation.
The talk also hinted at the other big advantage of using slightly light-hearted social media based campaigns over the stern-and-serious campaigns we see now – ‘prolonged after effects’. But that’s for another post.