“I shut down my Facebook account” or “I don’t think social media is a healthy way to spend time”. We’ve heard a lot of this over the past year. In fact, I'll admit - I've even said something like this over the past year. Have you? Well, we're not alone in thinking the latter. Even a recent Facebook study suggested that Facebook use can be bad for you. A lot of negativity can be produced using these technologies, and sometimes it’s easy to feel like social media is just plain bad.
While it's sometimes easier to believe the negative and overlook the positive, I thought I’d add a tiny bit of positivity to the world wide web and give a little credit to social media in helping produce some good in the world. A simple Google search will produce a ton of positive and heartwarming campaigns that were used to better the world, but here are just a few of my favorites:
Ellen DeGeneres #BeKindtoElephants Campaign
In November 2017, in response to President Trump reversing a policy put in place by then President Barack Obama that prohibited hunters from importing elephant trophies into the U.S. from Zimbabwe and Zambia, Ellen DeGeneres launched her #BeKindtoElephants campaign on social media. For every retweet of the hashtag on Twitter, a donation was made to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Not only did this campaign produce 230,000+ retweets, but it also drew in a $100,000 donation from Shutterfly, and the Trump administration put the decision to end the ban on elephant trophy imports on hold.
If you have not heard of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, it’s an amazing organization that saves orphaned elephants and other animals. You must check it out.
Back in 2014, a Michigan mom created a Facebook page in order to get positive thoughts and birthday wishes for her disabled son who didn’t want to have a birthday party because he thought he didn’t have any friends. She had no clue how the people of the Internet would show up for her son. As of February 2018, Colin’s Friends has 1.8 millions friends.
TOMS #WithoutShoes Campaign
The shoe company TOMS brand identity has always been synonymous with a positive social responsibility message. For every pair of TOMS purchased, the company donates a pair to a person in need. In 2015, the company ran its "One Day Without Shoes" campaign in order to raise awareness for children’s health and education issues, and to serve as a reminder that there are people who cannot afford these basic needs. For this campaign, TOMS asked participants to post a photo on Instagram of their bare feet using the hashtag #withoutshoes. For each unique photo posted, TOMS donated a new pair of shoes to a child in need.
The results were amazing: People in over 30 countries participated, resulting in nearly 300,000 children receiving a pair of TOMS shoes! The company also won a Shorty Award.
As it grows, TOMS continues to expand its giving efforts. Check out how it's improving lives - One for One.
ALS #IceBucketChallenge Campaign
I’d be remiss if I did not mention, perhaps the largest positive social media campaign in recent years: the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Over 17 million people worldwide participated in this campaign which aimed to raise awareness and money for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka ALS). TV hosts, celebrities, politicians, and everyday people participated in this challenge that prompted people to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads in the name of raising awareness for the disease.
The campaign went viral and raised more than $115 million for the ALS Association in order to fund research into new treatments for the disease.
Whether these heartwarming social media campaigns supply you with inspiration for creating more positivity on the Internet with your next company campaign, or if you just need to see that a little positivity can actually come out of social media, I hope you enjoyed seeing a few memorable campaigns.