Harnessing the Power of Pop Culture

If you’ve logged into a social media account recently, you would have noticed the hype surrounding the new book-to-movie adaption A Fault in Our Stars.

The movie-length journey of a young couple battling cancer has unofficially been crowned “tearjerker of the year”, and social media is part of what makes this movie a success.

It trended globally with more than 5.3 million mentions on Twitter alone. For charities this was a huge opportunity for engagement, however most Australian charities overlooked its value.

The book’s author John Green has a world leading social presence and is often referred to as the father of vlogging (video blogging) as the founder of Nerdfighters, a million-strong online movement of young people and organiser of VIDCON the annual conference for video bloggers held in LA.

However the most inspiring part of this backstory was Esther Earl the real-life video blogger, Nerdfighter and cancer patient who inspired The Fault in Our Stars.

This ‘social’ movie represents a pop culture moment to be leveraged. In June alone there were 28,000 tweets from Australians about the movie. This outpouring of opinion shows that people were deeply experiencing the story of people living with cancer.

This strong engagement with the movie and the cause creates a new audience of people who potentially want to make a difference, and engage with a charity to donate.

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Fundraisers spend significant resources forging emotional connections with consumers to motivate a reaction or donation. However, very few charities in Australia leverage the emotion connections created by sources other than themselves.

It seems many don’t understand how leveraging relevant moments bring value. Being topical connects with your consumers by cutting through the noise and making things more personal, but it also provides an opportunity to reach out to new audiences primed for supporting your charity.

Charities should be actively leveraging opportunities such as The Fault in Our Stars, both considering viewers emotional connection to the movie and their desire to help.

Seeking out individuals cannot only result in donations but help you reach supporters with an active social presence that can advocate on your behalf.

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At the core of operating with relevance are creating relevant content and engaging in relevant conversations. Here are our five tips for where to start:

  • Know your donor. Highlight topics that interest their demographic and monitor them. Subscribe to updates and scan the Internet to keep up to date with news that is of interest or value.
  • React quickly. Be time sensitive, monitor trends and react to them – quickly. Whether that be creating relevant content or engaging in conversations.

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  • Create relevant content. Create content that speaks to what’s relevant. Stand out from the crowd; don’t just jump on the bandwagon. Try to take a fresh stance and create content that offers a unique perspective. Content doesn’t always have to include a call to action, offering insight new perspectives or stories adds value

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  • Create your own conversation.  Post something that gets your donors talking. Starting conversations around what’s happening in your consumers’ world brings your brand to their attention in a non-intrusive way.

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  • Reach out to supporters directly. Use monitoring to find people and don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Start a conversation, don’t spam them with a “donate now” message. Starting conversations around what’s happening in your consumers’ world brings your charity to their attention in a non-intrusive way.

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There are many different ways you can get involved in the hype and I encourage you to not stop at a simple tweet. Content that inspires change, impact and activation should be at heart of your mission. And don’t stop at content, social media is meant to be social so get involved in the conversation.

Read this article at Probono Australia

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