This is obviously a bit of a ‘touchy’ subject, so I’ll do my best to tread softly. With the mass saturation on social media with everything “Kony” over the past few days, there are many that are happy to share their status and join the ’cause’, and it seems there is an equal number who resent the fact that people are “jumping on the bandwagon” and clogging their news feeds with Kony shares.
First I want to share that I am not an expert on Kony, nor the charity Invisible Children. Yes, I’ve watched the Kony 2012 video. I’ve also done some introductory research and have tried to understand both sides of the argument, but I guarantee you there is lots for me to learn on this subject.
However, I do feel compelled to comment on what I do have a pretty solid grasp on, which is the marketing element to this.
What I feel the “Kony 2012 haters” seem to be getting caught up on is how the charity – Invisible Children – is misappropriating funds (which is valid), or how annoyed they feel that people are sharing this all over social media (“how dare you for sharing something you are emotionally charged about!”). For a well researched article on the elements that should be considered when looking at the charity from a financial standpoint, I recommend this article by by John Assaraf. For those who are actually frustrated because others are emotionally engaged in a cause and sharing it via social media, I have absolutely no sympathy for you. Any and all social causes are more important than your precious news feed, so I think you can suck it up. Also, in case you haven’t heard, social media is for sharing! And I think, beyond just “Kony 2012”, that what we have all witnessed on social media channels over the past week is extremely significant.
Financials aside, what I think shouldn’t be overlooked is what Invisible Children has accomplished via social media, which in my experience, has never been accomplished to this capacity before. Invisible Children has struck an emotional chord with people on a global scale and is trying to unite people towards a common goal, which is peace. Social media just happens to be the best tool to do that, and I must admit, I’m infinitely impressed with their thoughtfulness in executing this strategy online.
Even if Kony 2012 does rise and fall in the social media channels, there is no denying that this has impacted people. From an inbound marketing perspective, the Kony 2012 campaign has set a new precedent for how to share information and unite people towards a shared focus. I’m not denying the fact that there may be some flaws in the Invisible Children charity, but from a marketing perspective, I think it’s hard to rebute that what they have accomplished is influential and probably game-changing. I commend them for that.
Kony 2012 … “One Thing We Can All Agree On” … apparently not! Just my two cents.