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‘Noise’ is a fairly standard problem when trying to get messages across using social media, there’s always a lot of other content on the internet and it can be hard to predict. Is it any wonder when 72% of internet users are now using social media(via eMarketer)? So how do we cut through the noise?

Between the #ALSicebucketchallenge and the #indyref there’s been very little space for anything else to be heard over the roar of the topical or the trending.

After the phenomenal success of the ice bucket challenge and the Cancer Research #nomakeupselfie that left social media feeds full of soggy people and bare faces, it isn’t much of a stretch to assume there will be another next big thing to hit social media in the very near future.

Does all this mean we should we be vigilant for the next big social media whiteout? Or, in the style of Macmillan, find a way to get involved in it too instead of waiting for it all to pass, just get stuck in and run alongside it.

We would tend to go for the proactive approach.

When Macmillan got involved in the Ice Bucket Challenge they had enough donated to them to fund 6 new Macmillan nurses and raised an interesting question about the ownership of hashtags. That wasn’t without its issues though, as Macmillan were accused of stealing the hashtag!

Macmillan’s head of digital, Amanda Neylon said in a recent blog post;

“Before we begin though, let’s be straight: we don’t own the #IceBucketChallenge hashtag. Nobody does. It’s a hashtag. And it’s something that in the charity sector, we need to continue to have a healthy debate about…

“As a digital team here at Macmillan, we never used to be quite so responsive. It’s a recent thing for us. And believe me, we’re still learning.”

Lots of charities raised money as a result of the trend as many participants gave to multiple charities or ones that were closest to their hearts.

In the same way there are quiet news days, perhaps we should be on the lookout for quiet social media days in order to not be lost amongst whatever is #trending.

Or, when the internet is packed full of conversation, ideas and enthusiasm for a new trend that is exactly the time to get out there and get creative. If there is high demand for something and you can do it too, then being responsive and getting involved can only really be seen as a savvy way to start conversations.

Post by Caroline Armour, Creative Communications Assistant, Aura