Kony 2012 – Massive Collective Action on Causes
Posted Mar 07, 2012 by Sydney Fleischer
Last month, Causes launched new tools for organizers to run campaigns on Causes. These campaigns are centered around actions – taking a pledge, signing a petition, giving to a nonprofit, sharing a story, etc. – and we’ve seen a number of great action campaigns arise since the launch. Today, one of these campaigns took off at an unprecedented scale.
In the last 24 hours, over 200k people have taken the pledge to help bring Joseph Kony to justice in 2012. Invisible Children, a nonprofit working to end the use of child soliders by the LRA and restore peace to war-torn communities, launched the pledge in conjunction with a 30 minute video explaining the situation and why Kony needs to be brought to justice. At the same time as the pledge and the video, Invisible Children posted a Give action on the cause and without explicitly directing traffic to the action, have raised over $150,000.
Our first thought at seeing all of this today was, “wow, this is amazing.” After checking in with Invisible Children and doing a systems check to make sure things were going smoothly with this extra traffic, we got to thinking, “so how did this happen?” Part of the answer is with the organizers: they have really compelling video content which is no easy feat (especially when a video is 30 minutes long), they have built relationships with celebrities and other influencers, and they have a distinct and personal message that they have used to build momentum.
The other important part of the story is the power of social media in enabling collective action on a massive scale. With real-time sharing on Facebook, stories appear instantaneously and allow messages to spread faster than ever before. Over a third of the people who have taken the pledge today did so because they saw a story on Facebook about it and were influenced by a friend to take action. These stories are appearing in Ticker, Newsfeed and on Timeline and they are the word-of-mouth for the digital age — appearing in real-time and enabling mass collective action that ramps up rapidly and, in this case, shows no signs of slowing.
We’re excited to see this campaign continue to grow and to be able to share more insights into the anatomy of a successful action campaign on Causes. What do you think are the keys to success?