If you’re old enough to remember Live Aid, then you’ll remember how momentous it was.
And if you aren’t old enough, you may notice your parents getting all sentimental (and maybe even a little teary-eyed) when ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ comes on the radio, as it inevitably does, every Christmas. That’s because it was powerful. Extremely powerful.
It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and TV broadcasts of all time, with 1.9 billion people, from 150 nations, tuning in from around the world (40% of the world’s population at the time). And, as a direct result of the Live Aid concerts, an estimated $300 million was raised for famine relief in Ethiopia.
What made it so momentous was that it was the first time in history that the world pulled together in this way to champion a cause that was removed from most people’s everyday lives.
Today, we live in a world where influential companies and individuals on Facebook and Instagram can boast fans in their millions – some in their hundreds of millions.
And we’re so used to it, we tend to take it for granted. So, in the name of charity, let’s take a moment to appreciate the pulling power of social media. With the devastating Australian bushfires, we are reminded that social media is not all about selfies, but also selflessness.
Social media has been used widely as a vehicle to spread information and raise funds to support the people and wildlife affected. We’ve seen hundreds of brands holding sales with 100% of profits going towards a charity of choice (even if they are a small business), and influencers using their voice for good to start fundraising pages on Facebook, such as Celeste Barber who has raised $53 million, breaking the record for the largest fundraiser ever to happen on this platform.
Its reach is well beyond that of traditional media, engaging people worldwide, from billionaires, musicians and Hollywood A-listers to local schools and pilates groups.
So far more than $200 million has been raised for the Australian bushfires… and counting.
But it’s not been without its controversy. Social media has also been used to spread false information about the Australian bushfires, including misleading pictures, conspiracy theories, hoxes and scammers trying to cash in on people’s generosity.
So, we’re going to go all Star Wars on this one. Social media is a force to be reckoned with and, yes, it does have a ‘dark side’. But when we channel it for good, amazing things can be achieved.
With that in mind, we’ll leave you with some intergalactic inspo… (*The Force = social media)
- Don’t underestimate the Force.
- For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.
- May the Force be with you.
Want to find out more about how you can harness the power of ‘The Force’? Get in touch.