maxresdefault2Does it ever bother you when you lose Internet service and you can’t post the selfie you just took of yourself on Facebook?  Or when you can’t find “rock star” parking at work and you have to walk all the way across the hot parking lot before getting into your air-conditioned building?  The WATERisLIFE organization realized that there are a number of little annoyances that pop up daily and can sometimes really ruin your day.  What WATERisLIFE decided to do with those little annoyances was extremely humbling and eye-opening.  It created a video, and distributed it via Twitter and YouTube, that could easily bring some to tears and definitely humble those of us who often sweat the small stuff.

WATERisLIFE wanted to raise awareness about real and serious developing world problems such as “clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education.” WATERisLIFE collected several #FirstWorldProblems tweets then asked people in Haiti to recount them in an anthem video which will pull on your heart strings, and likely change your mind about the little irritations you find yourself wanting to complain about.

What made this campaign even more inspiring to tweeters was when WATERisLIFE decided to answer a few tweets personally with videos in which Haitians would respond to those who have shared their #FirstWorldProblems hashtag on Twitter.  One example is a response video to @DanJordan2001.  WATERisLIFE’s original anthem video to date has more than 6 million views.  A YouTube commenter on the video writes, “…we can make a difference to people’s lives simply by providing essential water.” Another says, “This puts things into perspective.  Thank-you for posting.”   This campaign resulted in increased awareness of WATERisLIFE, and a lot of people have helped the cause.

first-world-problems-water-is-lifeTwitter users who had been personally touched by the WATERisLIFE anthem video or received personalized videos from their #FirstWorldProblem tweet began tweeting about the cause and message of WATERisLIFE.  One Twitter user posted, “An example of an amazing campaign by @WaterIsLife. It educates, it’s sustainable & it’s effective!”  Another tweet said, “First time ever for me, but having watched this, I just had to donate to @WaterIsLife.”  WATERisLFIE used the power of social media to quickly share its cause to those who are able to help those who are in desperate need of the simplest necessities of life, like clean water.  Let’s talk about why it worked:

1. Used Social Media Creatively:  In most social media platforms we will often see a company campaign something first so that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube users will mass-share its message. WATERisLIFE did the opposite.  It took already posted tweets from Twitter that didn’t have anything to do with WATERisLIFE, and turned them around to make its anthem video and get the attention of Twitter users everywhere.

2. Made it Personal: The first video WATERisLIFE made was powerful already, but by making personal videos to individual tweeters, took the campaign an immense step further. Because social media is used by millions of people, a lot of companies likely don’t bother with personal responses to fans because of the time it would take to do so. By picking a handful of tweets to respond to with a personalized video, WATERisLIFE left an impression on those people and led them to start tweeting about the WATERisLIFE cause.

3. Appealed to Human Emotion: As we have discussed in previous blogs, such as Ship My Pants and Batkid, using emotion is a powerful tool. The WATERisLIFE campaign definitely stirs up several emotions: sympathy, humility and maybe the desire to contribute. By pulling on the heartstrings of Twitter users, WATERisLIFE was able to share its message to millions.

4. Offered an Action Step: Having an action step to your cause is what really makes a campaign successful. Tweeters started turning their first world problem tweets into WATERisLIFE tweets, changing the approach of their Twitter posts and spreading the word for the cause. By asking for donations, WATERisLIFE allowed followers to participate in the campaign which ultimately led to its success. Getting the word out is one thing, but an action step is an entirely different story.

The WATERisLIFE campaign was successful because it was able to spread the word about its cause, and it consistently has people donating money and getting involved.  With its campaign, WATERisLIFE proved that by using social media and doing something unique with it, it can really make a difference in people’s lives.

Make sure to come back next week and see how Breaking Bad cooked up a brilliant Facebook app campaign, and what you can learn from it.

Stay tuned…