Likes Don’t Save Lives- Social Media Impact

Lindsay Elsen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, 18 February, 2016

Last year, UNICEF Sweden launched a campaign to answer one specific question: can likes save children’s lives? It was a concrete example of leveraging children’s rights through social media. The campaign took advantage of the power of the digital world and became an international viral success for the benefit of children.

When UNICEF Sweden launched the “Likes don’t save lives” campaign in 2013, it was in response to the great focus on collecting Facebook likes, among organizations, campaigns, businesses, etc. What does being “liked” on Facebook actually mean for an organization such as UNICEF? Social media is a great way to raise awareness for a cause, but there is no telling that people’s involvement will stop after the click of the like button.

Four videos were launched. One with a young boy saying that he now has hope, because of UNICEF Sweden’s many Facebook likes. “Sometimes I worry that I will get sick, like my mum got sick. But I think everything will be all right. Today, UNICEF Sweden has 177,000 likes on Facebook.” The other videos, showed two Swedish celebrities trying to pay for things, such as food and a sweater, with likes. All the videos ended with the message that Facebook likes can’t pay for anything, especially vaccines. Below is the most impactful video.

One of the most Viral Part of the Campaign was an ad saying “Like us on Facebook, and we will vaccinate zero children against polio.” Not only did this ad, along with the videos, go Viral, they helped spread the word that likes can’t save lives, but involvement and money can.

Image Source: Nonprofit Hub

UNICEF wanted to emphasize the fact that actions in social media of UNICEF supporters must be followed through with actual donations, and they chose to emphasize it in a very unique way. This charity was one of the first to openly ridicule social media support, something seen as essential to raising awareness in young donors, and be extremely successful with it. Because of the Campaign, enough money was raised to vaccinate 637,324 children against polio, showing that being bold certainly pays off. In order to grab attention from viewers, Nonprofits must find a way to tap into and utilize social media creatively. Campaigns like UNICEF dare to be different, and because of that, they are successful.

Donate, don’t like.