Social media spotlight: UN turns to celebrity retweets for World Humanitarian Day
If Facebook is good for one thing, it’s tugging on the heart strings of those that believe simply clicking like or share will have some tangible impact on causes in the real world. ‘A million likes and this child gets his heart surgery’ or ‘If this post gets 500,000 shares, an unknown company will donate money to cancer research’. That sort of thing.
By-and-large such posts make no difference to anyone except give the individual doing the clicking a warm, fuzzy feeling.
However, for World Humanitarian Day this year the United Nations is taking advantage of exactly this trend, and this time it’s set to have a real impact on global causes.
Under the slogan ‘The World Needs More’, the campaign has partnered with entertainers and corporations to raise funds on social networks such as Twitter.
Entertainers working with the program, including the likes of Beyonce, Indian film actor Amitabh Bachchan and 10-year-old comedian Kid President, will tweet a word such as ‘strength’, ‘love’ or ‘humanity’, and a corporate sponsor will donate $1 to a UN humanitarian fund for every retweet. Sponsors include Western Union, Barclays Bank, Gucci and Intel.
The campaign kicks off today, August 19, at 9am EST. The day was declared World Humanitarian Day as a way to mark the 22 UN and aid agency workers who died during a 2003 bombing of the organization’s Baghdad headquarters.
Will the campaign prove successful in raising funds and awareness? Well, people generally like to ‘to their bit’ providing their bit involves little effort, and there’s not much involved in hitting the retweet button. Furthermore, last year’s campaign (also involving pop queen Beyonce) managed to generate one billion social media messages without any kind of donation incentive, so if all goes to plan, The World Needs More is all set to achieve its positive objectives.