Invisible-Children042“Viral” has taken on new meaning with KONY 2012, the video campaign designed to stop the crimes of an African warlord whose particular form of terror is to kidnap children and turn them into soldiers and sex slaves.

First uploaded on March 5, it had 70 million views six days later on YouTube, has been shared on Facebook over 2 billion times and the Kony or #StopKony hashtag has been mentioned on Twitter over 10 million times.

Obviously, outrage over Joseph’s Kony’s especially cruel activities is soaring.  But, for those of us who focus on the keys to successful social media campaigns, what can we learn?

Social Media Today provides some insight:

  • It’s a great “product.”  Between the video, the website and merchandise, the KONY campaign is well designed, well developed and well versed. It appeals to their main demographic, youth.
  • The video touches viewers on a personal level — instead of solely informing viewers about what their charity is it has become a matter of why they were doing it.
  • Invisible Children, the charitable organization behind the campaign, didn’t underestimate the power of the youth. They first cultivated a strong movement by preaching their message at colleges and universities across America.
  • A clear understanding of how to leverage social media as an effective marketing tool. Reaching out publicly to celebrities and politicians who are active on these networks was crucial to this video going viral.
  • Finally they close their video with a call to action. “ABOVE ALL SHARE THIS MOVIE ONLINE — IT’S FREE.”