Stepping it up a notch for #beatcancer

Posted: October 19, 2009 in social media, Twitter
Tags: , ,

This is just a quick note. An idea that’s forming out of all this #beatcancer stuff that’s coming up on Twitter. It’s a great idea. And I applaud #beatcancer for coming up with it, and Ebay/Paypal and Miller Lite for supporting it.

The website’s got a counter up to show funds raised so far.  It’s become a trending topic on Twitter.  It’s an incredibly easy way for people to participate and raise some money.

What I’m not enjoying is tweets filled with #beatcancer.  You can fit 12 of those hashtags into one tweet by the way… I know you want to be supportive and help fight such a crappy disease.  But unless their counting hashtag references and not tweets, that’s of no use.  You’re better off doing twelve different tweets in a row to raise twelve cents.  And even then, that’s kind of spammy.

Why not rise above the spammers a little bit and share something useful…?  I’ve got two cousins that are cancer survivors, and an aunt that isn’t.  I know far too many friends and family who’s lives have also been touched by cancer in some way.  For them I’m rising above spammy.  So yes, tweet away and #beatcancer, but why not share something useful while you’re doing it?  Maybe share who you’re helping to #beatcancer for?

  1. Rob says:

    Great points.
    The thing about anything is that the level of involvement depends on the amount of marketing which is done and the level of awareness people have for the issue – not based on the importance of the issue.

    Case in point – I donated blood a few weeks ago. They’re always looking for blood donors. It’s a very easy thing for almost everyone to do. So what makes people donate? When they hear about it. Not because they inherently want to (although many do).

    The thing about #beatcancer is that it’s just another way to raise awareness for an issue.

    However, what about heart disease? Diabetes? HIV/Aids? Etc, etc etc…

    Using a hash tag is another way to get a mention and raise awareness for the issue and to increase the conversation. However, this isn’t really sustainable for all issues. AND, it’s a sneaky way of using social networks – which people use to connect with other people – for advertising and promotions. Me personally, I’m not a fan of it.

  2. Wendy Peters says:

    Thanks Rob. I may be misinterpreting here, but to me your last statement reads as you not a fan of using social networks for creating awareness… Can you clarify what you meant?

  3. John Tyler says:

    Wendy, very good point! Spam is so largely ignored which ends up defeating the purpose of trying to create awareness. The personal touch is what moves people!

    Rob, I believe social networks is all about awareness, advertising and promotion. Every time you post a link or re-tweet someone, you are helping to raise awareness and increase the conversation-no matter the issue. Word-of-mouth is probably one of the most persuasive forms of advertising as it’s not coming from the company itself and you can get quality negative and positive reviews.

  4. Rob says:

    I’m a fan of people using social networks to create awareness…but I’m not a fan of this approach to use #beatcancer. It can only lead to more and more people aimlessly using the hash tag (of which there is no control over) and I can easily see this perpetuating out of control to become like newsgroups did past where it was overridden by useless spam.

    However, because Twitter is about one to one connection (ie you choose who you follow), I think this will balance itself out because if you spam too much, people will simply unfollow you. I think that this is the difference with Web 2.0. If we don’t want to listen to what someone has to say, we have that option.

    I think people just need to be aware of the use of hash tags, what they’re for, and to be careful to not overuse/abuse them.

  5. Rob says:

    And to add to this, I don’t really see the point of social networks as being advertising – that’s the point of Facebook or Google Ads.

    I see the point of social networking to be having meaningful, relevant conversations with the people who matter to you. And that it should be done completely transparently and not hidden behind a company. I think the whole point of social media are the real connections people create – the advertising part is an addon to those conversations and separate.

  6. John Tyler says:

    Yes, that is what I love about twitter- you create the experience that you want by who you follow!

    Good points!!

  7. Wendy Peters says:

    To me, the ad supported models are people’s way of trying to mash old marketing ways to new media. Want the magazine for cheap or the newspaper for free? Let’s put some ads in it. Want ads out of your books? Pay me more money for it. Except the web doesn’t really work that way. Advertising the way it happened offline, cannot happen the same way online. We’re seeing that with the low click through rates from things like Facebook ads. From what I’ve seen, there isn’t anything that can happen online the same way it happens offline. It’s just a whole new ballgame. And it requires a new set of solutions. Because it exacerbates any of the problems we have offline at least a hundred fold. Spam is a bigger problem, misconceptions are a bigger problem, it points out all of the holes in the ways we deal with things offline and makes them worse. We’re forced to change our tactics. Or #fail using the old ways.

  8. John Tyler says:

    Retail Store + “SEO model” + Call Centre = method of advertising through Twitter and other social media.

    …the rest of my response is better suited for your post:

    “Blah, social media’s over rated”

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