Jane Binnion column

Jane Binnion from Lancaster, social media trainer.
Jane Binnion from Lancaster, social media trainer.
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Anyone not yet heard of the ice bucket challenge?

If you’re on Facebook, pretty much one post in five is a video of someone having ice cold water poured over their heads for charity.

It’s become huge as everyone taking part nominates three other people who have to do it in 24 hours.

It’s been fun to watch big names nominate each other, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg nominating Bill Gates.

Here in the UK people like Ricky Gervais, David Beckham and Stephen Hawking have all got involved. It all started out to raise money for ALS, the US version of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and it has raised them over $60million and £3.5 for the MND already, and now people are choosing which charity they donate to and giving them a mention.

No marketing company could have ever planned this.

This is all about people getting involved, having some fun and social media at its best. People are taking the opportunity to express their political opinion and raise money for their favourite charity.

Even Water Aid has been able to state their position on it in terms of water as a precious resource, and donations are going to them too now.

As a social media trainer I delighted that people are seeing the power of video. Short videos are such a great way to engage people as we will watch a 90 second film without thinking twice. And whilst some people have taken the opportunity to show off their editing skills, this has really shown us that we don’t always need highly edited videos to catch people’s attention.

People are just recording on their phones and uploading straight to Facebook or Twitter.

And despite the fact that it’s been going around for weeks, we don’t seem to have got tired of it yet.

I’ve now seen that, because people understand the global power of social media, India has started the RICE Bucket Challenge.

No this isn’t wasteful, it involves giving a bucket of rice to someone in need, taking a picture to share online with the hashtag #RiceBucketChallenge to encourage others to do the same.

Wouldn’t it be great if that spreads as well as the Ice Bucket Challenge has.