Social Media Lessons from the Kony 2012 Campaign

If you have accessed the Internet in the past 48 hours, or potentially even if you’ve turned on your TV or radio, you’ve probably heard about the Kony 2012 social media campaign. If you haven’t heard of this yet, a brief overview: earlier this week, the nonprofit organization Invisible Children¬†released a 29-minute video on YouTube about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, who leads a rebel force of child soldiers and is universally considered a terrible person. As of this posting, the YouTube video has upwards of 55 million views. On Thursday, Twitter users mentioned Kony almost 1 million times. The video’s virality is impressive, even without taking into consideration that it’s half an hour long, and conventional wisdom says to keep your message under two minutes long. What gives? Although its effectiveness in the long run has been disputed, amid allegations of “slacktivism”¬†and criticism of Invisible Children’s financial practices, one thing’s for sure: these people understand social media marketing. Let’s take a closer look and see what marketing lessons we can take from Invisible Children and Kony 2012. Keep it upbeat. “But that doesn’t make sense, Marketing Zen,” you say. “This video is about a guy who makes kids kill their…

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