People today are easy to be intrigued by the social media business because almost everyone is engaged in the virtual world connected by social media platforms. These platforms also can be considered as a medium to create more Influential social media campaigns for attracting more attention for charity organizations or maintaining the stable relationship with patrons for firms. This essay aims to elaborate how to actively promote the social media campaign with the collaboration between social network and online communities.
Academic research on Social network and online communities
The social network is based on the people’s offline cycle of friendship. Members in a particular social network have already met each other or established the connection with one another (Haythornthwaite and Wellman, 1998, cited in Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). Haythornthwaite and Wellman also point out that the offline line relationship can be regarded as playing an important role in the online social network. Friends, colleagues, relatives, those people who directly relevant to each other in real life, constitute a web or fabric of interpersonal communications, which also called social fabric. To reinforce or tighten the existing relationship, people set up their own social network in social media platforms that primarily connect with those people who have the relationship with them and give access to them for sharing their recent activities through the personal profile (Seo, Houston, Knight, Kennedy, & Inglish, 2014).
The most significant difference between social network and the online community is that people in a specific online community can have the diverse background including social, educational and religious. However, they gather together for a common goal and similar interest, what’s more, the connection even can be created by the links between people who “follow” or “following” each other on social media platforms (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). People in the structure of community are more tightly communicated with each other than the rest of other people in the outside network (Mucha, Richardson, Macon, Porter, & Onnela, 2010, P 876-878). It can be clearly differentiated from the social network that a large number of people, unlike friends or relatives, in the online communities may never meet each other in real life. Furthermore, people can be easily overlapped in several communities and become different parts of those groups.
Although the social network and online community are two types of virtual community, they are not absolutely isolated. People can both in the part of personal social networks and public online communities. The tendency for younger people to socialize on social media platforms will gather them around common goals, projects and interests. In this way, some social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be regarded as a place that people can maintain the relationship between existing friends or make collaboration with strangers who shared same interests with each other (Faraj, Jarvenpaa, & Majchrzak, 2011).
Case study- ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
About the activity
From July to August 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (IBC) was widespread on social media because many celebrities and politicians have participated in this charity event for increasing awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), “a progressive neurodegenerative disease with 15 newly diagnosed patients per day” (Koohy, 2014), and raising funds for the ALS association. The participants ranging from famous public figures to under-developed background people all over the world.
Promote the campaign
IBC initially cannot be related to any certain charity, it is merely for participants donating specific charity they selected. Chris Kennedy, a golfer, was accepted the challenge from his friend because one of his relatives is suffering from the ALS, he decided to participant in the IBC for support the ALS charity, and his posted IBC video can be regarded as the beginning of ALS-IBC (Sifferlin, 2014).
Firstly, people in this relevant social network nominated each other to join in this charity challenge including their families and colleagues to support the people who they have already known with ALS. Then, because of collective Facebook and Twitter friends, this campaign had started to spread among each online community especially for the ALS and other rare disease communities which people in these associations have a common goal is to fight those deadly diseases. When this activity has connected with Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS and has a large number of supporters online, his support network widely spread this activity on a large scale on social media platforms. More celebrities have involved in this charity for the common goal to help people struggle with ALS disease, which made this charity activity achieve a dramatic result.
$15.6 million for the ALS Association, in sharp comparison to $1.8 million in the same time (July to August) last year. (ALS Association, 2014)
Reflection on my work
The concepts of social network and online communities were applied in our social media campaign- The Music Con. Our major activities on Facebook is “Guess which melody I am humming” drawn lessons from the successful social media campaign “ALS-IBC”. Inspired by the perspective of social network, we tried to utilize participants’ network communities to promote our campaign and engross more people’s attention. Players in this game can choose one of their favourite tones which will be performed in next concert to hum in funny or tricky ways. After they post their humming video online, they can nominate their friends to take the challenge of guessing which melody they actually hummed.
The initial stage of this activity is to spread this in existing social fabric where people in this network have already known each other so that it is easier for attracting more participants join in. The next step is managed to continually thrive this activity among the potential audience. People in a fixed social networks can simultaneously be a part of several different online communities, so that just like wildfire, as more people participate in this online activity, more people will pay attention to our campaign.
Further relevant activity set up in our campaign is to pose the live concert audience interview on YouTube. Video campaigns can considerably impact on the potential audience who have similar lifestyle or hobby in enjoying music. Connections are created by people who may never meet with each other but have same interests. Music lovers and potential concert audience on YouTube, a typical platform of online community, can directly impress by existing audience.
Tutor & Class: Kai Soh, Thursday 12 pm- 3 pm
Student: Becky Wang 470089309
Alexandra Sifferlin. (2014). Here’s How the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Actually Started. TIME .com. Retrieved 18 Aug 2014, from
ALS Association (2014). Ice Bucket Challenge Donations Continue to Exceed Expectations Retrieved from
Faraj, S., Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Majchrzak, A. (2011). Knowledge collaboration in online communities. Organization science, 22(5), 1224-1239.
Hinton, S. & Hjorth, L. (2013). Social network sites. In Understanding social media (pp. 32-54). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781446270189.n3
Koohy, H., & Koohy, B. (2014). A lesson from the ice bucket challenge: using social networks to publicize science. Frontiers in genetics, 5.
Mucha, P. J., Richardson, T., Macon, K., Porter, M. A., & Onnela, J. P. (2010). Community structure in time-dependent, multiscale, and multiplex networks. science, 328(5980), 876-878.
Seo, H., Houston, J. B., Knight, L. A. T., Kennedy, E. J., & Inglish, A. B. (2014). Teens’ social media use and collective action. New Media & Society, 16(6), 883-902.