We use hashtags all the time. Sometimes we use hashtags that are trending, other times we just use something funny that’s relevant to the content of our posts. However, when used creatively, hashtags can serve a much bigger purpose. The nonprofit organization Water is Life showed us how powerful hashtags can really be with its #FirstWorldProblems social media campaign.
Water is Life wanted found #FirstWorldProblems disturbing. People complain about such minuscule, irrelevant things and call them “first world problems.” There are much bigger problems in our world, including access to clean water.
Water is Life changed the conversation around “first world problems” with a simple video that was so good it went viral. They had people from Haiti saying typical “first world” complaints to show how irrelevant these problems really sound. If you haven’t seen the video, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxyhfiCO_XQ
Water is Life was able to change the conversation around #FirstWorldProblems. Rather than continuing to use the hashtag to complain, people started using it to share Water is Life’s message. As a result, people started to recognize their privilege, and donate to the more important problem.
The campaign started with the simple recognition of a disturbing social media trend. Instead of being angry about it, Water is Life did something about it. The organization excelled in using emotional appeal in the campaign, and certainly sent a very thought-provoking message. Overall, their campaign turned something negative into positive, and started more meaningful conversations about a social issue.
Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are crucial to successful social media campaigns. Instead of using a trending hashtag, Water is Life killed the negative meaning of one. Forget conformity, becuase it’s bold moves like this that help social media campaigns stand out and start a movement.