How the NSPCC won at Facebook

Every couple of months, someone, somewhere starts a Facebook meme that catches on like wildfire. The most recent example of this was the ‘NSPCC’ campaign.

This particular meme involved Facebook users changing their status to “Change your FB picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal is not to see a human face on FB until Monday (Dec 6th) Join the fight against child abuse & copy and paste to your status!” The result was a newsfeed filled with characters from Button Moon, Transformers and My Little Pony.

What was surprising about this meme is that it turned out to be nothing to do with the NSPCC at all. Despite this, the charity was forward thinking enough to release a statement saying how grateful they are for the to their site.

More Facebook memes

Another recent meme involved women changing their status to “I like it on the table/floor/bed etc.” It actually referred to where they like to leave their handbag, but the intrigue was used to tease men and apparently raise awareness of breast cancer.

So what makes these memes so popular? The cynic in me would suggest it’s mainly about keeping up with friends and, with the innuendo-based memes, gathering a bit of attention. It’s a shame more of the memes don’t hold more useful information, like symptoms for cancer charities or links to donate.

However, whether their charitable intentions are pure or not, it seems like some of the campaigns were successful. In the US, the campaign focused on Childhelp instead of the NSPCC, and the charity reported a sharp increase in traffic (tripling to 10,000 hits on Saturday and Sunday.) Another charity, The Child Abuse Prevention Association, reported an increase in donations. And the NSPCC has reported an unprecedented rise in donations and site traffic.

Whatever the reason for the memes, it’s nice to see them having some form of positive effect.

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