August 25, 2014 Last updated on November 23rd, 2017
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The phenomenon of this summer was (and it’s undeniable!) the Ice Bucket Challenge. Initially went mainstream when Matt Lauer (TV anchor of Today) did it on live tv on the 15th of July 2014. This challenge being a video, its virality on Instagram was not a surprise.

Thanks to our hashtag tracking tools, we tracked the number of mentions of #icebucketchallenge and #alsicebucketchallenge, to a total number of  3,017,321 posts.

Let’s compare the #alsicebucketchallenge vs the #icebucketchallenge

Let’s compare these two hashtags, #alsicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge and check their evolutions.
(we’ve put aside all the private accounts, deleted content and mentions in comments)

Our Tracking Hashtag features counted 694,950 #alsicebucketchallenge posts and 431,171 for the #icebucketchallenge posts.

 Instagram statistics of the #icebucketchallenge Vs #alsicebucketchallenge

Instagram statistics of the #icebucketchallenge Vs #alsicebucketchallenge

The spike started on the 19th of August 2014 for the @icebucketchallenge (43,137 posts) whereas #alsicebucketchallenge (48,823 posts) had already started the day before.

Even thought the #icebucketchallenge started before on Instagram (and on the web in general) the #alsicebucketchallenge took off much more quickly due to the celebrities involved in the challenge. People understand the importance of a hashtag, and a lot of people wanting to promote the fight against ALS posted in majority with the #alsicebucketchallenge hashtag.

This means approximately 95 million of potential audience, this is huge for Instagram, and for a brand in general. If you’re promoting a fight, a good cause and not a product, people will tend to follow the movement easier and the #alsicebucketchallenge shows it very well.

Let’s take a look at the geolocalized data on #icebucketchallenge and #alsicebucketchallenge





Thanks to this data, we can confirm that this challenge was in a vast majority an American one. It shows us also that the #alsicebucketchallenge is really situated to the North-American continent (88% of the geolocalized activity), with  where it all began. Whereas the #icebucketchallenge is more international with Turkey on the second place with 8% of the geolocalized activity, but the USA leading far away with 62% of mentions.

The ALS association realeased the donations number this morning.
– “as of monday 25 of august 2014, $79.7 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 25).”  This is a +3,000% rise!
– Since the begining of this challenge, the ALS Association has gained 1,7 million new donors.

What about the brand “ALS Association“? As written on their website, they do not have an Instagram account. After a quick check, only fake accounts are present on the visual social network, this is too bad for the brand as they were not present when demanded.

Top 3 “most likes” #icebucketchallenge posts on the 19th of August 2014
@leomessi 462,181 Likes
@itsashbenzo 318,854 Likes
@katyperry 277,422 Likes

Top 3 “most likes” posts #icebucketchallenge on the 20th of August 2014
@zacefron 232,036 (it’s actually the actor Robert Pattison in the video)
@ikercasillasoficial 179,293
@romeosantos 170,278

After a very slow start, the #icebucketchallenge mention began, on the 18th of August with 22,034 posts,  5 uninterrupted days of exponential evolution, until the drop on the 22nd of August 2014, reaching a maximum of 78,821 posts.

On the other hand, the #alsicebucketchallenge mention started on the 17th of August with 25,132 posts and continued to rise until the drop on the 21st of August 2014, reaching a maximum of 114,180 posts.

5 brand exemples of the #icebucketchallenge

Top shop Employes  20th August 2014 59 033 Likes
MTV  24th of August 23,431 Likes
Nike CEO Mark Parker 19th August 2014 113 645 Likes
Michael Kors CEO Michael Kors 24th of August 53,835 Likes
Dolce & Gabbana CEO Stefano Gabbana 20th of August 2014 19 540 Likes

A few tips when going for your own challenge or contest :

1 – Jump on the occasion
We cannot emphasize on how important it is for a brand to “create the moment” on the social networks in general. Most of the brands have to create the challenge and promote it. Sometimes, as in this case, the #alsicebucketchallenge went way much faster than what the brand expected, and they did not create their own official account… So when the occasion presents its self, as a brand, jump on the wagon to gain much more attraction and followers at zero cost.

2 – Make it easy for your community.
Nobody wants a difficult challenge to accomplish. On the other hand, a fun and easy one like the ice bucket challenge is the most effective way to engage your community. Keep the rules simple, and you’ll have sparks of creativity from your followers, creating a User Generated Content that will encourage more to post and with our moderation tool, the UGC is protected, and your contest not spoiled.

3 – Importance of the video Vs the picture
Videos are taking more and more importance on the visual social platforms. The Ice Bucket Challenge showed us that with a video  persons communicate and send messages through it. It allows us to feel more connected and closer to each other. It is also easier to share on other social media platforms, thus expanding your brands message.

4 – Have an inspiring story
The Ice Bucket Challenge showed us once more the importance of a real cause. The story behind the ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and it touched a lot of people thus the sharing. Next time you think of a contest or an idea to share, try to find the most interesting and inspiring story for your followers. It works.

About the author
Anthony Clasen

Anthony Clasen

Anthony is Customer Success Manager at Iconosquare, based in Limoges. He spends his days helping Iconosquare users get the best out of the platform by guiding them through the different features and matching them with their specific needs. He is originally from Cyprus and speaks (more than) four languages fluently.

More posts by Anthony Clasen

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