In this opinion piece, influencer marketing agency Vamp’s head of content Lauren Thomas discusses how Australia’s bushfires prove the power of social sharing…
As Australia – and the rest of the world – struggle to come to terms with the devastation caused by bushfires, many are using social media as an outlet.
On Instagram, hashtags like #bushfiresaustralia and #australiaisburning show thousands of heartbreaking posts sharing personal experiences, expressing solidarity and drumming up awareness.
Some of these powerful posts have gone viral, bolstering global news reports and helping the rest of the world understand the extent of the crisis. A photo of the boots of a heroic firefighter with the soles melted. Difficult-to-watch videos of wildlife being burnt and rescued. Once picturesque landscapes, now obscured by smoke.
Amongst those viral posts, there are maps claiming to show where fires burn across the country. As Buzzfeed diligently reported, a number of these have false information. Whether they’ve been misinterpreted or are artistically enhanced, the maps don’t share a true reflection of what’s happening. While misleading, you could also say it’s inevitable. At a time of confusion, when people are desperate to spread well-meaning awareness, few will delve into the origins of a post before hitting share.
However, this can’t overshadow the many ways in which social media has helped the relief efforts. The most obvious example is the incredible Celeste Barber and her record-breaking Facebook fundraiser. Despite an initial target of $30,000 has topped $50 million. The Australian comedian has replaced her usual content with posts about the fires, mobilising her millions of followers. Melbourne’s new graffiti mural with Celeste’s face and the words ‘thank you’ show Australia’s appreciation her effort. Not to mention demands that she replaces the PM.
Elsewhere, amazing initiatives like @spendwiththem aim to give communities long-term support. The Instagram account features business from fire effected areas, urging their thousands of followers to shop with them to help them bounce back faster.
Small business from outside the effected areas are using social media to publicise their solidarity too. Whether donating their profits to charity, or creating special limited edition products, social posts have helped spread the word. Others have employed less traditional methods. Instagram influencer Kaylen Ward promised a nude photo for everyone who donated more than $10 and raised $700,000.
Social media has made publishers of us all and in these times of crisis, provide a platform to do what we can, with what we have. It gives the world a window into the unedited stories of those effected and the ability to follow these stories as they play out. This can prompt a deeper empathy than a simple vox pop. Every day, Celeste has shared multiple Instagram Stories of her family’s fear and reaction to the donations as they came rolling in, keeping her followers up to date.
Social platforms like Facebook are well set up to receive donations as soon as a user is inspired, without redirection to another site. Their donation button (used on Celeste’s page), doesn’t require a new account set up and reduces the risk of someone thinking “I’ll do that later”, then forgetting.
At such an overwhelming time, when so many of us feel helpless, social media has given us a place to express, a way to help and space to come together. With so much heartbreak, it’s worth noticing the positives where we can.
Please login with linkedin to commentaustralia bushfires
In a massive shift in the broadcasting landscape, Amazon Prime has secured the Australian rights to the next cricket World Cup alongside a range of other tournaments run by the International Cricket Council (ICC) until 2027. The deal means that Australian Cricket fans can only access the tournaments if they have a paid subscription to […]
With just over 24 hours to go until the world premiere of Addy Lala and the Mood Tea Thieves, limited tickets are still available for the pantomime, which will run for one night only at the Everest Theatre in Sydney’s Seymour Centre on December 5th. All in the industry are encouraged to come along to […]
2045, a Melbourne-based creative agency founded by Tim Evans and Nick Auditore has just launched. The agency takes its name from the year futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted organic and artificial intelligence would converge. Lead Image: 2045 Team Evans was formerly a Partner and Executive Strategy Director at DT (now AKQA), before co-founding B.B.E in 2015. […]
The National Breast Cancer Foundation has been announced as the Charity Partner for Sydney New Year’s Eve. The Australian not-for-profit organisation is represented by the pink ribbon and raises money to fund world-class research towards its vision of zero deaths from breast cancer. Research that saves lives through a better understanding of how to prevent […]
This holiday season, Emporium Melbourne has announced its festive creative campaign that celebrates and encourages the Melbourne community to embrace their personal ‘untraditional traditions’ – the unique traditions that make Christmas truly special for them, and their family. The campaign’s tagline, “Every tradition starts somewhere”, reflects Emporium’s commitment to embracing, inspiring and applauding diverse traditions […]
Reddit has announced updates to its new ads placement with Carousel Ads and Product Ads. These new units, placed in the heart of Reddit discussions, provide an even more dynamic and compelling way for advertisers to scale to relevant audiences, deliver deeper value to users, and drive stronger, full-funnel performance among the hundreds of thousands […]
Automotive Network Drive has announced its 2024 upfronts, its biggest in more than a decade, with a suite of more than 12 new products that underpin its vision to be the number one automotive network in Australia. Now in its 27th year and with a monthly audience of 2.45 million, Drive is leveraging its reputation […]
B&T unaware of the vitriol & acrimony between the online mattress companies. We were aware of it between News & the ABC.
oOh!media continues to rapidly expand its large format digital network, launching seven new sites at premium locations across major arterials in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The latest large format digitals include another premium site in the exclusive Sydney suburb of Mosman. Positioned at the gateway of the lower north shore on Military Road, the high-impact […]
The Seven Network revealed the results of the second round of its flagship innovation initiative – Ignite – which saw seven employee-led generative AI concepts selected for prototype development. An inspiring three-week event, Ignite brings together internal cross-functional teams of engineers, data scientists, product managers and staff from across the business to collaborate and develop […]
Australian tech consultancy Engaging.io has scored a major business win with the appointment by a leading Texas-based US National Basketball Association (NBA) team to revolutionise its marketing and communication strategies. The powerhouse NBA franchise turned to Sydney-headquartered Engaging to spearhead a major HubSpot implementation, driving greater efficiencies, personalisation and a more seamless experience for fans. […]
Dentsu Queensland has formed a strategic partnership with DeadlyScience, an organisation that provides science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) resources to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students across Australia. The partnership is in collaboration with UnLtd, which helps connect the media and marketing industries with charities helping children and young people at risk. This is […]
Victoria-based Venetian Media Group (VMG) has acquired web and digital strategy shop Digital Native. Lead image L-R: VMG CEO, Michael Fishwick; Digital Native big chief, Matt Gardan. Digital Native specialises in digital strategy, branding, UX and web design it has deep experience in renewables, emerging technology and not-for-profit. Its web design process and collaborative approach […]
One of Australia’s biggest off-street car and motorbike festivals, Rare Spares Rockynats, is returning to Rockhampton for Easter 2024 and has kicked off its promotional calendar with a high-octane media campaign. The two-phase campaign, via award-winning marketing agency Murmur-Group, will launch across large format out-of-home and retail placements and will be supported by local radio, […]