The celebrity Digital Death campaign has leveraged the power of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, the three most popular social forums online to raise money for the Keep a Child Alive Foundation, according to new research from Hitwise.
Celebrities including Alicia Keys, Elijah Wood and Serena Williams all died a “digital death” by promising not to use Facebook or Twitter until they raised $1 million for the charity, thereby resurrecting their digital selves.
Hitwise reports that visits to the Digital Death website buylife.org spiked dramatically on 1 December when the campaign was launched.
The website saw traffic increase by 13-fold that day and was the sixth most popular charity website visited online by UK Internet users.
The celebs all recorded a YouTube video urging the public to donate in order to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
This was reflected in the downstream websites visited after the Digital Death website, with YouTube accounting for 15.79% of all visits.
Interestingly, YouTube Mobile was the second biggest site visited after Digital Death which highlights just how popular the mobile version of YouTube has become.
In total 60% of all traffic coming to the Digital Death website was generated from social media, and 38% of the sites visited after Digital Death were social media sites.
The word of mouth and buzz generated by the likes of Facebook and Twitter helped raise $450,000 in just six days.
The charity then raised a further $500,000 from a single donation from pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart Rahr.
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