Like Me? Follow Me.
I’m sure almost everyone reading this blog post will be aware of the benefits social media can bring to a business or campaign. It can help towards a greater presence online, as well as giving us the platform to interact with our audience in ways we previously could never have imagined.
To demonstrate the overwhelming power social media has on the general public, I’ve decided to search for a few examples which show the true power of online social engagement with a selection of inspirational stories of strangers offering a helping hand.
This story went viral last month, however for those who haven’t seen it I recommend watching the short documentary. Caine’s story wouldn’t have been possible without the power of social media.
An incredibly inventive nine year old boy built his very own working arcade from cardboard at his dad’s car garage. Caine struggled with visitors until video documenter Nirvan Mullick walked past and decided to use Facebook’s public event feature to invite the people of LA to see it for themselves. As a result of the ‘flash mob’ that took place, Caine’s Arcade now has 114,104 likes on Facebook, $201,861 raised for a college scholarship and is still receiving countless numbers of customers.
A saved wedding
Six weeks before your wedding and the event planning company you hired goes bankrupt, what do you do? Log on to Twitter of course! Twitter users came to the rescue for this engaged UK couple who almost lost out on nearly £4,500 deposit for the big day. Fortunately thanks to the generous users on the micro-blogging site, including a number of celebrities, the couple received thousands of replies offering help. Jewellery, a make-up artist, a photographer, a wedding planner and a three-tier cake were just some of the free services and gifts given thanks to the online campaign.
A random act of kindness
Sean O’Connor decided to use Reddit to help his terminally ill uncle cope with such a challenging situation. Knowing how much his uncle enjoys receiving mail, Sean posted to the Reddit community and within three hours his post had received more than 1,300 comments with people wanting to help.
Reddit removed the post after a few hours due to the amount of personal information that was released. However, this didn’t stop hundreds of letters from all over the world being sent to his uncle’s home including post from the US, the UK, Australia, Japan, Sweden and Finland.
From a business perspective, these examples demonstrate the power of interesting and inspiring, feel good content. Companies that wish to create a social brand need to harness the same power to shift brand sentiment, create loyalty and drive social conversations about what they do and what they offer, without filling your social space with advertising jargon. If you’re successful you will be able to engage with consumers’ hearts and gain a permanent fan base, much like the examples above.
However, make no mistake this is far from an easy task. The way in which content is distributed onto an online social market is crucial to even the most feel-good post or video. Although some of the examples I used above relied on only one or two major social sites, it’s imperative as a company to interact in the right way to build a loyal fan base and direct your content to the right market.