The super power of social media…

So something really exciting happened last week. I had been having a bad week, when another opportunity came up, as a blog writer for a social media start-up. It’s called Post Planner and the CEO has done an amazing job building the brand. Of course I’m not saying no to the opportunity and hopefully I have what it takes.

I did my first blog post on the Boston bombing. I just felt like this cannot go unsaid. This was my first blog post that I wrote, but due to so many changes, it will have to continue to be edited, so we had to scrap it and go with another post specifically on Facebook.

Lesson 1: Do not write on events that changes every day. I have no idea how people in the news industry keeps up.

Since this is my first article, even unpublished, I learned a lot and definitely learned and can always improve. Take a look…Always love some feedback!

HERE IS THE ARTICLE….

Remember that scene in Spiderman?

You know, the one in the train where Spiderman gets unmasked & suddenly everyone realizes he’s just a young boy?

Do you remember what Peter Parker says in response? It’s one of my favorite lines of the film:

Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.

I think it’s safe to say that in the light of the recent tragedies in Boston and West Texas, …how social media has been used to provide a positive support when events like this shake a nation.

Everytime, the power of social media has made it possible for ordinary people who do not have super powers to become a super hero: super informants, super sloganists, master photographers and capturers of the most inspiring and terrifying moments of tragedies that impact us all.

Spiderman may be fiction, but the images from the streets of Boston on Friday night were not.

How did I find out about the capture of the 2nd bomber? Dozens of Facebook and Twitter updates from my friends saying things like, “Boston bomber caught! Justice is served” just to name a few. Social media has become our news station, forum to share thoughts, and personal photo album…It has also become a place where the community spirit is present.

As I sat there, glued to CNN, I could not forget the image of Bostonians standing along the streets chanting “U.S.A” and cheered as SWAT teams, local police, and other public servants emerged after the capture of the Boston bomber was complete.

They are our real life heroes.

Back in the 1960s and 70s, people protested. In 2013, we send a Facebook status, tweet, or Instagram photo to make our voice heard.

Is social media that effective? The answer is yes.

CNN ran a story about Patton Oswalt, most well known for his role in “The King of Queens.” He made a statement about his thoughts about the bombing and it has gone viral and has been shared more than 200,000 times. Check out the article here.

Mashable posted some stories of normal citizens rising to the occasion after the bombing. Each one has been shared over 300,000 times. Click here and take a second to read the article, it is worth it.

A video of the Waco fertilizer explosion recorded by a father and daughter has gone viral after posted on YouTube. To date, it has been viewed over 19 million times. View it here, but just some warning, it’s very graphic.

Forget about press releases. Boston police made it known first through a tweet, “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when taking a stance:

1. Support causes that you truly believe in. If you don’t believe what you are supporting, no one else will want to jump on the bandwagon either.
2. Call for action. If your company has the means to do something for the cause, utilize social media channels to make a difference. This can be done through:
3. Status. For each $1 you donate equals 4 cans of food for a family. To donate, click here.
Engage your audience. Calling all couponers, share a picture of all the items you bought for under $15 and the receipt. We will match every item. The more you buy, the more we give.
4. Share. When coming across stories of acts of kindness, share it on your page. The awareness is worth more than you think.
-Ask for likes. For each like, ABC Company will give $1 to help pay this victim’s medical bills.
-Status. For each $1 you donate equals 4 cans of food for a family. To donate, click here.
-Engage your audience. Calling all couponers, share a picture of all the items you bought for under $15 and the receipt. We will match every item. The more you buy, the more we give.
5. Share. When coming across stories of acts of kindness, share it on your page. The awareness is worth more than you think. People ban together, which creates a sense of unity. When the earthquake in Japan happened, a large majority of fans on Facebook changed their profile picture to the support relief efforts.
6. Research a charity. Unfortunately, there are people who create false charities, so before suggesting it to your fan base, make sure it is legitimate.
7. Be simple. Emotion cannot be scripted. Do not worry about trying to measure ROI. Share a photo, give something back, or post a simple acknowledgement and listen to your fans share their feelings.

Most articles you find will teach you how to profit from social media, this does not. Yep, I said it, you may never see a penny, but sometimes the intangible is worth more by building trust and loyalty in your company.

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