"When I hear social media mischaracterized as something for the kids, I look around for my free AOL CD and musical modem - wondering what year it is."
Earlier in the week, social media helped to mobilize our entire Reno community as Veterans Guest House found itself in an epic Internet battle to win a $25,000 prize from Home Depot. As the contest progressed, the frequency of posts by local residents reminding everyone to vote grew and grew until finally, as we neared the finish line, neck and neck with a competing non-profit in Georgia, every other post screamed voting reminders. In the end, the biggest little city in the world mobilized via social media in a way that I had never seen and in the last 30 minutes, Veteran’s Guest House pulled ahead and won, bursting through the virtual tape at the finish line!
These are just two stories from one week that demonstrate the impact of social media. So you can understand why, when I hear social media mischaracterized as something for the kids, something that is a waste of time, or something that has nothing to do with promoting a business or brand – I look around for my free AOL CD and musical modem, wondering what year it is. It might have started that way, with MySpace and all the pseudo HTML programming hours required to make your page pretty enough to get spammed on a regular basis. And then those kids from Harvard came along with their book of faces from around the dorms, and then all the other social media sites. But then some big companies had their corporate “ah-ha” moment and got that all their customers were procrastinating and socializing on all these sites – instant, attentive audience. And then the smaller companies realized that networking via social media was a way to save time, money and waistline size versus going to every networking meal in town every day, just to maintain relationships. And that was, and is, just the beginning…
I could of course go into a dozen different “tips” for adding impact to your social media (you’ll probably want to visit the pretty little RSS feed icon on the top right side of this page and subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss that diatribe). For now though, I have to go prepare the week’s posts for all our “social media ghosting” clients (a beautiful way of pretending to be on social media and reaping the benefits without actually doing it yourself). And after that, I need to mark my calendar to start voting and posting for the next Home Depot race. This time Veterans Guest House is in the running for the grand $250,000 prize and I have absolutely no doubt that social media, and all its devoted followers in our community will step up to the plate once again and bring home a victory.