With the growing use of social media as a marketing tool, it can become easy to forget what the real goal of a social networking platform is: to connect individuals and provide a platform for dialogue between you and your network.
A couple of months ago, Julia, a high school friend of mine, approached me to talk about potentially reaching out to find her little brother whom she had been separated from more than twelve years ago. Knowing my understanding of social networking platforms, she asked for my opinion in crafting a message and making that message go viral. Doubting the power of her social network, she posted on her personal Facebook page, “If I can get X amount of likes on this post, I will move forward and try to find my little brother.” Lack of response to her outreaching Facebook post left her debating whether or not to move forward with the idea.
On Oct. 8, Julia decided that it was time to take her search for her brother public. This is the photo and message that Julia posted on her personal Facebook page:
“PLEASE SHARE TO HELP ME FIND MY BABY BROTHER!
I have a little brother named Isaiah Luke (update: dob 12/11/93) who has been missing from my life for the past 12 1/2 years. In approximately 2001 he, along with my little sister Sarah, were taken from our home by Child Protective Services. He was placed into temporary foster homes in Greeley, CO and eventually adopted by a wonderful same-sex couple here in Colorado. I have spent everyday since then thinking about him and hoping that one day we can be reunited.
Isaiah was born in December, 1994 in Brighton, CO at Platte Valley Medical Center. He has bright blue eyes and sandy blonde hair. He would be approximately 18 years old today. I believe he is still in the CO area, but may not be. Please share this, anywhere and everywhere! Personal pages, biz pages, news pages, etc!”
By Oct. 11, Julia had received statewide coverage from two news stations, almost 17,000 “shares” on Facebook and to put the icing on the cake, she had found her little brother.
Click here to view the follow-up article ran by 7News.
There is a lesson to be learned here, and that lesson is to never underestimate the power of your personal network.
Not everything that you do online will go viral, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your online activity. However, here are some tips to help you harness the power of your personal network:
- Use images!
People respond much stronger to images than they do to text. In most cases, people will pay attention to a photo and if the message is something they want to help share, they will share it.
- Make sure your image speaks for itself. Your network is much less likely to share something that they have to explain.
- If you are sharing an image on behalf of a business or organization, make sure to brand it. As images circulate the internet, it’s easy to lose sources. Make it impossible to lose your branding by putting your logo, a hashtag, or something else on the image that makes sure people know where it originated.
Have a message that you want to share, but you’re still not sure how to share it? Give us a call and we can help navigate you through your messaging.