Lately, I’ve been running into more people who are surprisingly passionate about social media. Given that not everyone gets to spend their life on the Web, they are excited to be a part of the action. For a moment, I’d like to step back and share why I love social media, and let you know about a Phoenix-based advertising agency dipped their feet into social media.
I love social media for a few reasons, forgive me if they sound lame:
- I am a “helper” in life. Social media helps people help themselves. I seem to think that if I lived in the Renaissance, I’d be a blacksmith making the townspeople tools so they can carry out their jobs. Always sharpening the blade, hammering away the slag and providing them an asset that they can use for the rest of their lives.
- Social media connects people. I love how people are able to connect through the Web. It’s a bit unusual, a bit unique from a non-technical perspective and is always intriguing. I’m motivated by the ability that so people people with differing views can generally get along in one place. To see people communicate effectively through the Web is inspiring to say the least.
- Social media is on the edge of elitist and mainstream. This is the great part from where I sit… I’ve seen the progression of social media transition from IRC/BBSs toward the applications of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. At the heart of it, I love watching an underdog become embraced by the mainstream. The use of functional design, community empowerment and valuable content brought Social Media under a hot white light for companies to better evaluate their own interactions with customers. The transparency of social media is admirable enough to bring legitimacy to industries such as public relations, advertising agencies and heck — even lawyers.
Alright, so those are my main reasons on why I love social media. I don’t expect you to like it, but I expect you to acknowledge your presence in it.
Two weeks ago, I shared why half of social media campaigns fail; as a shift in gears, I want to highlight one organization who had passion in their approach to social media. And they got it, even if it was rough around the edges.
Ryan La Rosa from Park&Co, a Phoenix advertising agency, informed me about what their organization did to help their team become acquainted to social media. Basically, they offers a $1000 bounty on a viral video which met some company-related requirements (accessible here). The winners shared a common passion for welfare of dogs and decided to donate the winnings, if they won, to a local animal rescue shelter.
The contest’s winner was selected based on page views of the YouTube video. Page views are a similar metric as to how ads tracked across the Web. The winning video was lip-syncing dogs, lightly mocking the theme found within older Gap commercials. While not earth-shattering, the video did earn over 8,000 page views by itself … substantially higher the previous videos submitted by participants.
What was the key in their social media success? Passion. The unified passion rallied around animal welfare fueled the cause for the production efforts. However, I do have some suggestions for the team to make this video a little more impactful, which could possibly double or quadruple their video’s success.
- Include a brief title slide. In many videos, especially production ones, an introductory title is provided so the viewer knows more or less what the video is about within the first few seconds.
- Include a call-to-action for viewers. It’s one thing to demonstrate the cuteness of pets, but another to empower viewers so they improve the well-being of animals. Calls to action with strong data might include a person citing statistics on Euthanasia, animal abuse and advise viewers to access a Web site.
- Remind viewers to resyndicate the video. Toward the end of the clip, it would be ideal to ask the viewers if they could take “a minute of their time” to post the video on their MySpace, share it on Facebook or give it Digg. If people couldn’t donate money, they could at least share it with their network of friends and strengthen the message (and the credibility) behind it.
I’ll lay of the criticism and just let them know I expect to their next non-profit viral video to be a major hit. I share my congratulations to Park&Co for encouraging their staff in finding the true efforts in viral videos: purpose and messaging. While no actual messages were present, there was certainly an implicit one about animals.
What is your passion in social media?