Harnessing the Power of Social Media: Good vs. Bieber
It’s not always easy finding the right story or hook to get your voice out there and be heard among the masses, particularly back in 2009.
At the time, it seemed like social media was just catching on and getting hot… especially with brands. Businesses were jumping on the Twitter and Facebook bandwagon with little rhyme or reason, armed with only the very basic understanding that to keep up with the times, they must catch the social media wave or be left behind.
While some companies managed to engage by taking a genuine approach, others spewed out spammy social messages, advertising and essentially used social media as their blow horn to shout “at” audiences… not communicate with them.
The onset of social media brought with it a leveling of the marketing playing field. Suddenly, the ability to spread a message wasn’t based on how big you were, it was based on the merit of the message you were sending. In 2009, social media marketing firm Everywhere used this burgeoning tool to make a statement — a statement that was powerful enough to secure a place in the record books.
During a discussion about progressing the use of social media beyond product marketing and into the realm of social good, the idea for #BeatCancer transpired at Everywhere headquarters in Atlanta.
Instead of trying to harness social media for marketing or business gain, the team set forth to prove that social media could indeed be used for social good and to deliver powerful messages.
#Beatcancer went on to spawn the most widespread social network message in a 24-hour period on October 17, 2009, becoming the number one trending topic on Twitter and setting a Guinness World Record.
The campaign was implemented entirely through new media and word of mouth communication. It was conceived and executed in less than one week, taking place in one day where people tweeted, updated Facebook statuses and blogged using the #BeatCancer hashtag in their posts in hopes of raising enough money to support finding a cure to cancer.Continued on the next page