This past year I logged more hours than most people on Social Media Sites with Facebook being one of my favorites. Some may see this as a waste of time, but for anyone who knows Purple Diamond they understand that it is not only my job as a social media marketer, but my passion as someone who enjoys communicating with others. With Social Media you must take the good with the bad, but I want to say I see a lot more good happening and many happy endings because of stories posted to Facebook.
The biggest feel good story was Pete Frates “Ice Bucket Challenge”. The movement started from a simple video of people taking up the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, asking friends to also take up the challenge and using social media as a platform to spread the word. The biggest gain of the movement was that money was donated and awareness raised for ALS. Since I live in Beverly where Pete and his family are from, I saw the videos from the beginning on Facebook. I remember my husband asking if I would do the challenge and I said I would just send the $100, but I actually did both. Dressed in my PURPLE with my husband capturing it on my iPhone I dumped the bucket of ice and challenged a couple of my friends to do the same.
The power of social media continues to amaze me as for instance, my neighbor lost their dog in August and the first thing I did before going out to help search for their fur-baby was to post about it on Facebook. People I had never met came out to help search and within 2 hours we all had a happy ending. From lost dogs to lost children, the stories are endless of how social sites has helped us to connect and offer help to one another. A dear friend of mine told me before she passed from a brain tumor that she couldn’t thank Facebook enough for giving her a chance to connect with so many old friends and family. Like most of us, she was so busy building her business and helping her son go off to college that she lost touch with some friends and family. However, when she was sick, she spent the time she had searching on Facebook and reconnecting with the people she loved. I remember how happy she was to share with me that she connected with a childhood friend who she had not spoken with since she was a young girl. Recently, I had posted on Facebook about a single mother who had lost her job right before Christmas and was instantly contacted by some wonderful people who did not want any recognition, but thanks to them Santa filled the child’s wish list.
The personal happy ending stories go on and on, but businesses are also getting their own help from sites like Facebook. Small businesses are able to get their name out in front of more customers and our chamber’s “Wednesday is Keep It Local Day” campaign was launched in October to help remind the community why doing business locally will help the local economy. A company for whom I manage their social sites saw the website traffic grow by over 400% within a few months which resulted in more business. In another business that I help, I saw an increase in their sales and they were featured in a trade magazine. The list of happy endings because of time spent on Facebook goes on and on for businesses, but it does require time and knowledge of what can help or hurt your brand. Consider training and setting up Company Social Media Policies as part of your Marketing Plan for 2015.
I will end with this, for years I have tried to get my 84 year old mother to use a computer and go on Facebook where she can see many photos of her family and friends. Last weekend I gave her my iPad with a profile set-up for her on Facebook. I had already created connections to the entire family and this week she has posted birthday greetings to two family members all on her own. If you need help, no matter what level of expertise you have, please give Purple Diamond a call!