The Influence of Social Media

How influential can Social Media really be?  Is Social Media just a fad, or can Social Media networks reach beyond their online communities to influence the real world?  The answer is a resounding yes.

Recently in the UK a husband and wife team started a grassroots campaign for fun, utilizing a Facebook Group and Twitter to influence the UK Music Charts.  The campaign had a very basic call to action, asking people to purchase Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine in the hopes that it would top the charts the week of Christmas 2009.  Their reason for this campaign was to stop the number one spot being claimed by the winner of X-Factor, Simon Cowell’s British version of American Idol, which had been the case for the past 4 years.  Surprisingly enough it worked.  The Facebook Group grew to over a million members and also raised money for the UK charity Shelter.

The sheer nature of the beast known as Social Media means that a great deal of the work is done for you through newsfeeds in Facebook and re-tweets on Twitter.  In theory, once you decide on your message and get it out there, you can sit back and let your fans and followers spread the word for you.  The absolute reach and viral effect that Facebook and Twitter can have is phenomenal.

If a husband and wife team can influence so many just for fun, then imagine the effects and benefits that could be gleamed when this tactic is used by a professional marketing firm – the possibilities are endless.   So the next time you are reviewing your online marketing strategies, take time to consider how many prospective clients or consumers you could potentially reach by implementing a simple Social Media plan.