The Making of the Pure Michigan Snow Storm

Everyone is trying to find the ‘key’ to a successful social media effort.  Candidates include “Great Content”, “Being Human”, “Amazing Culture”, “Smart Measurement”, and more.  While all of these are critical, we recently discovered that there are several hidden factors that may be more important than most.

First, you need a bit of background information.

Earlier this week, the weather service predicted that the Storm of the Century, or something like it, would hit the Midwest.  Anywhere from 8 inches to a foot of snow was going be dumped on the state of Michigan.

While others were stocking up on groceries, toilet paper, Netflix, and making work from home requests, our team at Fluency was wondering how to turn this “Predictable” act of God into a fun social media event for Pure Michigan fans.  With over 188,000 Facebook fans and 10,000+ Twitter followers we knew we had the raw ingredients for a something special – but could we pull off our ideas fast enough?

Here’s what we did:

Start with a Shared Experience: Facebook and Twitter have been packed with weather related information.  We knew that the snowstorm was top-of-mind for just about everyone.  This shared experience gave everyone a common touch point for the conversation.

All we had to do now was harness it…

A Shared Joke – Everyone in the Midwest has experienced dozens of so-called “epic” storms.  We all chuckle as we watch each news station try to best each other with the most panic-soaked storm name.  So we decided to open up the “naming” ritual to the community.  We started innocently enough with a quick tweet:

Fan the Flames – The Pure Michigan community is unparalleled at fanning the flames of a good story.  Within a few hours, hundreds of storm labels filled Twitter.  Throughout the day, we poked and prodded the community to keep the “joke” fresh and timely.  Local media picked up the story and ran with it.  We posted the same question on Facebook the following morning, and the responses came rolling in.

Capitalize Fast – The Travel Michigan team moved quickly to broaden and deepen the engagement with the story.  Within 24 hours, the team worked with us to organize a Twitter contest to award followers who shared the best pictures of them enjoying the snowstorm.  The premise was simple – keep the momentum going all the way through “storm day”.


What You Need to Pull Off Your Own Perfect Storm

As an agency, we can’t stress enough how important a fast-moving and forward-looking client is to a successful social media event.  Travel Michigan understood the opportunity and trusted us and their community to pull it off.

Most importantly, engagement and trust isn’t built in a day.  Pure Michigan fans are used to consistent and meaningful interaction with the Pure Michigan team.  They were happy to join in when they were called upon to add a little fun to a potentially stressful situation.

Hopefully, you’re reading this somewhere warm and safe. By the way, go ahead and Like and Follow Pure Michigan to get in on the fun!