Here It Is The ROI Of Social Media
June 26, 2012
If there is someone you know who only looks at social media as "what's in it for me?" or demanding some outlandish "ROI," then share this next story with them.
As you will see, it's actually about how these social platforms can elevate messages well beyond the traditional "stick" – but only when these tools are used as a way to serve our fans, our communities and even champion strangers.
Before the mainstream media caught on to the video of 68 year-old Karen Klein, a school bus monitor who was teased and taunted by teenage bullies, Max Sidorov, a nutritionist from Toronto saw this video getting passed around socially and wanted to take a stand on Klein's behalf.
Those teenage boys had no idea what was about to come of their mental deficits – not just in how they treat people, but in the true power of social media. Ironically, the boys were the ones who taped the harassment of Klein and posted it on YouTube and Facebook. They thought it was funny and called it "Making The Bus Monitor Cry."
Sidorov wanted Karen Klein to know that somebody cared. It was his hope that among his circle of friends (and anyone else who might use IndieGoGo.com) that if he created a campaign for Klein, maybe they could raise at least $5,000 dollars to give her a "nice summer vacation."
Little did Sidorov know what was about to happen next. As the message was getting shared all over Facebook and Twitter, traditional media outlets then jumped on the story and donations started coming in at light speed. (At the time of publication for this week's Merge, donations had already hit well over $655,000.)
What started out as a simple social campaign of compassion to send this embattled lady on a peaceful vacation turned out to be perhaps a retirement fund for Klein. And it has sent a message about the power of social media (as well as shined a light on the terrors of bullying.)
All it took was one person who looked at the social space differently. (And by the way, this one person had a "Facebook friend count" of about 160 when he created the campaign. Sidorov is also proof it is not about how many friends or followers you have – it's about how many of those connections are motivated relationships.)
While radio did become involved in this story with various shows talking to Klein on-air such as the Kimberly and Beck Show at WBZA(98.9 The Buzz) Rochester and other stations sharing the story with their social assets, what about the next time someone needs a champion like this, it's your radio station or show?
After all, isn't that one of radio's strengths – serving the community?
It's something radio has done well for decades. But it's different now. I'm not talking about the predictable "Pay Your Bills" type promotions where radio encourages contest players to call in and win financial rescue.
I'm talking about looking at serving the way Max Sidorov did. He simply saw that someone needed a champion, and went social to make it happen.
With radio's built in cume and reach, imagine what could happen if radio merged its traditional strengths with the social outlets at our disposal (like IndieGoGo.com or Change.org) to make a difference in other people's lives? It's not so much about depending on the airwaves to do this because Max didn't have a transmitter and tower at his disposal.
It's about merging all of the tools we have available to us, and using them to serve.
Everyone wants to make money off social media but how many are spending the time it takes to harness its true essence - building on your brand's trust, authority and goodwill?
When we think "What can social do for me?" we contradict the engaging nature of the social sphere and how it's here to assist in creating moments (and even movements) with your fans.
So, how about it? Could social media be used for a greater cause than giving away Katy Perry tickets at 2:15?
I think the Klein family believes so.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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