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Social media, it’s everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr…take your pick. And it appears that no matter what industry you’re in, if you’re part of an operating business, you need to jump on the bandwagon or get left behind with those who thought colour television was but a passing fad.
Granted, social media has been a vehicle for spreading information that isn’t necessarily intelligent (see sensations like “Chk Chk Boom”, ‘planking’, ‘photo bombing’, “Bondi Hipsters”…). However it has also proven to be a powerful tool for increasing awareness – from raising the profile of talented musicians to warning communities of reported local crime.
In recent weeks we’ve seen the likes of Pinterest (a virtual pinboard for users to gather ideas and inspiration from people with similar interests), and Kony 2012 (an online doco about Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony), go viral on the social media stage, leaking out onto other media platforms like t.v news programs, radio and newspaper headlines world-wide.
Regardless of how high- or low-brow they may have been, these online trends demonstrate the power of social media, of networking and of the Internet, inspiring me to take on an experiment of my own in the name of Australian Traveller.
With updating our social media pages among my daily duties, I wondered just how much support we could muster online in a matter of hours with the help of a little campaign.
My mission? For the Australian Traveller Magazine Facebook page to reach 1000 ‘likes’ by the close of business that day (02/03/2011).
The incentive for followers was that if they “helped spread the AT love” and we reached our quota by 5.30pm, our managing director (Quentin Long) would take on one dare suggested by the public.
Between midday and 3.30pm we had gone from 970 to over 1000, thanks to you, our AT community. Not only did this reaffirm the power of social media, but it has got me thinking about bigger and better online projects for the future, and how they can be used to strengthen that bond between AT staff and AT readers.
It’s a fascinating concept when you think about it in depth, but you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out what we come up with next for our pages.
In terms of Quentin’s dare, we put it to you, our audience, who came up with possible dares and voted on a winner.
The result? Quentin will be diving with sharks at Oceanworld in Manly at some stage over the coming weeks. We’ll be posting photos of it on our social media pages, and he will also be writing about his experience for the next AT Wire – our free monthly eNewsletter. Anyone can sign up via our homepage.
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