“There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.”
Howard Thurman

Social Media Week in Review – Think outside the box

Social Media Week in Review – Think outside the box


April 28 – May 3, 2013 Social Media Week in Review is an update of the latest social media headlines and an exploration of ever-changing social media usage.  Social media is constantly in news ranging from sports, business, weather, and pop culture. The news allows us to get a glimpse of how different industries are using social media in everyday circumstances and gives us an opportunity as social media professionals to think of how we can use social media in ways outside the box in response to our continually evolving industry.   

This week the social media world was abuzz in response to professional basketball player Jason Collins publicly coming out as being gay. According to news reports, he is the first active male athlete in a top-four American sport to publicly say he is gay. The twitter world came in strong support of Collins. Collin’s announcement garnered much criticism on social media as well, but the criticism was largely outweighed by positive feedback. Figures like Bill Clinton, Spike Lee, and Kobe Bryant turned to Twitter to express their support.  Bryant's tweet in support of Collins was retweeted over 41,000 times.1

As a result, Collins saw his Twitter following grow from 4,000 to 76,000 by midnight, and as of Thursday, his Twitter following grew close to 100,000.2  The heightened social media traffic surrounding Collin's announcement demonstrates the power of social media in communicating a message - compelling content combined with support from key influencers creates a far-reaching message.

Social Media is making its mark in the financial industry as well.  Last month the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that companies are now allowed to make announcements on social media as long as they inform their investor of which social media platforms they will be using.3  This is especially significant for high-frequency trading systems which are “designed to make trades based on keywords within milliseconds.”4   However, companies have been hesitant to adopt the new social media standards as a result of the Associated Press' hacked Twitter account last week that sent the Dow Jones temporarily plummeting 150 points.

This signals that the SEC is recognizing the importance of adopting social media as a viable component for business, but it also demonstrates the need for social media sites like Twitter to integrate increased security measures in order to be a viable tool for the financial industry. These are important shifts in the world of social media. Typically seen as a way for connecting with friends and family, social media is beginning to seen as a valid platform to connect with our finances.

In pop culture, Korean popstar, Psy, famous for his hit single “Gangnam Style,” recently released his new music video “Gentleman.” The video broke the record for most Youtube views in 24 hours. “Gentleman” topped 38 million in one day easily surpassing the Kony 2012 video which formerly held the record with 30 million views.5

The Kony 2012 video was produced by Invisible Children as part of a controversial but powerful, social media campaign aimed towards doing international good. Kony 2012 garnered an enormous response as it called the international community to take action and arrest Joseph Kony, a war criminal responsible for forced recruitment of child soldiers in East and Central Africa.

Finally, the Weather Channel interns turned to social media to create a twitter-powered tornado in their office.  For every tweet or mention of the hashtag #TornadoWeek, the interns are turning up the windspeed in their office.  If they reach 1,000,000 mentions by the end of the week, their office will experience F5 tornado conditions. As of Friday, they had over 43,000 mentions giving way to an effective wind speed of 135 mph in their office. You can watch a Youtube livestream of their office being blown around by the wind.6

#TornadoWeek is a humorous and creative take on social media use. If you can create a twitter-powered tornado in an office, what else can social media help create?

How is social media affecting your life or your small business?  Take time to watch the news to see how social media is being used in every day circumstances and think of ways it can be used in creative ways for your brand. Share your thoughts about this week’s social media headlines, and let me know what ways you are using social media to think outside the box.


These stories were featured on my weekly webcast #SMLiveECI, a social media webcast aimed to explore social media applications for business.   Tune in every Thursday at 10am CST to learn about social media news, tools, best practices, and events happening in East Central Illinois.

--- Sources:

1. http://mashable.com/2013/04/29/kobe-bryant-bill-clinton-tweet-support-as-jason-collins-comes-out-as-gay/

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/sports/basketball/players-voice-support-of-jason-collins-on-twitter.html?ref=socialmedia

3. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/s-e-c-clears-social-media-for-corporate-announcements/

4. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/business/media/social-medias-effects-on-markets-concern-regulators.html?ref=socialmedia

5. http://mashable.com/2013/04/22/psy-gentleman-youtube/

6. http://www.weather.com/tv/tvshows/tornado-week/TWCintern


 Photo: "In the box, outside the box..." © 2012 by riabeck, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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