A little social media serendipity

@Kevin | Strategy

I suck as a friend. Over the summer my friend asked me to build him a small website for his sports bar and help him engage some of the college students in his area. His timing couldn’t have been worse; I was in the middle of a few large projects and just flat out didn’t have the time. Of course this wasn’t the first time he had asked me and I felt bad for continually pushing him off. So I slapped together a website that was pretty horrible looking (although they liked it), a Facebook fan page, and listed the new site in a few places. I freely admit it was a half assed job, which is something I never do and the guilt drove me nuts.

After the start of this year I ran into a week where I didn’t have any jobs going on and I had some free time. As soon as I knew this I called him up and told him I was overhauling his site. I started to poke around on the accounts I set up for him. His Facebook Fan Page had over 500 friends and a basic Facebook profile that we set up for their General Manager/Head Bartender had over 500 friends. I asked them if they had been promoting the page or adding friends they replied, “We forgot what our log in information was months ago, we haven’t done anything with it. When we got our password back we just logged in and approved friends.”

While 1,000 combined friends (with some of them overlapping) wasn’t gang buster numbers it was still impressive considering they couldn’t log into their account for pretty much the entire time after I set it up. The weren’t being proactive at all and they were not creating any content of their own. So of course my question was how did this happen? Was someone else pushing it? Were people finding the Facebook group from the link I put on their website? What caused that many people to follow them?

So how did their numbers grow? I narrowed it down to two main things.

Picture tagging/Picture uploading- There were close to 40 pictures from various people that tagged the Facebook profile. People would tag the owner, either of the two main bartenders, or random people in the background as being the bar profile. Additionally there were another dozen pictures uploaded to the fan page.

User generated content was happening around the bar without anybody prodding it.

Activity feed- With all the activity around the pictures this of course showed up in the activity feed of the users on Facebook which spurred the growth.
What lessons can we learn from this?

Do nothing and you stuff will grow! Wait that can’t be it… Actually the lesson learned for me at least is that sometime just staking your claim on an outpost can bring results if people care about your product, establishment, cause, or well… you.

Now let me see what happens when we put a little effort behind it. Next month I should have a complete case study on what happens when you deploy a strategic plan behind it.

Have you ever had some unintentional social media magic happen?