Social Media: The New Grassroots Movement

protein world

The chances of a company, regardless of size or classification, not having some sort of social media presence in the modern age are very slim. Most start-ups build their social media presence from their inception. A strong social media presence from the beginning can help small companies get their name visible and begin to build a reputation.

In many regards, a small company has more to gain from a well-supported social media presence than a well-known national company. In the days of yore, start-ups would often employ a grassroots campaign to generate word-of-mouth and interest in their service, product, or their brand. Now, social media has become the new grassroots campaign of today’s business world.

Grassroots campaigns for the business world means generating buzz at a smaller level before expanding nationally and relying on word-of-mouth. Book clubs are good grassroots campaign starters for novels. Restaurants testing new products in certain locations is another example. But online forums and social media platforms have allowed even those businesses to move their grassroots campaigns online and reach more people.

For example, start-ups can create Twitter campaigns to create a trending movement for a product their selling. A YouTube video has the potential to go viral. Facebook can host a company page, filled with information and photos of their product, employees, and any aspect that adds to a company’s visibility and personality. All these sites can be used successfully to generate buzz around a company.

A recent example is Protein World (a UK based workout supplement company), who caught flack for a photo advertisement. Some Twitter users tweeted criticism, but many others gave the company support. Either way, the company started trending and Protein World capitalized on the newfound attention to promote their products. Other examples include Soundwave and OnePageCRM.

As stated, any company absolutely requires social media presence in the business world of 2016. However, in terms of gaining a larger presence and promotion, a smaller company has the potential for much larger gains than a large, well-established company.



3 Examples of what Social Media can do for Startups


#Scandal, or how to use social media to bolster a show’s ratings

I’m sure many people reading this blog have seen, heard, or even tweeted about Scandal. The soapy political drama is now in its fifth season and, just like Grey’s Anatomy, will probably be on air for years to come.

But Scandal did not begin life with the popularity the show currently enjoys. The show premiered with a very short, seven-episode first season in April of 2012. Given the pedigree of Shonda Rhimes, the show did not debut with stellar ratings. Certainly, the ratings were not awful, but Grey’s Anatomy, it was not. At least, not at the moment.

ABC employed an aggressive social media marketing campaign, centered around Twitter. The cast of the show would interact with fans directly on Twitter through the hashtag #AskScandal. Using the hashtag, fans could ask the cast questions about the show and the cast would respond accordingly. This was a great way to bolster interest in the show, given that celebrities are not so easily reachable, usually.

That was hardly the extent of Scandal’s social media impact. ABC would create hashtags based around current events in the show every week. For example, a presidential assassination attempt brought #whoshotfitz (a clever riff on “Who Shot J.R.” from the 70s show “Dallas”). Fans of the show were dubbed #Gladiators. Thursdays became #ScandalThursdays. In essence, every Thursday became host to a slew of Scandal related trending topics on Twitter, and the show became the most-talked-about show on Twitter.

And with the increase in social media popularity came actual ratings increases too. The show rose in ratings over the course of its short debut season. And once the show returned in the fall of 2012 with Season 2, it had already become a pop culture phenomenon.

I believe the Scandal campaign is the strongest example of social media boosting a TV show’s popularity in actual ratings. As stated, Scandal started off somewhat weak given the creator’s pedigree. However, through fan support on social media, the show grew to surpass Grey’s Anatomy in ratings. There are no changes that I could think to make, because the campaign was clearly a massive success that resonated with the target audience and brought on new fans.

That said, who’s ready for #ScandalThursdays2016?