One of the many reasons to be passionate about the Internet, and to defend it from politicians who want to curtail it, is its capacity to be a great democratic leveler. Social media tools, with their potential reach limited only by language and access to an internet connection, provide a megaphone for the little guy to be heard as never before.
Dave Carroll’s video United Breaks Guitars on YouTube is the social media case study de rigueur, a not too subtle warning to companies that they ignore the power of bottom up communication at their own peril.
Carroll’s video, 11 million views to date, resonates in part due to its authenticity, its sincerity. Carroll demonstrates that effective communication on a shoestring budget is indeed possible using social media channels.
United breaks guitars
Naturally social network sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ have each done their part in spreading his message by virtual word of mouth.
Opportunities for any business or non-profit organization
The little guy need not be limited to a person. A dynamic business or organization can also reach an audience well beyond what their budget otherwise would normally permit. A YouTube video from GetUp, an Australian grassroots advocacy group, is current proof that Carroll’s social media success wasn’t just a one-off. It’s time garnered close to 3 million views in its first week. Media contact Paul Mackay says it was put together by “a small organization… run on the smell of an oily rag“.
The power of a positive message
It’s time has become a viral success as it presents a compelling story with authenticity and sincerity. There’s a pattern here, no? It’s time also demonstrates that a really positive message can be an extremely effective communications tool, a lesson politicians, accustom to using scare tactics to corral voters around politician’s personal cause, might learn from. In recent times it has been the right wing that has most successful used bogeymans to motivate voters, often by marginalizing the already marginalized, but it is useful to keep in mind that fear has been deployed for years by politicians of all stripes.
A Daisy from Lyndon Johnson
Kudos to the GetUp team for their positivity… and viva the Internet.
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