Seven smart uses of social media

Companies, campaigners, the public and even the government doing interesting things with social.

1. #NotIslam

There are plenty of examples of people using social media to show solidarity around an issue, an event or a campaign. Here the Spectator’s Fraser Nelson pulled together outrage among Muslims in the wake of the Woolwich murder of Lee Rigby  in May.
‘Not in our name’ – British Muslims denounce the Woolwich attack on Twitter

2. o2

This is how to manage a PR crisis – with wit and humility. Mobile operator o2 was being verbally duffed up on Twitter when it suffered a major network outage last July. Whoever was manning the Twitter account at the time obviously didn’t get the corporate guidelines memo. Instead he/she waded in, responding to as many negative comments as possible, regardless how outrageously offensive they were.
When life gave O2 network failure, it made networkfailureade on Twitter
Calming a twitstorm: O2’s masterclass in dealing with ‘outage outrage’

3. Ronseal

Again this is a demonstration of how to run a corporate feed. When the Media Blog asked this, Ronseal responded with this. It didn’t need to as it wasn’t the most burning issue around. But it did anyway and it was funny, conversational and social. And it got people talking – and retweeting.

4. Greenpeace 

The first of two campaign organisations on the list,  Greenpeace invited activists and the public at large to remodel the BP logo given its definition of “Beyond Petroleum” was very different to BP’s. It was a strong call to action resulting in deep engagement and lots sharing (via Flickr and elsewhere).

Greenpeace UK hosts rebrand design competition

5. Amnesty

Amnesty International’s idea was even simpler: a call to action with a fixed deadline and a single request. Amnesty asked people to donate (£10 per square centimetre) towards a print advert they wanted to run to mark Shell’s forthcoming annual general meeting. In the end 2,104 people obliged and the ad ran in the Metro and the London Evening Standard. The FT refused to run it (on legal grounds) which in turn generated yet more coverage.

Amnesty launches online push to fund press ad
Amnesty International Uses Social Media to Attack Shell

6. Ecommerce Kuwait-style

This brilliant story comes courtesy of Quartz. Using Facebook’s photo sharing app Instagram, Kuwaiti traders are buying  and selling sheep among other things. Given their place in cultural life the sheep are much in demand. There is no ecommerce fulfillment on Instagram so email addresses / mobile numbers are etched on to photos and transactions take place in person. Comics and makeup also sold in this way.

A rising class of Instagram entrepreneurs in Kuwait is selling comics, makeup and sheep

7. Social media Beijing-style

If you thought QR (quick response) codes were dead, think again. In China nine million are scanned every month which helps explain why the UK embassy in Beijing has a giant QR code on its wall. Scan it and you get taken to the embassy’s Weibo page. Weibo is China’s Facebook-meets-Twitter microblogging site and the picture came courtesy of a presentation by Silicon Valley VC/analyst Mary Meeker (see slide 63 from the link below).

People Actually Use QR Codes (In China)
Slideshare: KPCB Internet Trends 2013

Further reading:

Mastering social media: a reader

Mastering social media: another reader

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