The Quiet Unsung Opportunities of Building Your Social Media Platforms

photo of President Obama's security team receiving updates on the death of Osama Bin Laden.In case your business is suffering from Missouri (“Show Me”) syndrome, here’s yet another example of why you build your social networks online when times are easy, when times are good. There is no price that can be put on being ready with a track record, the experience on how to implement, and an established fan base for when “something big” happens.

Toyota learned this the hard way when the (turned out to be mistaken) case of the stuck accelerator pedal hit the internet. The story went wild not only with little official response from Toyota, but with no established fan sites or fan bases to help defend the company against its detractors.

Contrast this to the White House, where they have been steadily posting photos about the happenings of our government on a regular basis, on Flickr, the most popular social network for photos. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Over 70% of people are said to be visually dominant – they learn by seeing not so much by reading or listing.

I ask you to consider the following numbers (from this post on TechCrunch) when you are weighing the pros and cons of getting started sooner than later on building your social platforms:

The photo was posted post-Bin Laden death announcement on May 2nd at 10am PDT via the White House’s Flickr account. Flickr for some reason was tracking the pic, and graciously has given us the following viewer stats; 390,000 views at 3:30pm (5.5 hours later at 71,000 views per hour),
 600,000 at 5pm (7 hours later at 140,000 views/hour) and 
1,400,000 at 11am today (25 hours later at 44,000 views/hour). The White House Flickr account averages 100K views per day, and yesterday it received 2.5 million views, and as of 7pm today it already had 3.6 million views an order of magnitude greater than normal.

Do read the whole article at Tech Crunch as Alexia also discusses the power of this photo in explaining Obama’s “cool confident cat” style of leadership – a man so secure in his abilities and his team that he can cede the head of the table to the general who is working on his laptop.

How would this fly in your organization? Over and over again I say, if you are proud of what you do and you believe in your products and services, then the more you can share with us about you the stronger your position in the marketplace. Build your fan base during the good times so we can be there to support you when the times are better or worse than anyone can imagine.

Photo Credit: The White House, photo by Pete Souza