How to Break Through the Noise by Promoting Social Good
By: Chris Field, CEO/Founder, Mercy Project, Inc.
July 1, 2019
Don’t look now, but it’s almost time for another big election cycle. That means social media is about to get—hmmmm—how shall I put it? Okay, fine, I’ll just say it: Many corners of the social media space are about to (once again) become toxic and terrible and will have us questioning whether logging on is even worth it. Which presents the perfect opportunity for your brand to stand out among the noise. I call this strategy “social media that disrupts for good.”
Last year I wrote a book called Disrupting For Good. While it wasn’t specific to social media, it is certainly applicable. In that book I share that one of Webster’s definitions for “disrupt” is to “interrupt the normal course of something.” I think we all know what the “normal course” of much of the conversation on social media seems to be these days. (It’s not great.)
So at a time when social media can be downright brutal, brands that go out of their way to find and create positive and smile-inducing content immediately rise to the top. In other words, people are hungry for good news—and your brand has the chance to feed them. So, feed them!
On my personal Facebook page, with just a few thousand friends, I’ve seen three posts receive more than 25,000 shares in the last 18 months. The most successful of those was a post about Tiger Woods winning The Masters that received 100,000 shares.
What did all three of these posts have in common? They were hopeful. They were fun. They elicited positive emotional responses in people. At a time when people are more connected than ever to technology, studies are showing that we are less connected than ever to one another in real life. So, any successful social media strategy should be asking the question: Are we making people feel something? If the answer to that question is “yes,” then you’re going to see people respond positively.
So what does it practically mean for your brand or company to interrupt the normal course of online conversation for good?
Three tips for finding, creating, and sharing content that disrupts for good:
- Ask your followers to share their favorite stories and internet videos with you via private message. Offer a small prize for anyone whose content you choose to share. A single request of this nature could give you months of good content.
- Start looking for uplifting stories in your personal feed. Pro tip: They are out there already, waiting to be re-shared. I find multiple positive posts every day just because I’ve trained myself to look for them.
- Find opportunities in your own city and neighborhood to make the world a better place. Show that your business cares about its community by documenting your efforts. This shouldn’t be a “hey, look at us” kind of post. With a little intention, it can be a “hey, we love living here and empowering amazing people in our community.” Help a family affected by a fire. Pay off school lunch debt for a local school. Celebrate amazing teachers with ice cream after school. Bake some cookies for your local police department. Visit a children’s hospital dressed in ridiculous costumes. Have fun, be sincere in what you’re doing and invite the world to join you next time.
Our fans and followers want to be delighted and surprised by our content, stories and messaging. When it comes to disrupting for good on social media, the only question is how you’ll ever find enough time to do everything you want to do. (And that’s a good thing.)
After a while, clients and customers will gravitate your way because they know you as a brand or company that cares. When that happens, you’ll know you’re doing it right. When that happens, your content will consistently be rising above the noise. Sales matter, of course, but so do the people buying. Focus more on celebrating the latter and you might just find that the former takes care of itself.
Chris Field is an author, motivational speaker, nonprofit founder and Guinness World Record holder. Most of all, he’s a disruptor for good. His Texas-based marketing agency helps brands tell better stories.