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When Virtual Becomes Reality
FlashMobs were once the buzz of those in the know. Mobile and online communities creating a mass gathering, normally just for the sake of it. This has now been given mainstream status by the recent T-Mobile ads.
Nowadays with the rise of social media the distance between virtual and reality are becoming ever more blurred. People have for years used social media (chats, blogs and forums) to arrange meetings with others with similar interests.
At present social networking is used to generate mass awareness, awareness within niche areas or to generate attendance at events.
But the world of virtual and reality are colliding and the masses are joining forces to meet with fellow followers, whilst at the same time raising money for charities. What am I talking about? Twestival is a perfect example of this.
Twestival saw Twitter users, followers, Tweeters create events all over the world in over 200 towns and cities, raising over $250,000 for water projects in Ethopia. This isn’t isolated, who can forget the infamous Facebook waterfight. Two things make Twestival stand out from my point of view, the fact that Twitter has only recently hit the mainstream and that given the current economic climate it was all done for charity.
Examples of brands identifying this phenomena early and making it work to their advantage are Innocent (and the innocent village fete which uses Flickr and Blogs) and Nike utilising actual products (Nike+) and creating a massive buzz around a sports event. Not only did Nike create a one of buzz, it has successfully maintained a passionate and engaged community. There is a real connection between the concept, the events, exercise and the Nike brand. Members of that community are very likely to be strong advocates of the Nike+ product.
To my mind, very few organisations have really struck a chord with their target audience in social media. However those that find a winning concept will not only create immense brand awareness. Their strategies should also engender loyalty and in turn sales.
Maybe its an old fashioned marketing theory. But if you give people something that they want or need and create a buzz from more than just one medium – you should just get a winning formula.
You can keep up to date with Twestival updates by following on Twitter