The secret to social media? Monopoly, not monopolise.

 
social media engagement
 

 

In 1903 a woman frustrated by her landlord took it upon herself to develop a game she thought would help others learn how not to be taken advantage of when it came to property. Called The Landlord Game, she took it to Parker Brothers only to have them turn it down citing it as too educational. They were right - local universities became interested in it as a tool for their economics students, and began using it in classes.

However, these students found the game entertaining and made their own versions to play at home; variants of the game spread like a virus across the country, evolving from person to person until 25 years later, Parker Brothers again became aware of the game and began selling it under the name we know today - Monopoly.

 

Social media is word of mouth on speed.

 

The impact of social media is not new - the same interaction between networks which allowed Depression-era families to share a homemade game still exists, just in a more powerful and global sense.

  • It's faster - the famous 2014 Oscar selfie which managed to "break Twitter" was retweeted nearly 3 million times in less than 24 hours.
  • More measurable - there are a range of tools which provide analytics about a range of metrics including shares and retweets, engagement, awareness + ROI which can all be tracked back to the original post - try doing that with a billboard or a print ad.
  • Easer to identify and access influencers - There's a reason Ellen was tapped by Samsung to take the selfie picture, and it's not just because they love her show. Combine a large number of followers with a degree of brand advocacy and you end up with someone who can not only create awareness but drive activity.
  • Simple to stuff up - for every great case study like the Oscar selfie, there is another example of a campaign that got out of hand - here are some of the best/worse fails for 2013.
  • Hard to let go of - we've said it before, but social media is a 2 way dialogue, and at a certain point it can only really work if you stop and listen to the other person speak for a while.
  • It may make you feel uncomfortable - but it's all for a good cause:
The beauty of social media is that it will point out your company’s flaws; the key question is how quickly you will address those flaws.
— Erik Qualmann

Image via Flickr