Great Social Media Idea: SASS - Share A Story, Stupid (Also: I'm Still Alive!)

Greetings, dear readers!

You may have noticed I haven't posted anything this week, for which I sincerely apologize and am here to reassure you that I am, indeed, still alive. Without getting too much into it, my past five days has involved both commencement (Sunday) and a visit by the Dalai Lama (Thursday). In short, I have been BUSY. And since this blog largely here for the purpose of my vanity, I'm going to share some of the stuff I've been busy with these past few days, since I've had more social media success than just about at any point ever. Through no special effort on my part, believe me. It's amazing how easy social media can be when you've got incredible stories to share. My only role in all this was to get the stories out.

Which, when you stop to think about it, is such an important point to always keep in mind. As social media managers we can do all the fill-in-the-blanks and caption contests and "calls to action" as we like, but really... what resonates with people, what makes social media so powerful, are stories. Stories that people connect with on an emotional level.

Casey Parks, who is a terrific reporter (and I really do mean terrific - she's amazing and always makes me feel somewhat bad about myself because she's so good at doing what I think, deep down, I always wanted to do, which is make a living by telling stories), wrote this the other day, after I lamented doing a poor job editing-wise on a video I posted recently on the UP Facebook page: "Technical skills don't matter as much as content. I started crying in my office. Proof is in the tears, buddy."

So simple, and so true. Proof is in the tears. So let that be a lesson to all of us... always, ALWAYS, reach for that emotional level. Yes, asking people to "Click like if you agree!!!" gets "engagement," but what does that really mean, anyway? I'd so much rather reach someone's heart and build a real, lasting relationship that way rather than simply troll for likes/comments/shares. It's the difference between simply having followers and having a real social media community.

Which brings me to this week. I was truly blessed with an abundance of tremendous stories to tell, and I did my best to "stay out of the way" of them... no calls to action, no begging to share, none of that. If the content is good enough, people figure that stuff out on their own. And man oh man, did I have good enough content this week.

Like when the Dalai Lama wore a visor with our school logo and colors.

Direct Dalai Lama quote: "I love this school. And I love this color." AMAZING.

Direct Dalai Lama quote: "I love this school. And I love this color." AMAZING.

Not surprisingly, that blew up the UP Facebook page today. (On a personal note... being a few feet away from the Dalai Lama was REALLY cool. I didn't get to shake his hand, but he did wave at me while I was frantically taking pics with my phone, so that counts for something, right?)

But UP's Facebook page also blew up on Sunday, when I posted this video of a remarkable student (and my friend) Sam Bridgman, walking across the stage to receive his diploma. Careful... if you're a crier, you may need a kleenex handy.

The video, which I hastily edited together in about one hour, has since received nearly 40,000 views. Amazing. But again, unsurprising. This was an incredible moment.

The Facebook page blew up again on Monday, when I posted another video I hastily put together of Karen Gaffney, the first living person with Down syndrome to ever receive an honorary doctorate.

That one has more than 13,000 views, and resulted in some tremendous media coverage. Again, when you've got a great story to tell, social media success is shooting fish in a barrel as long as it's packaged correctly. And heck, even if it's not: I have literally ZERO skill with video editing.

But as Casey said... technical skills don't matter as much as the content. A powerful lesson that I learned well this week. As the title of this post says: Share a Story, Stupid!

Anyway, to top it off, the special graduation hashtage #UP13 I used (thanks for the idea, LMU) was trending on Twitter in Portland and resulted in more than 400 Instagram photos, plus I took a GigaPan of graduation that has received a ton of views.

So... yay! What a week! But as you can hopefully understand, I've been a bit swamped, especially since media relations is my primary role when newsworthy stuff happens on campus, and a student in a wheelchair walking across the stage, the first person with Down syndrome to ever get an honorary doctorate, and the Dalai freakin' Lama all count as newsworthy.

I will get a good night's sleep tonight (nothing like being on hand to deal with TV stations setting up their live trucks at 4 in the morning before the police send in their bomb-sniffing dogs to bring on the Sandman), and then this blog will make its triumphant return! But until then... sleep.

Back from Europe, but off to Grand Canyon!

The Week in Links