Great Social Media Idea: Act Fast and Make Fun of Yourself

A few things about today's post: 1) It's about me and 2) It may only be applicable to people who live in Portland or Seattle. That being said, hopefully there's something from it that can be incorporated into your social media. If not, well... it's a free blog and you get what you pay for.

In what may be a charming regional quirk, Portland news media basically goes into meltdown mode any time there is even the slightest possibility of snow. Hilarious as it may be to my cold-weather readers, we delicate and effete locally roasted coffee drinkers on the left coast don't really "do" snow. So when the National Weather Service predicted that 4-6 inches would fall on Wednesday morning, well... let's just say that the local news media made damn sure we knew about it and that any and all social media streams within spitting distance of the city turned into relentless firehouses of "Snowvember!!!!!!" posts.

And, as such things always seem to transpire, when it proved to be nothing more than a light dusting (that didn't stop local public schools from closing, natch... in fact, UP was one of the only institutions in the city that kept normal business hours), there was rife opportunity to poke fun at ourselves and our collective, and oh so typically predictable, over-hyping. Which I did like so:

(For the record, I had to get down on my belly on slightly above-freezing ground to take that picture... that's sacrifice right there!)

It's super silly and it's inspired by the "We Will Rebuild" meme - so it's not even particularly original - but it ended up being one of the more popular things I've posted recently and even made it onto a local TV station's roundup of "cheeky" internet reactions to the underwhelming snow non-event. (Yes, this is what counts as news these days. What a fascinating modern age we live in.)

One thing I want to point out - typically, I never bother to put UP's logo on the things I post... I think it's sort of tacky when brands put it on everything - especially when it's clearly not necessary - but I decided to this time because I had a hunch that this could end up going pretty viral and that a lot of non-UP people would see the picture and not recognize that it was taken on our campus (as all alums hopefully will... an iconic campus building is in the background). It didn't end up going supernova viral so it probably wasn't totally necessary, but on the off chance that it may have, I decided to put it in there.

Anyway, the takeaway for something like this, I suppose, is that there's always an opportunity to make fun of a silly local custom (in this case, Portland's hyperventilation about the possibility for snow), and that it's important to act quickly... one thing that I know contributed to the success of this post was that I took the pic right when I got in and posted it as soon as it became clear that the predicted snow was definitely not coming. I'm sure I wasn't the first person to make the joke, but I may have been among the first, which is always a good place to be when it comes to "real time" social media.

So there you go - act fast, make fun of yourself, and watch the engagement roll on in. Sigh...


Great Social Media Idea: Snow Pic Blog Post

Great Social Media Idea: Having Your Reach and Enhancing Your Brand Too