Great Social Media Idea: Winter is Coming

Apologies for slacking on posting something Friday... we had a veritable blizzard here in Portland (and by blizzard, I mean a few inches of snow and some freezing rain) and since I was house-sitting for my sister who lives just a few blocks away from campus, I was pressed into photographer duties on Thursday night (it snows so rarely here that we need to get lots of photos when it does) and for much of the day Friday. Mind you, I'm no great shakes as a photographer, but beggars can't be choosers.

Then this weekend I dealt with everything from my sister's pipes bursting to having to walk two miles through the snow and ice to my parents house where there was running water, so I haven't spent even one minute scouting for new ideas to feature or going through my suggestion box. Sorry!

Instead, I'm going to share something I posted on Thursday, right when the snow was starting to fall around noon. It's silly, it's stupid, it's nerdy, it's cliche... and it was one of the most popular things I've posted for a while:

(Here's the original, for those who neither watch Game of Thrones nor know your way around internet memes.)

Snow in Portland is a big deal, and I wanted to do something "special" to announce that it was coming. I share an office with two people, and after a quick brainstorming session we came up with a plan of attack. I posted it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all within a few seconds of eachother, and the likes, shares, RTs, favorites, and hearts came rolling in fast and furious.

From concept to posting, it took about 20 minutes. That is the president of the University, by the way... being very much a good sport when the two yahoos from the marketing office accosted him with this idea. My co-worker Jeff was going to be the "model" for this, and Fr. Bill just so happened to pull up in his car right when we were about to take the photo. Serendipity!

In general, I'm pretty lukewarm on the use of memes. They often come across as stale, particularly "off the shelf" ones that are so horribly over-done.

But I recently highlighted some great meme use by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and I was inspired to be more open-minded about using a meme that is unique and specific to my audience. While the "Winter is Coming" meme is far from original, using the school president and a recognizable campus location helped make it feel fresh and personal. 

If nothing else, it was worth a good chuckle, and when a student told me later in the day that students had been talking about this post most of the day, I knew I had hit on something good.

Thanks for the inspiration, UWGB!

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