Renee

The impressive power of Facebook events, cyber-bullying and purple lace

Last night, two of my friends arranged a Facebook reunion for people who had frequented a local pub called the Red House in the 80s.  They thought it would be fun to catch up with people they read about on-line, but whose lives have long since diverged.  Word spread faster than tropical wildfire and the evening was such a success that I suggested to the manager that he offer them a free meal, having brought in an influx of customers on an otherwise gloomy Sunday night.

The impressive turnout demonstrated the power of Facebook events.  Some of my own friends turned up based on having seen that I was ‘attending’ – and, likewise, probably 50% of the guests hadn’t been specifically invited but had seen their Facebook friends attending.  I drank pink wine, but naturally I managed to sneak in some networking – as I do at every opportunity! 🙂  Of course, this is also how teenage house parties whirl out of control, and this reinforces the need to maintain control over personal events; but for a public get together, it’s such a perfect marketing tool.

social media - facebook

Incidentally, I wore the purple lace dress that had ended up accidentally covered in beer at Zandra Rhodes’ and the photographers’ Christmas party – and guess what happened!! Yes, I smelled like a brewery again – and I don’t even like beer.  It seems to like me though!!

Translating this to business pages emphasises what a powerful platform Facebook is in increasing visibility.  Last week I mentioned running a snowman competition for one of my clients… the snowballing effect (haha – made myself laugh!) of likes and comments resulted in such a high percentage increase in ‘reach’ that Facebook awarded my client with some free advertising.

So Yaaay for Facebook this week!!  But boo: my first bad experience with Twitter…

A most insidious man caused a lot of problems for the therapy centre on Thursday by starting a bullying campaign on Twitter, resulting in us having to take down the account.  It was so sad.  A pipe-smoking professor who disagrees with alternative therapies took a dislike to our tweets and, rather than stating his point of view regarding the therapies, he started a series of extremely rude personal attacks on the centre’s members – all people with disabilities or illnesses, from which they find relief in treatments such as reflexology, aromatherapy, massage, yoga and oxygen.

massageThese forms of self-help may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but millions of people believe in them – and, aside from anything else, belief is a most powerful healer.  (Some of you no doubt disagree with that too, but you can’t please all the people…)  The pipe-smoking professor (and doesn’t that just say it all?!!) became nasty toward the centre’s volunteers – and no one has the time or energy to deal with that.

He sent disparaging tweets to his Twitter band of merry men – all seemingly disbelievers, and our little self-funded centre became the focus of a targeted smear campaign.  Of course a business would tackle this head-on, and we could have battled it out – but two of the volunteers that run the place are MS sufferers, and another is a lovely lady of 82.  No one needed the stress or hassle being thrown at them, so a decision was taken to simply stop tweeting, and shut down an account that has been lovingly built up in recent months.

Whilst we all know the potential of tweets going viral – and indeed, some of us revel in that – to pick on a small therapy centre is cruel and unnecessary.  Fortunately no harm has been done, although the charity has temporarily vanished from cyberspace. Ggrrrrrrrr!!

Anyway, this reminds me of our nights at The Red House… ‘Won’t you come see about me? I’ll be alone; dancing, you know it baby.  Tell me your troubles and doubts; giving me everything inside and out.’

Tell me your troubles and I’ll show you how to overcome them using social media.  Here I am… (although not normally dancing alone): @WeekendWitch.

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