Social media can sometimes appear to be a vast, unknown quantity but the potential it has to transform your business can be almost unbelievable! Meet Mr Splashy Pants, a humpback whale in the South Pacific Ocean. Why the hell am I telling you about some stray whale in the middle of the sea? There is a point here I promise, just wait!
Greenpeace commenced a campaign in 2007 to halt the Japanese Fisheries Agency’s plan to hunt and kill 50 Humpback whales. During this campaign they decided to place a tracker onto a whale in the ocean to see what happened to him, and hopefully keep him safe. To make the campaign a little more personal they decided to name him, and in a clever way to get their supporters involved in the campaign, they decided to name him and allow users of the site to vote for their favourite name (remember, calls to action like this really work well on social media! Recommended!)
Originally there were 30 names to vote from, of course there were some serious names such as Anahi (meaning immortal in Farsi) and Kaimana (meaning Devine Power of the Ocean in a Polynesian language)….and then there was Mr Splashy Pants. Of course, this name was given as a bit of light hearted relief to the cause to never really be taken seriously however… The social networking site Reddit got hold of the story and it gained popularity almost instantaneously, Reddit even changed its logo to a whale to support the cause and asked its users to boost the story and to vote for the name Mr Splashy Pants! Mr Splashy Pants was shared all over the internet and it soon became something of an internet meme and it didn’t take long for the story to appear on other sites such as b3ta.com, 4chan and BoingBoing.
Users flocked from all over the web and the percentage of votes for Mr Splashy Pants increased from 5% to 75% in less than a day! The votes were counted near the end of the campaign and Greenpeace saw the results and were unhappy, claiming they would keep the voting open for another week for a more “serious result”. The internet was not happy with this and so sharing hit an all-time high: posters of Mr Splashy Pants were being put up in real life offices and schools and Facebook applications were created with the tagline “vote your conscience, vote Splashy”. And so voting spiked yet again, in fact after the poll was closed over 150,000 people had voted!
After their initial reluctance Greenpeace embraced the result and the added publicity – at no extra cost to Greenpeace may I add (!) – created enough impact to convince the Japanese government and the hunt was abandoned! Greenpeace used this to their advantage and created more brand awareness by launching a merchandise range featuring Mr Splashy Pants items including t-shirts, mouse mats, coasters, mugs and badges with the slogan “You Named Him, Now Save Him!”
Now, I am by no means suggesting that the social media campaign for your business will be such an instantaneous, viral success as dear old Mr Splashy Pants, however when it comes to social media, your potential influence is limitless. Social media really can be the best tool in your arsenal to open your business up onto a global scale. But do not fear, we can help! If you need assistance with social media creation or utilising your presence to gain the best possible following, we can do it!