Thursday, August 18, 2011

Is Social Media Truly Social?

That's the question I kept asking myself a few weeks back when I participated in the Capture the Catalog social media scavenger hunt at Ikea Sunrise. Co-produced by Ikea and Exposed P.R., it was a first of its kind event and the goal was to generate buzz about the 2012 catalog.

The goal was met, and in 4 hours our unique Twitter hashtags combined reached 700,432 people with over 8 1/2 million impressions. The fun we had spread like virtual wildfire as we begged our Twitter followers to RT. The classic Faberge shampoo commercial philosophy -- "...and they told two friends, and so on, and so on..." -- really does work!

But this social media event wasn't very social in the traditional sense. Save for the always warm and welcoming Ikea staff, I had very little authentic human connection outside of my team. I took a stroll around the room seeking some eye contact, but got very little as team members stared down focused on their phones, tablets, and laptops.

I am not an extrovert nor am I shy. I like knowing people and craved human engagement beyond my own team. I had a brief interlude with a member of The Pancake Movement team who basically rebuilt our wonkily constructed FILLSTA lamp. I also had brief dialogue with a woman on either The Vixen or SuperMom team. "What color is your lucky underwear?" I asked. Yeah, maybe that sounds weird, but just hours ago she had tweeted that she was wearing her lucky undies. So she put it out there, and I, being a curious gal with an interest in lingerie, simply followed it up. If I remember correctly, she smiled and answered, "Pink!"

Just because it wasn't a highly social affair, doesn't mean it wasn't fun to run around Ikea after hours making beds, building lamps, and stuffing down meatballs. My fabulous team (cheerleaders included), assembled last-minute by a combination of begging, bribing, and default, included an interior designer, a media marketing coordinator, and four kids. Though we may be a well-rounded bunch who use social media regularly, we are not super-tweeters, and we had no formal strategy save for "it doesn't matter if you win or lose".

(fast forward 2 weeks)

I was invited to participate in a flash mob at Ikea. I declined but the video makes me smile a lot!. Check it out.

1 comment:

aregli said...

Love it Jane! Great post.