It was a Friday night in May and Amanda, as she professes often happens, was home alone and on her computer. More specifically, she was on Twitter.
And Amanda was about to leave a tweet that would set in motion a chain of events that would make her the most popular topic on Twitter, that would net her over $11,000.00 in two hours, and make her a case study for how quickly ideas spread via social media channels.
The infamous tweet that started it all was left at 9:15 pm. She stated simply: "i hereby call THE LOSERS OF FRIDAY NIGHT ON THEIR COMPUTERS to ORDER, motherf*cker."
What happened next was completely unexpected. But before I jump into the story, I should clarify that Amanda is Amanda Palmer, an indie musician that has leveraged Twitter as a platform to engage and delight her fans and followers, which now number over 45,000.
So it should come as no surprise that the above tweet became a rallying cry for her fans and followers on Twitter to join in the spontaneous festivities. Fans quickly chimed in that they TOO were losers AND at home alone on their computers on that Friday night (Amanda clarified that 'losers on their iPhones DON'T COUNT. you have to be at home, sitting on your ass, pref. in sweatpants').
Then they decided they needed a hashtag, so #LOFNOTC was quickly created. A list of demands for the government was quickly agreed upon, such as 'No taxes on coffee, or vodka'. And of course 'Everyone gets a pony' (Because everyone wants a pony).
Someone said that the #LOFNOTC needed a logo, so Amanda quickly scribbled down the logo below, and shared it with her Twitter followers. Someone tweeted that if that logo was on a t-shirt that they'd buy it. Immediately others agree, make that t-shirt, and they'd buy it.
Amanda, stunned that this is happening, puts in a hurried call to her webmaster. She informs him that her one silly tweet has now led to the #LOFNOTC hashtag being the most popular term on Twitter (in the course of an hour). She also tells him that she made a crack about making t-shirts, and now her fans were begged her to sell them to them. So her webmaster quickly threw up a site so her fans could buy the t-shirt with the logo for #LOFNOTC that Amanda had just created.
They sold over 200 in an hour at $25 a pop. Amanda recapped the night's events on her blog the next morning, and they sold another 200 t-shirts. All because of one silly tweet.
This did NOT happen because Amanda is a rockstar. This was not planned, it was spontaneous. It happened because Amanda created something and invited her fans to help her mold that creation and share in the ownership of the finished product.
To share in the ownership. To us this is 'Look what Amanda did', but to every one of the #LOFNOTC that answered Amanda's call, it was 'Look what WE did'.
'We' usually beats 'me' when it comes to social media. THAT is ultimately why this worked. How is your company moving from 'me' to 'we' with your social media efforts?
Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.
LinkedIn: Mack Collier