We talk about what happens when social media “goes wrong” so often that a lot of times we forget about how social media can facilitate doing good. While we constantly hear that blogs are dead and engagement is down, out of the mouths of babes comes a miniature case of civil disobedience that resulted in a change for one student’s entire community.
Do you remember your school lunches? We remember dreading them, as they weren’t what we’d call the most appetizing meals in the world. Nine-year old, Martha Payne, from Argyll, Scotland decided that she would showcase school lunches in her blog, Never Seconds, which included a rating of different aspects of the meal such as health, price, taste and unfortunately pieces of hair –YUGH. The young woman’s gumption was rewarded and after one week, her blog had been visited by over 105,000 people. With all of the press that she was receiving about her abysmally planned and portioned school lunches, the school system took immediate action and began offering an all you can eat fruit and salad bar at the school. While this may seem like a miniscule change amongst a much larger issue, the speed at which this change took place is a testament to the fact that in social media, word spreads quickly.
Additionally, as Martha’s blog went viral, she began a charity campaign for Mary’s Meals, “a global movement that sets up school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from getting an education.” She was able to raise 2,000 British Pounds in less than two weeks.
The support for this child, her charity, and her school community is astounding, but it can also teach us a lesson about user content. Never Seconds was an ordinary blog, created on an ordinary WordPress account. What was the magic formula that enabled her to reach such a wide audience? The answer is in the content: Martha wrote about an issue that people cared about.
Whenever you decide to utilize a social media channel, be it Facebook, Twitter or even a blog, the key is to make the information that you share unique. Publish content that people can only find on your site, enabling you to be the sole voice and expert communicating your message. If you can find an internet angle that no one else has tapped into, your message or passion could be viral within weeks too!