So neither of the next two examples are from the non-profit world. But they got me thinking about an important lesson, perhaps reminder, to all of us marketers: we must let go. This is not shocking new news in the consumer controlled media world. But there is definitely an art to it. Because while on the surface it sounds good, we all know the stories of how it can go dangerously awry.
The first thing that got me thinking about this is a video by director Max Joseph and Casey Neistat for Nike's Fuelband, the tagline for which is Make it Count. As the story goes, Joseph and Neistat and Nike had agreed to a concept. But before the shoot, the filmmakers thought, "‘If I could do anything in the world and make it count what would I do?" Neistat told CNN. They supposedly (I say supposedly because I have a hard time believing this, but for the sake of this post, let's believe it's true) jumped on a plane with Nike's money and proceeded to travel around the world, shooting film until their money ran out.
The film was viewed more than one and half million times on YouTube in less than three days, according to Mashable. And today the view count totals over 7 million.
The second example is an even riskier experiment in the art of letting go. VisitSweden has given a different Swedish citizen complete control of its twitter handle @Sweden for a week at a time. The goal was to showcase Sweden as a tourist destination and the noble ideas was who better to demonstrate Sweden's creativity, openness and progressivism than then the Swedish citizens themselves. The campaign truly gave the selected tweeters full reign and freedom to say what ever they liked. Ummm, so - as you can imagine, some of the spokespeople had some highly questionable tweets. I'm not going to repeat them, but if you're curious click on this link to this Mashable article, and here's the NYTimes article that describes the project in more detail. Despite the questionable tweets, VisitSweden has stuck with the campaign. @Sweden currently has over 62K followers. Just for reference Ford Motor Co. @Ford has over 152K followers. So I'd say pretty effective following for @sweden.
So we all may not be as brave as VisitSweden. But where are the places in your social media plan where you could give up a little more control? And just as importantly where inside your own organization could you loosen the reigns and let people run with their ideas?