As a digital marketer, I love to share the success stories that this medium creates, especially when it deals specifically with social media. Very recently I had the pleasure of helping out with something pretty cool.
Yesterday at Coastal Carolina University we discovered that a welcome sign next to one of our entrances had turned up missing. This wasn’t just any sign though. It was a newly installed board that had one of our key marketing brands on it. The “Welcome to #TEALnation” sign added personality and flavor to one of our most heavily trafficked entrances. Our campus community identifies with #TEALnation and to have the new sign removed in such a savage nature was unsettling. We knew we had to get it back.
During the morning on Wednesday a brief meeting was held between our Vice President Bill Plate, Director of News and Public Affiars Martha Hunn, our Chief of Police David Roper, and myself. We wanted to decide how we would get word out about the jacking of the sign while asking for its return. After mulling over ideas such as a campus wide e-mail or an actual video we decided to go with a different approach: Social Media. The decision was made to do this outreach solely on a social level. All the other traditional avenues be damned, we were going to rely completely on social media to bring our sign home.
Chief Roper gave me some key words he wanted included in what we sent out but then I was free to compose the social media posts myself. After getting the “okay” from Bill I posted variations of the sign theft news on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I then watched the Coastal Community go to work.
The tweet was retweeted like wild fire. The Facebook post was shared like crazy. The Instagram image was commented on and reposted. A local news station even picked up on the story. People were outraged by the theft and wanted to make sure that the sign was recovered. A distinguishing and prideful piece of University property was not going to be missing for long!
And it wasn’t. By 3:30 p.m. yesterday, Chief Roper notified Martha and told her the sign had been recovered. An individual had called in and given the location of our stolen property. When she told me the great news my face lit up. We had rallied our community via social media and we had received the best result we could have possibly hoped for in a matter of hours. Because of the investigation and recovery effort we had to sit on the good news for the night. However, this afternoon we were able to inform Teal Nation that the sign was back in good hands. A heartfelt thank you was given to our social media audience for coming to the rescue. Our announcement was met with enthusiasm and joy.
File this one under “Social Media Success Stories.” We knew that this conundrum would touch a nerve with our community. When people are urked by something, it goes viral. This was exactly the case with our #TEALnation sign disappearance. Instead of concentrating on methods that would require lots of resources and time, we utilized the absolute best weapon we could call on in the given situation. Social media and Teal Nation to the rescue again! Don’t Blink.