Thanks to Virality, Social Media Payback can be huge

Now this one is first hand. I left my camera in an intercity bus on 26th December and recovered it within hours, courtesy the good samaritan bus crew. Not satisfied with just having sent an email to the bus company acknowledging the good deed of their staff, I decided to leave a thank you note on the bus company’s Facebook page on 27th December 2012 morning. The bus company’s page had about 400 followers at that time.

Parveen Travels

This post went viral within days and had thousands of likes, comments and shares. Today, there are 73 thousand ‘Likes’, over 6400 comments and most importantly, the post has been shared over 7780 times as I write this. The snowballing was extremely intense in the first one week, to the extent that I had to disable Facebook comment notifications on my iPad, for it would keep popping up all the time. Just by the way, the notifications stopped after a while, though the comments did not, perhaps because Facebook as some in built threshold for such situations.  To view the actual action site, do check out the concerned FB post here.

Now here is some math for your consideration. Assuming every share was viewed by 100 individuals, this story got this much of exposure.

Shares (A) 7780
Per share unique views (B) 100
Exposure (C= A*B) 778000
Likes (D) 73000
Total exposure  ( = C+D) 8,51,000

Now assume that I am wrong by about half. That still means the good deed post was seen by over 4,25,500 individuals. That is a mind boggling number, achieved at no cost and completely unaided. It is a TV scale exposure. Imagine the goodwill added to the company that is in tourist business. If we agree that good deeds add to salience quotient of a brand, this should result in greater ticket sales.

PS: The bus company page is now followed by over 1200 individuals, which is 3 times the pre-incident number. That means 3 times more number of people have added its page to their reading list. That is still insignificant compared to the big bang viral exposure that one single post has received.

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