The Unifying Power of Social Media

Often times, individuals associate the word “noise” with social media. There are countless articles that can attest to this. Their titles read, “There are 2 ways to cut through the noise on Social Media. Only one works,” and “How to Filter Out the Noise as a Community Manager.”

As one who is on social media 24/7, I want to shift this conversation from focusing on the “noise” that social media may produce, and instead, focus on how it can bring people together.

Case Study: #ChipotleInProvo Facebook Event, June 21st, 2014

Andrew Lamprecht, Kyle Shanklin and a few others are on a mission, a mission to bring Chipotle to Provo, Utah. However, there is one small problem.  As of right now, the closest location is in Sandy, which happens to be a whole 30 minutes away. The Facebook event’s description describes the predicament best by saying,

[Chipotle] is far enough away that you that you can’t grab one on the way [home] from work, snag it between classes, or go there on a date.

— #ChipotleInProvo Facebook Event

Lamprecht and Shanklin decided that it was high time to take action. Knowing that @ChipotleTweets does an excellent job at responding back to its customers, they both agreed that they should express their concern on social media and encourage others to do the same.

Tweet at Chipotle using the hashtag #ChipotleInProvo. Post this hashtag to your facebook status. Join us on our Chipotle mecca trip to Sandy that day and Instagram it. Chipotle is very responsive and attentive to social media so there will be a response and hopefully we’ll have our own little slice of heaven here in town.

— #ChipotleInProvo Facebook Event

Here are a few of the tweets that have gone out thus far:

Social media can have the power to unify people. #ChipotleinProvo is just one example.  @AlanaGolob, talking about the power of social media, put it well when she said,

The strength of social media is that it gives everyone and anyone the platform to have a voice and make it heard. It’s scalable, it’s impressionable and it’s impactful. Social media doesn’t discriminate, you don’t have to be a celebrity or a congressman to be heard. We all have the ability to own our voice if we chose to do so.

— –@AlanaGolob, @DigitalRoyalty

Will Provo get a Chipotle? Will this social media effort pay off? It seems that only time will tell. As you go about your next week, I ask you to consider the following question, “How will you use social media to create lasting, personal connections with others?”

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Ethan Parry is 
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... a Service Designer + UX Researcher at Hanzo. Parry frequently leads workshops around the world on topics such as Google Design Sprints, UX research, and service design. Parry also teaches UX and service design in several universities and bootcamps in Barcelona.