Each year Mandela Day sees more people getting encouraged to be a bit more charitable, more people getting involved and trying to use Madiba’s goodness as an inspiration to give back on his birthday for 67 minutes. This year, the country was in a united and integrated uproar of a celebration across all major social networking platforms, to jointly commemorate this great day. People were posting photos of themselves doing charity on facebook, filtered Nelson Mandela images and quotes on Instagram, posting Mandela Day blog entries on their WordPress sites and essentially using social media to celebrate with others. Of course all of this was tied together with hashtags on all these social networks.
The Twitter hashtag was definitely the winner of the day as Mandela Day took over everybody’s timelines, and featured heavily in the South African Trendsmap with trending tags like #67minutes #happymandeladay #HappybirthdayMadiba and the most popular #HandsAcrossSA. This initiative, launched by 5fm’s Gareth Cliff called upon everybody in South Africa – wherever they were – to hold hands for 67 seconds as a gesture of unity and peace in honour of Nelson Mandela. Everybody who joined in this initiative had to use the hashtags #HandsAcrossSA and #Madiba5 with a twitpic of themselves holding hands, and it went viral! Hundreds of people participated. Needless to say, everyone was tuned into 5fm because of the hashtag and they got hundreds of Twitter mentions, retweets and essentially followers. Saying social media helped them achieve internet buzz and airwave boom would be an understatement.
Yesterday, the power of social media was utilised by individuals and businesses alike. Showing their following that they care about what people are engaging in and joining in on trending topics for a good. As far as giving one’s company a human face, this worked wonders. Social media marketing is quickly becoming one of the best ways to reach potential clients, in a personal and informal way and on a great scale.