Monthly Archives: January 2014

#SOInspired: Sometimes, You’ve Got To Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts

Here at Inspired Social we’re all about marketing that uplifts and inspires the audience, leaving them feeling better after the interaction.

Sometimes, though, you’ve got to share a bit of pain in marketing to truly get the point or essence of a message across.

Mashable recently profiled a brilliant social media campaign by Alzheimer Nederland (AN), called The Alzheimer’s Event, which is a beautiful illustration of that idea.


Utilizing Facebook’s photo platform and tagging feature, the campaign allowed Facebook users to upload a photo of a friend with whom they wanted to share the experience.  The friend’s likeness was then digitally added to one of several photos from fake events (facilitated by several local organizations lending a hand with this effort) – events that they obviously not attended.  They were then tagged in the photo, which resulted it in being posted to their timeline.  Upon seeing the post and landing on the photo of themselves at an event they did not attend, they were greeted with the message, “Confusing, right? You’re now experiencing what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s disease.”

Unsettling, to say the least – and that’s exactly the point.  It’s not very likely those who were tagged and experienced the campaign will soon forget how it made them feel  – and although no figures have yet been published, we’ll bet there was a significant amount of sharing around this campaign even though by its very nature, sharing it would inflict a bit of pain upon the recipient.

As enamored as we are with this campaign, one unanswered question remains in our minds – what sort of hard results did this campaign actually drive for the organization?   In order to promote virality and mass appeal, AN did not require a “Like” to their page for users to partake in the experience.  Despite that, were they able to grow their Community as a result of this campaign?  Did anyone make donations to this non-profit?

It’s one thing to make an impact upon someone and quite another to accomplish the end goal of bringing people into the fold with longer-term engagement within an organization’s Community, and to successfully solicit donations to further the organization’s work.  AN’s challenge moving forward will be to continue to innovate with their messaging to activate newer Community members and to inspire the entire base to action.  Given this strong first step, we think they’re equal to the task and are excited to see what they come up with in the future.


What do you think – would you resort to a campaign that might inflict a bit of pain to make the needed impression?   

How do you think you would respond to this sort of an experience online? 

#SoInspired: Let’s celebrate supportive marketing

We’re all about marketing which does more than just make a sale. Particularly when social media enters the mix, marketers are empowered with unparalleled access to audiences more vast and varied than ever. We believe that comes with an incredible opportunity to spread a positive message that uplifts and adds value to the lives of consumers.

It may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s highly doable – and very beneficial to a business.  In this article from Social Media Today author Martin Jones cites a 2010 study from the Wharton School of Business which confirms something we at Inspired Social have always known, despite the objections of the previous fear/greed/vanity driven marketing status quo:

“The study presented a number of key takeaways including the following:

  • Negative content tends to be less viral than positive content
  • Awe-inspiring content and content that surprises or is humorous is more likely to be shared
  • Content that causes sadness can become viral but is generally less likely to
  • Content that evokes anger is likely to be shared more. In fact, the study demonstrated that the strongest forecaster of virality is how much anger does the message evoke.

Interestingly, while conventional wisdom is that people will share negative news more than positive, the results of the study indicated that overall, positive news is actually more viral.”

Toward our goal to encourage and celebrate this type of marketing we’re launching the #SoInspired hashtag and blog series.


Tweet about your favorite example(s) of positive, supportive marketing. We’ll be watching, and we’ll provide regular round-ups of inspired marketing rockstars.

Meanwhile – tell us – is there any marketing you’re developing which can be injected with some positive inspiration?  Need ideas?  Comment below and let us know.  Let’s light a spark!


P.S.  The note from the article quote above about from anger-evoking content being the strongest indicator of virality is interesting.   The study did cite two specific examples of content (both articles about fraud/injustice in American economics) which suggests to us that anger-inducing content such as “What Red Ink? Wall Street Paid Hefty Bonuses” is shared as much out of a feeling of empowerment about spreading the word of those injustices as it is pure anger.  That is to say – we believe people share anger-inducing content in an attempt to bring about resolution of the injustice through public awareness which they themselves are facilitating.  Therefore, there is still a positive intention and end to sharing even the most anger-inducing content.  What do you think? 

From the Ground Up: Brushing Up on Blogging

The first in a series of posts chronicling the birth of my own business, in the hopes of inspiring yours.

As I start my own new business and eagerly look forward to working with you on yours, I’ve got to do all of the things for myself that I would ultimately like to do for you: create or implement a strongly branded design in setting up my site, blog and social profiles; create an SEO and content strategy and content calendar; curate and create content; set up automation where appropriate; build a paid marketing strategy, implement the ad creatives, run, analyze and optimize.

All of this of course has me feeling kind of….giddy.  This is SO much fun to me.  I live to create and grow business, to help drive the success of someone’s dream (in this case, my own).

As I’ve been diving into this work in the past week or so, it occurred to me that I should document this process in a series of blog posts.   The first of which you’re reading right now.  Welcome to the “From the Ground Up” series.

Step 1:  The blog


“Blogging 101:PodCamp Pittsburgh 6” by Jonny Goldstein is licensed under CC by 2.0

Once I had a sense of who I wanted to be as a business, what my editorial voice would be and how my visual brand would be represented (stay tuned for posts on those exercises, later) it was time to start a blog.

While I’m a voracious reader of blogs, my own blogging history has been a bit irregular, and mostly private – something I’ll be turning around through regular blogging right here.  In blogging, as in most things in business, step one is to define your goals.   My primary goal for my blog is to create a resource for anyone who needs to do great social for their business – offering tips, tools, ideas and inspiration – to help them market in a meaningful way, a way that will deeply resonate with their Customers and add true value to their lives.

To make it as great as I want it to be, I’ve acknowledged that, hey –  I can use a little brushing up on blogging, myself.  As luck would have it, WordPress just kicked off their Zero To Hero: 30 Days To a Better Blog program  yesterday.  While I’m not quite a zero, thankyouverymuch  😉  I definitely want to be a hero – both my own as well as yours – so I’ll be working the program for the next month.  After a successful run at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this past November where I made amazing progress on my novel (coming in 2015!) I believe wholeheartedly in the value of these types of guided activities online, so I’m very excited to participate.  There’s always something new to learn!


If you’d like to breathe a bit of new life into your blog, I hope you’ll join me and the rest of the WordPress Community in the sure to be rewarding exercise.  No time?  No worries –  in addition to sharing the posts which will be the fruits of this labor, I’ll also be blogging about the process, sharing key takeaways – so you don’t have to miss out.

If you are participating in Zero to Hero, please comment and let me know how it’s going for you – and tell me:  what’s your top goal for your blog in the new year? 

All the best,


Lori Lewis