Posted on: 24.01.2020

The splendour of social media…

Here are 4 ways social has helped the world this year. 

It’s all doom and gloom at the moment on social media, isn’t it? 

Whether it’s concerns over the shady conglomerates pushing the buttons behind the scenes on Facebook, scathing arguments about political policies, challenging discussion on news stories, or people purchasing something that doesn’t quite meet their expectations through social marketplaces… 

But, what if it’s not all like that? Here’s our roundup of the biggest highlights on social media from the past few months. And a sprinkle of the positivity they produced.

A good samaritan, rewarded

In this world, it can sometimes feel as if doing a good deed goes unrecognised. That wasn’t the case this week, though, when Halfords spotted someone on Twitter trying to do a good deed.

When Ste Burke bought a bike for £80, he thought that something didn’t seem quite right. The bike was incredibly cheap for the make, model and condition – and came complete with a bike lock still on! He purchased the bike, and took to Twitter to ask whether anyone had recently had the pictured bike stolen, so that he could return it to its rightful owner.

Over 55 thousand people appreciated his good deed and engaged with his tweet, drawing the attention of the Halfords social media team. They responded to his tweet to let him know that they were going to reward his good nature by giving him a free bike of his very own.

Turns out a good deed does pay off.

Twitter as a hero to the local high street

When the Petersfield Bookshop in Hampshire had a dull and gloomy Tuesday, the owner tweeted to reveal that for the first time in it’s 100 year history, it hadn’t had a single paying customer.

“Tumbleweed,” the tweet read. “Not a single book sold today … £0.00”.

Little did they know that within a few hours, the Twitter community would rally to their aid – even gaining attention from authors like Neil Gaiman, who retweeted the post to his millions of followers. 

By Wednesday evening, the original post had been retweeted more than 6,000 times, and received more than 11,000 likes. 

But not only that. 

As if by the magic written on the pages in many of its specialist books, the shop was shocked to see over £1,000 of orders come in overnight, from all over the globe. It changed one of their worst days into one of their most exciting, all through the medium of 280 characters. 

They’ve since been honest on Twitter and admitted that, before this, they may have been close to closing their doors at the end of the month. But now they are full of hope for their future!

If it were fiction, it’d almost be unbelievable. What a story!

Football as a force for good

Italian club Roma are considered trailblazers when it comes to their social media campaigns. They’re extremely good at using high traffic times – such as the transfer window – to have a bit of fun with their followers. Once, they featured ‘the history of the earth’ alongside new player signings, and delivered their new signings as IKEA instructions. 

This summer, however, they went for a more poignant approach: featuring missing children videos alongside their transfer announcements. During the summer, they showcased over 100 cases, in 72 videos, across 12 different countries. 

Some fans initially questioned why the club would combine the joy of a new signing with the tragedy of a missing person. But the reaction from supporters and peers alike was overwhelmingly positive. 

Like the milk carton of the past, Roma created a movement which used the viral moments they create during new player signings to spread socially beneficial messages.

And now, according to news from late 2019, five children highlighted in their videos have been found and reunited with their families. All as a result of the campaign. The five children found included two from Kenya, two teenage girls from London, and a boy from Belgium.

This campaign has set an important precedent, and we’re hoping that we’ll see more examples in the future.

A global effort

When the bushfires started to ravage Australia, and the videos and images from those on the ground started to show the devastating effects of the fire, social media users sprung into action. 

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram mobilised to raise awareness, and push people towards donating to the charities and causes who were best placed to help. 

Celebrities got involved in the efforts organically, and encouraged people to do all that they could to help. Stranger Things star, Dacre Montgomery, has been one of the most vocal in the effort, with his personal Go Fund Me raising a huge $373,084. He’s been widely recognised for his efforts, becoming an ambassador for the Australian Red Cross. 

So there you have it. Gestures of goodwill that gained a reward, authors lending a helping hand, groundbreaking fundraising efforts and football clubs using their audiences for the better – it’s not all doom and gloom after all.

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