There have been a recent spate of social media inspired parties that have resulted in thousands of dollars in damages, shootings and rampant drug use. The only part of these stories that has changed from three decades ago is the social media part.
And frankly, that has a lot of people freaked out.
Social media is the world’s most powerful communication tool. With a few clicks it is now possible to reach more than a billion people. That means if you’re planning to throw a party you don’t need to post leaflets on telephone polls or even hand out flyers at school to attract a crowd. You can have a thousand people there in a matter of hours.
This is good from a marketing perspective. If you’re client is having a concert or show of any kind you can almost guarantee them a decent sized crowd. However, if your plans are less altruistic; if you’re planning an illegal party with underage drinking, social media is your new best friend.
However, once again we have an instance of the tool being blamed for its use, rather than putting the blame on the user where it belongs. I can use a hammer to drive a nail or to smash a window. One action is legal and the other is not, but the hammer itself is not to blame.
If you are using social media then you are familiar with its ability to mass communicate. You know what you can do, or what can be done with the right message, and you also know how easy it is to spread misinformation or use it the wrong way. But no matter how you have seen it used there is always a person, a human being, behind the messages you have seen. If their intentions are good, then the social media messages they spread are likely good as well.
If, however, the reverse is true, that’s when we have problems.
The buildup for the house party on Allison Road was brazen – spread rapidly and broadly through Twitter, Facebook and fliers for days in advance. Free liquor all night, bikinis, foam and disc jockeys were promised for an entry fee of at least $10. When the event – held at what some called “the mansion” – eventually happened last week, it spiraled out of control with hundreds attending, streets crammed with vehicles and a shooting that left one high school senior dead. The slaying has trained a spotlight on the large-scale, sometimes illegal parties spread through social media. Authorities and experts say while teenage partying is not a new phenomenon, such large-scale, organized events spread through social media are growing and difficult to monitor.
Tags: social media marketing