It takes a village, or rather, a network

I know a little bit about social media. My husband is a social media consultant who works from home. You pick some stuff up by osmosis that way, I suppose. Due to his influence, in the last year, I’ve joined Twitter and Facebook and started this blog–all social media outlets. I’ve seen him doing blogger outreach and monitoring content. I’ve stayed home with the kids while he’s gone to Tweetups, breakfasts and lunches all in the name of social media.

But in early June, I got involved in social media in another way. I entered the Merillat Good Life Video Contest with the grand prize being a $30,000 kitchen makeover. Basically, the contest worked like this:

  1. submit your video via Facebook,
  2. hope to be chosen by the sponsors as a finalist and then
  3. do everything you can to get the most votes for your video.

Had I been left to my own devices, I wouldn’t have even made it past step 1. I could write the script and cast some really cute kids and a handsome man in the vid, but I couldn’t star in the video, run the camera or edit it into something “finalist-worthy” by myself.

And so began the network. Michael could run the camera and a good friend of ours, Shawn Sieg, offered to edit the video for us.  We had a lot of fun and ended up producing something we were proud of.

Step 1. Check.

Step 2. What could we do? It was up to the sponsors, so we waited. And I was a finalist!

Step 2. Check.

Step 3. Now the votes. Hmm. How to get the votes? Only one vote per day per person. Well, Michael and me–2 a day probably wasn’t going to do it.

So we turned to our network. Our social network. We asked our followers on Twitter to vote and retweet the message everyday. And they did it! We were amazed at the support we got from people we’d only conversed with in spurts of 140 characters at a time. Most we’d never met in person. Some we’d never even heard of before.

Next, we turned to our friends on Facebook. Amazing support from these people! The relationships are generally stronger on Facebook, so maybe you can expect a greater response. But still the network grew. One friend, Joy Angel, posted reminders on her Facebook page as often (maybe more) than I did.

As a final push, about five days before the contest ended, Michael created a Facebook Fan page called “Help Amy Driehorst win a Merillat Good Life KitchenMerillat Good Life Contest_1248837773421” and in a matter of a day there were about 80 people in the group (there are 94 currently). These good folks committed to help us and they came through. They even asked for daily reminders. Some are our family, some our friends, some we have no idea who they are, but they helped us!

The voting ended. The waiting started. Did we get enough votes? Even if we didn’t it was a fun experiment in social media. But…did we win?

Step 3: CHECK!

We DID win the kitchen! We are so thankful to all of the people in our network and beyond who played a part in our winning.

For me, I learned a little more about the power of social media and the importance of a network. For Michael, he had fun putting his skills to use for personal reasons rather than professional ones. For the whole family, we had fun!

So as they say, “it takes a village.” But in reality, “it’s the network.”

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4 thoughts on “It takes a village, or rather, a network

  1. Mark Pannell

    I couldn’t be happier for you guys! One night when the “Evangelists” were up at Daddy-Oh’s, I said to Mike, “this is the power of social networking.” It truly is. People who dismiss sites like Twitter and Facebook as a “waste of time” have never won a new kitchen on the power of semi-strangers. They’ve never had their hearts warmed by an outpouring of support when their jobs have been in jeopardy. And they’ve never enjoyed drinks with new friends that they never would have met through traditional channels. In short, the don’t get it and they never will. The Driehorsts are like the poster family for the positive impact that social media can have on someone’s life. Again, I’m so happy for you guys and I’m proud to call you friends… online and off.

  2. Amy Post author

    Thanks, Mark for your kind words and support! You definitely have our support as you deal with this new set of circumstances you’ve encountered.

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