Using Social Media to ENGAGE, not just PROMOTE.

I don’t know if you remember the tutu fiasco that took over the world of runners a few weeks ago, but our local running group on Facebook decided to show our #tutusolidarity at a local 5K this week. The PR team of the 5K really helped get into via Twitter.


And then! The local Huntsville Visitor’s Center mascot go into it…letting us make him a tutu!



And it reminded me how much FUN social media can be. I mean, we organized with Facebook and we documented with Twitter and Instagram. This is what happens if businesses/organizations really use the tools before them. It’s not just about posting a copy of your flyer on Instagram, it’s about ENGAGING your community. HudsonAlpha didn’t have to even acknowledge that a bunch of runners were going to show up in tutus at their race, but they did and it made it all that much more fun. Buzz (our mascot) didn’t have to show up, but he did, and he donned the tutu we made him.

Using social media is NOT just about promoting your events or your products, you must engage your community. You must read their replies or tags and figure out some way to get them active. I’ll be honest, I was not on board with a Tuesday night 5K. I like to go to bed early which means eating dinner early, so racing at 5:30pm was not on my list of things to do. Wes had a t-ball game that I didn’t want to miss. But then, this TutuSolidarity thing just kinda snowballed and HudsonAlpha got involved and I couldn’t miss a chance to hang with one of our city’s mascots! And suddenly I’m covered in glitter (the glitter tulle LOOKS great but you will never get the glitter out of your surroundings…EVER…), wearing a tutu and crazy socks, and PR’ing a 5K! Using online media in your business’ PR strategy can be very effective and is something that somewhere like this pr agency philippines could help with, should you be based within that country.


All because I was ENGAGED by the social media accounts of both HudsonAlpha and Buzz (which is an offshoot of the Huntsville Visitor’s Center). If they focused on just promoting their events? I would have been eating dinner at 5pm, been in bed by 7pm, and never even looked at tulle. But because they engaged me, they made that event feel personal and I was excited to be there and I promoted it on my own social media feeds.


You’re welcome.

1 thought on “Using Social Media to ENGAGE, not just PROMOTE.”

  1. Longtime lurker here, just coming out of the woodwork to agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve said here. You are not the first person I’ve heard talking about how “liking” things on Facebook (etc) is nice and all, but what are we really DOING??

    There is this cool app I found that is available on iTunes for free, and it’s ALL about ENGAGING your community with social media. It’s called Go.Do (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/go.do/id778770265?mt=8) and I think you might like it, based on all you’ve said above! Maybe you will like it.

    Anyway thanks for writing. I read you everyday, but rarely comment. I’ve been reading since about 2007 (I think!), so, HI! 🙂

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