By George, social media works

There are two ways a brand can get attention on social media: they can pay for it or they can earn it. It’s not lost on most people that while both ways have value, only one has a cost. And, of course, cost is something most brands would like to avoid.

No-one wants to see “make a viral” on a brief, because everyone knows you can’t plan for something that is, essentially, out of your control. But you can plan for a higher level of engagement on social media – and we’ve found that one of the ways of doing so is by being topical and thoughtfully opinionated. Now that doesn’t mean jumping on the bandwagon at every given opportunity. It just means jumping on the bandwagon when it’s relevant to you – even tenuously.

Here’s an example. On Monday 22nd July, the UK made 94 million visits to online news sites. Within an hour of the birth of the royal baby, there were more than 1 million mentions of it on Facebook. Before the big event, we knew there was a good chance that social media would be buzzing with royalists and republicans alike. So we made the following shareable image to see if we could ride the wave and get people talking about meaningful global issues.


And it worked. 2,774 likes. 11,867 shares. A reach of more than half a million people on Facebook. And lots and lots of comments – positive and negative – from people on both sides of the spectrum. You can read them here. 

Our maternal health care graphic tapped into a national conversation, just like Christian’s banker infographic, below, for the IF campaign. That racked up more than 1,000 likes and was shared 11,001 times.


The bottom line is, if people are already interested in something, you’re halfway there already. Tap into that interest, offer a new or compelling perspective, and you can use the power of the social media bandwagon to get your message heard. And there’s no shame in that.