There are times when we are individuals and there are times where we are part of something bigger.
Then there are the times when we are in a seemingly-impromptu group of people, dancing in unison in a public place for no apparent reason. For those in this third classification, we are known as a Flash Mob
In the realm of social media, the concept of Flash Mobs can only be defined as viral video catnip. The first one (as we know them) was created in Manhattan in May 2003, and since then, there have been scattered occurrences that have steadily increased in frequency, complexity and popularity, and have included pretend gun fights, singing, people posing as statues, and much, much more..
But, what is their point? Why do they happen? These are good questions, and the answer is simple: Because we can.
Oh, did I just say “we”? Yes. Definitely just said “we”. I happen to be a fan of Flash Mobs, and have even helped create a few. I won’t be giving details about where or when these have taken place because that’s part of the fun. Also, while not having broken any laws, there are inevitably people who frown upon disruptive behavior (and angry e-mails from them might ruin my day). I can say unequivocally that the reasons I have done this in the past was not for the recognition. It was a challenge. It was fun, secretive, and powerful. I could organize large groups of like-minded people without ever having met or spoken to them. The power of social media is enough to give anyone a bit of a rush.
In this series of posts, I will walk you through the process of developing a Flash Mob, and cover topics such as Why I decided to do it; Creating the idea; Organizing the people; The Preparation; The Execution; and The Feedback. The process is quite interesting as well as exciting.
Now, while I want this series to be a fascinating look at a cultural phenomenon, compiled from first-hand knowledge, I also hope to convey something much greater, a message: social media can be a mechanism to do big things.
As a member of Make Me Social, which uses social media as tool for branding businesses, I find that many of the same principals I used in organizing Flash Mobs are used for marketing. Both inspire action and encourage people to do something different.
Kerri Perkins is an Account Coordinator with Make Me Social.