I don’t know when it all started, maybe the “nuggs” kid, but at some point someone Tweeted to a company and asked “How many Retweets for *insert ask here*?” Since then people have jumped on the bandwagon and asked for free chicken nuggets for a year, yearbook photos with actors, free tickets to Universal Studios, memorabilia, photos at a stadium, and so much more.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
This past weekend, upon seeing that the New York Mets will let a local girl take her prom photos on the field if her Tweet gets 500,000 Retweets I had a thought:
I have a *crazy* idea.
Instead of retweets teams, leagues, companies, famous people, etc should insist these people do a community service project to earn what they’re asking for.
— #HireStef (@Stefmara) January 20, 2018
To which a fellow social media professional Chris Yandle made an outstanding point:
Community Service projects help other people.
Retweets only help yourself…and inflate your sense of self and worth. https://t.co/FXaSonsxkY
— Chris Yandle (@ChrisYandle) January 23, 2018
This latest “I want to go viral in the most self-serving way” phenomenon got me thinking; Why don’t these companies, teams, celebrities, etc require more than a crazy amount of Retweets? Brands probably either see this as goodwill or laugh at the ridiculous number they just Tweeted to the requestor, but how about instead of needing 500 trillion Retweets, challenge them! Up the game! Make the requestor earn what they’re asking for! They want something for free? An experience that would normally cost thousands of dollars or is priceless? Well then challenge them to volunteer at a local animal shelter or soup kitchen for a certain amount of hours, prove that they get straight A’s, write an essay on why they deserve this opportunity. What I’m saying is, make them prove they’re worth this extraordinary ask!
When I was younger and would ask my parents for something, their response was always “What have you done to deserve it?” Had I cleaned the house? Taken out the garbage? How were my grades? (This one never turned out well) Heck, if I asked my parents to bring my Girl Scout cookie sheet to their offices I probably had to go to all the homes in our neighborhood and try to sell to them first. The point is, I had to work for it.
Yes, I know that there will be people out there that tell me I’m a stick in the mud. That it’s all in good fun, and sure it is and it was funny the first few times, but I think it’s getting a little out of hand. The copycat bandwagon has jumped the shark. So I’m going to put a challenge out to brands on Twitter, the next time someone asks for something outrageous in the name of Retweets, challenge them back to do something meaningful instead. Oh you want to make it fun instead? Ok, then a photo scavenger hunt or an original video. As a brand you can then turn any of these opportunities into content!
(BTW Callie, I hope you get to take you prom photos on the field, no matter if you get those 500,000 Retweets or not, because that would be really awesome.)