It didn’t take the recent revolution in Egypt for CBC to realize nothing rallies the masses these days like social media.
We first felt the impact of Facebook, Twitter, and similar platforms a year ago during voting for our annual Connectors Choice Awards. The number of total votes doubled from the previous year to nearly 2,000.
While social media have continued to surge in the last year, we weren’t expecting another 100-percent swell in votes toward our fourth and latest Connectors Choice Awards. In fact, we were actually anticipating fewer votes, based on a few changes in the voting process.
Foremost, we stated up front that only one vote per email address would be accepted. Stuffing the ballot box had been a problem in the past — there was nothing stopping someone from voting a hundred or more times — and we made it a point to resolve that. To our readers’ credit, most listened: Upon double-checking the final tallies, we only had to delete about 200 illicit ballots.
In addition, we dropped the number of categories from 21 to 19. On top of that, CBC appointed for the first time a national panel of judges to narrow the final ballot to three nominees per category. No longer was the entire universe of local event-planning and networking groups and individuals eligible during the final voting.
So, how’d we end up with 3,672 votes?
Simply put, Facebook makes a difference. The same can be said for those maximum 140 characters that Twitter users are allotted per Tweet.
Nobody realizes this better than three of the top four CCA vote-getters — House of Blues (1,234 votes), Event Source (1,046), and Rock the House Entertainment Group (902). As a Facebook “friend” of each company, I’m well aware of their social media marketing strategies. And good for them. Theirs is a promotional lesson that could benefit every company.
Even the organizations and individuals who have yet to catch up with social media earned their share of votes this year. The lowest winning total of votes was 440 — which is about how many the ENTIRE first Connectors Choice Awards attracted four years ago.
Social media or no social media, CBC’s annual awards competition continues to grow in popularity. But there’s also no denying that the easiest and fastest way to make your point these days is to stick it in your status update.