As some of you may know recently the actor Ashton Kutcher challenged the news network CNN. The contest was for fun and charity using the social networking site Twitter. In a nutshell, the contest was to try and be the first to get one million followers on the twitter platform. For those who donâ€™t know, think of followers as readership for a magazine.
This actually interested me a lot from a business point of view as it was a social media battle. In many ways we would see if a single person can outdo an entire news network. I was watching CNN sporadically too and noticed that at the later evening they were advertising its twitter feed heavily as they wanted to win.
Ashton Kutcher was trailing behind initially. Ultimately, he was able to get to one million first. On a side note, one thing I did notice was that there seemed to be a lot of errors for both sides where the followers for both accounts were over a million prematurely. I noticed that CNNâ€™s account was frozen at 999,990 for awhile at one point.
I was then watching some recorded online streaming clips on how he was talking about his victory and that this challenge proves that in this day of age one manâ€™s voice can be more powerful that the traditional media platforms. Kind of like a David VS Goliath battle.
While I personally know first hand the power of social media and what it can do when you get a lot of readership for a topic, what this scenario made me think of was how CNN kind of dug its own grave in this competition by giving Ashton Kutcher so much TV time. In my opinion, that was a big reason why he was able to get one million followers faster. Ironically, it was more through the use of TV exposure as oppose to a pure online marketing point of view on top of his celebrity status/connections. Itâ€™s just natural to want to root for the underdog in many ways afterwards right?
Think of it like this too. If CNN had this challenge with him where they focused more on â€œWe want to get one million followersâ€ as oppose to a â€œWe want to beat Ashton Kutcher to one millionâ€ I would be inclined to say that they would have won.
Itâ€™s almost like how people tell you in business that you should always focus on making yourself better and not necessarily trying to specifically trash talk the competition as it just gives them more attention. In this case CNN was giving Ashton Kutcherâ€™s feed a lot of TV time and in a game of numbers thatâ€™s millions of extra potential subscribers for him too that he would have not have otherwise had the opportunity to leverage off of.
Although, to be fair this challenge was obviously done in a playful/casual way for charity, but the scenario in general is a good one to learn from I feel. I think the scenario would have been more genuinely impressive if it was just an average Joe type of person who was simply passionate about a specific topic that was able to accumulate all that support.