Impressions: Social NetWorth

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By CJ Sarmiento, Community Manager

Social networking sites are the youth’s megaphone to the world. With just a single click, it is possible to reach out to millions of people of various races in less time than it takes to blink.

Recently, Mulat Pinoy gathered 24 young people in “Social NetWorth,” a workshop that aimed to teach college students how to utilize social media in voicing out advocacies in relation to population and development.On the second day of the workshop, Mulat Pinoy invited people who have proven the use of social media in their own causes.

Guitars: Multiply-ied!

Thea Tolentino finds a way to make guitars Multiply for her students at Gawad Kalinga

Thea Tolentino finds a way to make guitars Multiply for her students at Gawad Kalinga

Thea Tolentino, as she was completing her Music degree at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, sought the help of the social networking site, to help her: not only in accomplishing her own goals, but also that of making the locals of a community happy.

Part of Thea’s undergraduate thesis was to teach the folks of Gawad Kalinga in Quezon City how to play the guitar. She had 11 students, ranging from six to 57 years old. All of them were beginners. Thea needed to teach them to perform an ensemble for a recital in two months’ time.The challenge was that they did not have any guitars to practice on. Until a week before the recital, the sponsor who initially pledged to let them borrow instruments hadn’t responded yet.

Stressed and frustrated, Thea sought the help of blogging and posted in her Multiply account. She wrote a blog post asking people to lend her students some guitars. Much to her surprise, a lot commented and reblogged her post.

After a while, she was overwhelmed, as she got almost a hundred messages offering help, not only lending guitars, but also offering monetary donations to help her students play.

Because of a single blog post, Thea and her students were able to come up with an ensemble using brand-new guitars. She was able to attain her goal, which was “to help the community by uplifting their self-esteem and confidence through music and performance.”

May the force be with you!

Oneal Rosero of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers, Philippine Outpost

Oneal Rosero of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers, Philippine Outpost

Mulat Pinoy project coordinator Rej Layug-Rosero and her husband, Oneal Rosero, are proud members of the 501st legion, an international fan-based organization dedicated to the construction and wearing of screen-accurate replicas characters from the movie, Star Wars. They make appearances at casual, promotional, and charitable events.

As Oneal started his sharing at the workshop, he flashed a date very memorable to most Filipinos, especially those who lived in Central Luzon and Metro Manila. This date was September 26, 2009: the wrath of typhoon Ondoy.

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Probably the most devastating typhoon in recent history, Ondoy submerged a vast portion of Manila, destroying billions of pesos of properties and livelihood. Hectares of land were flooded, leaving thousands of families homeless and hundreds dead.

The Internet proved very useful in saving lives and helping people during this disaster. Social networking sites served as a very helpful medium in establishing a circle of ‘bayanihan,’ not only among Filipinos, but also from our neighbors around the world.

The 501st legion also used the Internet to facilitate cooperation among Filipinos and foreigners for those who were affected by Ondoy. They used social networking sites Twitter, Multiply and Facebook in asking for help. The legion had a worldwide fund-raising to help victims survive and recover from the disaster they experienced. Truly, the Force was with everyone as they created change: a new image of ‘bayanihan,’ in the time of computers and social networking.

Donations and help in various forms came pouring through – cash, food and clothes. Through reposts, reblogs and forwarding, their efforts resulted in as much as Php 152,486 donations coming from all over the world, including those whom they do not know in the first place. Even those who were victims themselves offered and gave a hand.

Rej’s extended family, many of whom live in Marikina City, one of the areas badly hit by the wrath of Ondoy, volunteered help as well. Even though their house was submerged in floodwaters, and they still held out a hand to help others. This was not an isolated case. A lot of untold stories continue to prove how Filipinos unite to overcome trials such as these. And social media paved the way for all of these.

Meme: More fun in the Philippines!

Roshan Nandwani of BBDO Guerrero talks about the "It's More Fun In The Philippines" tourism campaign.

Roshan Nandwani of BBDO Guerrero talks about the "It's More Fun In The Philippines" tourism campaign.

Social NetWorth was lucky to have as a speaker one of the brains behind one of the most successful social media campaigns in the country: “It’s more fun in the Philippines!” Roshan Nandwani, BBDO Guerrero’s Digital Strategist, shared a few pointers that she and her team used to create such a viral campaign.

BBDO Guerrero, an advertising firm, was asked by the Department of Tourism to come up with a new tourism campaign to showcase the wonders of the Philippines and encourage tourists to visit the country. Coming from a controversial stint, the DOT wanted to redeem itself after getting through prior contentious campaigns. This time, they thought of using social media and engaging netizens in their campaign.

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According to Roshan, social media facilitates “a simple conversation where everyone listens in.” it is also a “thought bubble that everyone hears.” Because of this, they saw the potential of social media as an effective tool to send out the message they wanted to say to everyone.On top of that, there’s the nature of Filipinos to relate and converse with others.

Kicking off the first week of 2012, DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. revealed the new tourism slogan and logo to the press. Just seconds after the secretary announced it, visits to their website hit the thousands. Google analytics showed a non-stop increase in page views. The slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” trended on Twittter and Facebook for weeks.

From the three pictures they released, more than 11,000 photos were created. Until now, months after the campaign was launched, people still append the slogan to posts relating to awesome things, places, food, activities, and events in the country.

Because of the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign, the government’s tourism department finally hit the right notes for its primary campaign to promote the country.

Wrapping up

At the end of the day, workshop participants, speakers and facilitators all agreed that credibility and having a worthy cause really matter in order for a campaign be successful in social media. Responding to people’s posts and comments really keeps the interaction going. Discussions determine how viral can a single post be.

Most successful social media campaigns are usually rooted on the human experience, where everyone can relate. It simply resonates with everyone. Everyone feels the need to part of something bigger.

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Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network shares credible information about population and development issues that are relevant to young people.

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