In this article we take a look at how a council such as Sutherland Shire can use a hashtag like #lovetheshire to manipulate influential instagrammers to promote their area for tourism. Social media, and its inane superficiality, was made for just such a campaign as this. The call to ‘like’ things on Facebook and the hashtag thing on Twitter reduce human behaviour to the herd mentality of a mob of sheep (with apologies to all the sheep reading this). If you can capture the interest of the perennially bored and give them something simple to do it can really work for you; as in this instance.
The Shire had some rebranding to do after the Cronulla Riots; which just celebrated its ten year anniversary. Known for its bigoted ‘white bread’ attitudes the area exploded into violent racism, which was beamed all over the world. Now they are promoting the region’s natural beauty via their Facebook page and selling T-shirts emblazoned with “I Love the Shire”. Can a leopard change his spots? Will the superficial social media schmooze do the job of convincing the world that this part of Sydney is a peace loving home for a bunch of really nice people?
Probably yes, never overestimate the intelligence of twenty first century citizens, when there are things to ‘like’, hashtag and Instagram. Social media isn’t deep and the fact that lots of people spend their entire waking lives connected to its many forms must tell us something about humanity. Social media marketing and the #LoveTheShire hashtag campaign is all about corralling the inane proclivities of human behaviour and reaping the resultant rewards. Many people reading this article will be thinking, just now, how can I benefit from such a campaign?
Interactivity is the key to social media marketing. What simple little thing can you encourage others to do that will ultimately reward you or your business with enough attention to make a motza from? In the Shire campaign there are real estate agents promoting themselves among other Sutherland Shire small businesses. Altruism does not run through the veins of much social media and pushing one’s own wheelbarrow is de rigour on these digital channels. Self-interest marks out the modern man and woman.
Do you love the Shire? Have you ever had any strong feelings for any local government bodies? Is the Shire your hood? Will you be marching for peace and love at Cronulla Beach?