TheOatmeal.com is one of those sites that everyone loves. This site posts hilarious comics about daily life that anyone can relate to, and the writer Matthew Inman strives to be unique, original, and hysterical on a pretty constant basis.
This afternoon, TheOatmeal posted this piece on the on-going battle between the site and FunnyJunk, which has been posting a lot of TheOatmeal’s original content without giving credit to the site. It seems the latest installment in this online drama is that FunnyJunk is threatening to sue TheOatmeal if Inman does not remove all mentions of “FunnyJunk” from the site, and also sends FunnyJunk $20,000 in damages.
To quote Inman’s rebuttal, “You want ME to pay YOU $20,000 for hosting MY unlicensed comics on YOUR shitty website for the past three years? No, I’ve got a better idea. 1. I’m going to try and raise $20,000 in donations. 2. I’m going to take a photo of the raised money. 3. I’m going to mail you that photo, along with this drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear. 4. I’m going to take the money and donate one half to the National Wildlife Federation and the other half to the American Cancer Society.”
So, Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad began. And reached its goal of raising $20,000 in 64 minutes. (At the time of publication, $29,606 had been raised.)
How did the site do this? How can you leverage the learnings from this social media campaign for your own good? Here’s how:
- Build a brand that everyone loves – No matter your business niche, you too can build a brand that drives readers back for more every day. Discover what kind of information they want, and deliver it to them in spades. Become a go-to resource for all information in your niche, never falter in your duty to deliver quality content, and strive for your best at every turn. This is what will drive engagement with your brand.
- Share your content – Make your content easily shareable. Become active on social networks and post your own content. Include social share buttons on your content for others to be able to share it as well. Make sure that if someone wants to say something about your content, they easily can. This will only encourage more shares and increased mentions.
- Engage with your users – When sharing your content, don’t just sit back and post links. You need to understand what your users are looking for, and communicate with them. Ask questions, answer questions, comment on their content, and facilitate conversations about your brand’s offerings. This will show you’re truly connected to your audience, and will help build trust and brand advocates.
- Give back – You can’t except to receive all the time; sometimes you have to give it as well. Donate your time or money to reputable organizations who align with your business objectives. Share recognition with colleagues in related industries when they succeed. Understand that the benefits of giving as a business go well beyond building good karma, and you’ll see improvements in your company’s brand reputation and authority as well.
- Say thank you – This is just common sense. If someone does something nice for you, thank them.
- Rinse and repeat – As the world constantly changes, you’ll want to monitor all business activity, both online and offline, and continue doing what has been successful for you. When your brand creates awesome online content, shares and engages with users, and build a strong, reputable community, continue doing so and your success could increase ten-fold.
You too could raise funds, awareness, mentions, and links in a short amount of time by building a strong, relatable, shareable brand. TheOatmeal continues to do this every day, and will never disappoint its readers. Take a few tips from this fun site of comics, and you could see some great online successes.