This is why social media is great.
If you were on the internet last week, you probably heard about Greg Heaslip and his request for vacation days from his boss. If you haven’t, here is a brief recap: Greg works as a security guard for Arcadia Group. When an employee of Arcadia wishes to take a vacation, they have to email their direct manager with a vacation request, which Greg did. However, instead of emailing it to just his manager, he accidentally sent his holiday request to all 3,500 members of staff.
What happened next was nothing short of incredible.
First, people started responding to the emails, demanding that Greg get his holiday request approved. Then it EXPLODED on social media, with people using the hashtag #givegregtheholiday. What first started out as an inside joke for employees of Arcadia then quickly spread to people who had never even heard of Arcadia, much less Greg.
The office across the street got in on the fun by posting a note in their windows that faced Arcadia:
Then brands got involved, with companies such as Elemis giving Greg a travel collection of toiletries to take on his upcoming vacation. Tourism centers, such as the one in Algarve, Portugal, sent Greg a message on Twitter, urging him to come visit during his vacation.
But it was TrekAmerica, a tourism company promoting travel in the United States, that really upped the ante by giving Greg a free trip to Las Vegas, flights included. Shortly after that, VO5 gave him some styling products to use in Las Vegas, even creating a quick advertisement via Twitter:
There are two main takeaways here: the first is that it is of utmost importance for brands to pay attention to what is going on through social media. TrekAmerica, VO5 and Elemis all got free advertising through this event just because they were paying attention to what was trending on Twitter, and they jumped on the opportunity. Because of this, they were able to create relevant and engaging advertisements that people have been talking about since their inception.
The second takeaway is, as a company, you have to be willing to let things happen and see where they go. Arcadia could have seen that this ‘mistake’ was taking over the internet and shut it down by releasing a comment or something, but they decided to let it play out – a risk worth taking. As a brand, you have to be willing to take risks in order to get huge rewards.
After all of this, do you still think that social media isn’t important or a crucial element of your marketing efforts? Think again.