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Social media sites are not just tools for connecting people. They can also be used to make a positive impact on society.
On the odd occasion, one social media post will climb above all others, and gain attention beyond the poster’s wildest expectations.
In this article, we round up some examples of times that social media made a positive impact on people’s lives.
1. Shiggy – #InMyFeelingsChallenge
Who says you can’t end up on BET, get invited to a Lakers game, or even feature in the music videos of two popular hip-hop stars? Which is exactly what happened to Shiggy, aka theshiggster.
After popular hip-hop act Drake released his fifth studio album, Scorpion, social media was abuzz with some of the songs. But, one fan took it a step further and created a dance to one of the songs titled “In My Feelings.” That was the beginning of a new viral challenge that would sweep the world of social media.
Off the back of his video, Shiggy was able to meet Drake, get paid for helping the song go viral, and also feature in the music video for the song. He also starred in the music video of one of Drake’s label mates and some of BET’s running shows. Which isn’t bad for a simple dance video.
2. Billy’s Donuts
My dad is sad cause no one is coming to his new donut shop ? pic.twitter.com/y5aGB1Acrc
— Billy's Donuts (@BillysDonuts) March 9, 2019
If you run a business that suffers from a lack of foot traffic, why not try reaching out to the community on one of the top social media apps and sites? Which is what Billy’s Donuts did.
Luckily for them, the Twitter community and staff were more than willing to help. Overnight, the regular donut shop became viral, setting up the store as another beneficiary of social media’s positive impact on society.
3. Akreana – O Jewa Ke Eng
O jewa ke eng ?
— Keabetswe? (@akreana_) January 5, 2019
One day you’re just tweeting in your native language asking people “what’s bothering you?” The next day, you go viral. A simple post by @akreana_ asking her followers, “O jewa ke eng?” had people opening up about their worries and fears.
This inspired several other people to do the same, and for months, you hardly could go on any social media site without having the phrase pop up at you. Due to the popularity of her tweet, Akreana got several brand ambassadorship deals and started her foundation aimed at helping people.
4. Burrito Blanket
lmaoooo i just got home and this was inside a package addressed for me. amazing pic.twitter.com/kU4ByxAnA7
— katrina (@katreenawhh) March 28, 2019
On a random day, Twitter user @katreenawhh arrives home to see a Burrito blanket waiting for her. After posting the images of the blanket on Twitter, suddenly, everyone wanted one.
The retailers on Amazon and Etsy who had these beautiful blanket for sale suddenly had an influx of orders to fulfill, and all because one Twitter user posted about the product.
5. Brianna Cry and Heidi Tran
Hey twitter, I met this girl on a dinner cruise in Hawaii in 2006. We were basically bestfriends for that night so I need y’all to help me find my bestfriend cause I miss her and I need to see how she’s doing now. Please retweet this so we can be reunited. pic.twitter.com/LRtk6ClvV3
— Bri (@briannacry) November 24, 2018
Did someone ask for a miracle? Maybe not a miracle, but a little help reconnecting with a long lost friend?
Brianna Cry did just that when she posted on Twitter about trying to reconnect with a long-lost friend. In less than 11 hours, that long lost friend Heidi Tran got to see the highly retweeted post.
Popular TV host Ellen DeGeneres took it a step further and helped these two girls meet in person after several years apart. This was an example of social media’s positive impact if it had been turned into a movie.
6. The Cronut
When New York pastry chef Dominique Ansel invented the Cronut, he had no idea of the craze he was starting. He simply wanted to add a new kind of pastry to the menu of his bakery. However, after a food blogger tried the Cronut and wrote about it, more people started visiting the bakery.
The demand for the Cronut is so high that you can see a queue every day in front of Ansel’s bakery.
7. Elijah Rutland
People really out here thinking that I make free art…. pic.twitter.com/taX89jSLNH
— Elijah Rutland (@fixmysole) September 5, 2018
Imagine logging onto your social media account and finding out that the entire community is fascinated by a new meme you created. For Elijah Rutland, all it took for him to feel social media’s positive impact was a reinterpretation of a cartoon character.
The meme came from the Cartoon Network show “Ed, Edd, and Eddy.” Social media loved it and named it “Black Rolf.” Thanks to the virality of his meme, Elijah got an internship opportunity with Warner Bros. Animation.
8. ALSA – #IceBucketChallenge
Want to know a surefire way of going viral? How about starting a hashtag and have celebrities hop on it? That was what the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALSA) did.
To raise awareness for ALS research, the association started the viral ice bucket challenge. Celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, and the male cast members of Avengers all jumped at the chance of dumping water on themselves. By the time the popularity of the viral campaign waned, the association had raised $220 million for its research.
9. Lil Nas X – Old Town Road Remix
twitter please help me get billy ray cyrus on this pic.twitter.com/UDoeiOZqc1
— nope (@LilNasX) December 5, 2018
Do you need a country star to feature on your record? Then why not tweet at them?!
Rapper Lil Nas X did just that by tweeting at Billy Ray Cyrus to feature on his single, “Old Town Road”. Luckily for him, the country star was willing to accept the offer. When the song got released, it topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for nineteen consecutive weeks.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
What do you get when you mix a chicken nugget lover and a fast food restaurant willing to satisfy his craving? Carter Wilkerson jokingly tweeted at Wendy’s asking how many retweets it would take for him to get a free year of nuggets. Luckily for him, Wendy’s replied, and the rest is history.
Although he wasn’t able to meet the stipulated 18 million retweets, the 3.5 million retweets the post got were enough for the restaurant to make good on its promise. It was a win-win situation for both parties involved, as Carter got his nuggs and Wendy’s gained more publicity.
Any Social Media Post Has the Potential to Go Viral
The next time you write a post or share a picture on social media, remember that it could go viral. Someone might just see what you post, and like it or retweet it, and before you know it, you’re getting attention from media outlets the world over.
While this ability to go viral didn’t make our list of the positive effects social media has on society, social media can clearly help your voice get heard. As these cases demonstrate.