Well, it’s official — I got the Fast Horse Inc. internship thanks to the 725 people who “Liked” my video on Facebook. For those of you who didn’t get to see it:
I’ll never be able to give each one of those people a proper thanks, but I intend on taking full advantage of this opportunity to prove them right.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a story on the front page of the business section today. (You can read it here.) The reporter, Molly Young, portrayed the intern search as a popularity contest where he/she with the most Facebook friends was guaranteed victory. I disagree. This was about engaging people and moving them to action. I don’t know everyone who took the time to “Like” my video. In fact, I don’t know the majority of people who voted for me. (See the list of voters below.)
I think I won because 1. I had a more active network and 2. I allowed people who’ve never met me to know me. Let me explain:
- There were several people in my network — you know who you are — that sent messages, posted status updates, tweeted, retweeted, made YouTube videos with voting instructions and forwarded e-mails to everyone in their contact list. I assumed I had fewer Facebook friends than my opponents (359 as of last Sunday), so I relied on involving and engaging friends and colleagues to pass the word on to their much larger networks.
- I utilized my blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to comment on the search throughout the week. I tried to follow up each Like with a thank-you of some sort, but it wasn’t always possible. From the initial video cover letter to a video I made during halftime of Game 7 Thursday night, the point was to be myself, even to people who’ve never met me. I wanted people to feel invested in the outcome.
I raved about the process in my interview with Ms. Young. Unfortunately, the quote she plucked was in response to the exhaustion I felt on Friday with just a few hours remaining. The result:
Prior to the NFL Draft, hundreds of the best players in the country go to Indianapolis for what’s known as “the combine.” There, they are tested for strength and ability through a series of rigorous testing as coaches and general managers decide whether a player is right for their team. In a way, this past week was like a social media combine. If I didn’t have a grip on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or blogging, I never stood a chance.
The truth is I enjoyed every part of this process. That’s easy to say because I won, sure, but even if I had lost, I could have accepted it knowing someone else outwitted me, one way or another.