by Brittany McSorley
Often, social media marketing on Cape Cod calls for regional specificity. New England is a unique place, the Cape even more so. As a result, a marketing strategy that would work wonders for, say, an Italian restaurant in rural Wisconsin would not necessarily do the same for an American tavern in Orleans. Knowing your audience is key.
In recent years, however, the internet has taught us this: Some digital content is just appealing to everyone, achieving and maintaining viral popularity across every conceivable demographic. This is especially true of certain social media challenges. Rather than simply asking for a run-of-the-mill view, share, or mention, challenges actually encourage active participation. “Do this arbitrary, potentially dangerous thing,” the online world whispers seductively. “Everyone is doing it.” Like moths to a flame.
It’s been a while since a social media challenge caught our collective attention. So, as a testament to the unassailable power of peer pressure, I have a few new ones to suggest:
The Updated Planking Challenge: For a few hilarious months several years ago, planking referred not to the tortuous physical exercise, but to the act of lying face-down in a rigid pose, arms by your sides, in weird locations, and having the act captured with a photo. It’s hard to explain why the resulting images that littered Facebook and Instagram were so funny, but they really were. My updated planking challenge is simple: Literally whenever and wherever you want to, just lie down and take a nap.
The New Tide Pod Challenge: Determine whether any of your loved ones participated in the original Tide Pod Challenge. You know, the one where children ate chemicals because life is meaningless? If you find anyone who did, conduct a long-overdue intervention on Facebook Live.
The Wine Bucket Challenge: While the Ice Bucket Challenge raised money for ALS research, my version is selfish and sarcastic, which is very on brand for me. To participate in this challenge, drink approximately one bucketful of wine. You win! (Please try to use red wine only, on account of white wine being neither visually appealing nor tasty. Don’t start with me on this, okay?)
The Man-equin Challenge: This one’s for the ladies! Begin by trying to live your life and stay positive. Next, wait for an under-qualified man to begin, unprompted, to incorrectly explain something to you. Once the first feverish “actually” has tumbled out of his mouth, freeze in place. Use the collective rage you’ve spent a lifetime accumulating to stay perfectly still for as long as it takes for him to leave. To finish up, enjoy a brief frustration-cry, then go buy more makeup. You look tired.
The “All I Want for Christmas Is You” Challenge: This is based on the “In My Feelings” Challenge, except you publicly dance and sing along to Mariah Carey’s holiday classic instead of Drake’s hit song. You win the challenge if you hit the high note so perfectly that strangers are impressed, or fail to hit it so spectacularly that someone starts crying. Happy holidays!
The Hard-to-Swallow Challenge: Based on the Cinnamon Challenge, which encouraged real people with jobs and families to eat spoonfuls of ground cinnamon without the aid of water, the hard-to-swallow challenge swaps out cinnamon for the face and voice of a person you’ve wronged, describing in detail exactly how you hurt their feelings with your terrible and/or irresponsible behavior. Have a seat, sir! It’s truth-telling time.
The Peaceful Inner Life Challenge: Open Facebook. Go to your Friends list. From that list, remove everyone whose digital presence doesn’t make you feel good. Bask in the realization that you’re in charge here. Take three deep breaths. Pour yourself a second bucket of wine. Be happy.