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Unless you have been living in a cave this past week, you would have heard of the “Chewbacca Mom”, Candace Payne, the housewife from Texas USA who has become a world-wide sensation with her Facebook Live video demonstrating a Chewbacca face mask.

There is a huge lesson in this phenomenon for anyone in business who is still trying to increase sales through advertising or is currently of the belief that social media has no place in their business – more on that in just a moment. First, here are a few sobering statistics on the video itself…..

  • Over 140 million views on Facebook live (as at 30/5/2016)
  • Over 10 million views on Youtube through various uploaded versions
  • Broadcast across the world via television news
  • Countless newspaper articles featuring the story

Imagine, if your business had just 10% of that sort of coverage – would it make a difference to the results of the business? You would have to say yes!

Here are some businesses who are flying high thanks to Candace’s efforts:

  • Hasbro (the makers of the mask) have been inundated with orders – the mask sold out of stores across America within 48 hours of the video going viral.
  • Kohl’s (the store that Candace purchased her mask from) had an instant traffic & sales spike across all of their stores following the video’s release.

The business result of this video is nothing less than spectacular – without even trying!

But what of Candace herself, how has this video impacted upon her?

So far, here’s what she has experienced:

  • Personal appearances on news & talk shows across America, including a segment with James Corden’s Late Late Show, where she got to meet with the Director of Star Wars VII, JJ Abrams (that segment alone generated 5 million Youtube views)
  • $2,500.00 worth of gift cards from Kohl’s
  • Star Wars toys from Hasbro
  • A meeting with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook HQ (her FB Live video is the all time most viewed & shared)
  • Complimentary VIP tickets for her family at the upcoming Star Wars convention in Dallas, including a private meeting with Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca himself)

Candace has gone from being anonymous to world famous in just over 48 hours!

What happens for Candace from here is anyone’s guess – managed correctly, this could be a launch pad for a career in media (if that is what she wants), to make a killing with product endorsements or for her to bring global attention to a cause of her choice (she is active in her Christian community).

Candace has achieved all of this without:

  • A marketing plan
  • A Public Relations management team
  • A promotional budget of any sort

Whilst her results are obviously “Accidental”, they are nonetheless tangible – which brings us to the business angle on all of this.

Traditional business marketing strategies are next to useless – newspaper ads, letterbox drops, radio & television ads are all becoming less & less effective. But you don’t need me to tell you that! Any local business out there knows they are having to spend more & more in these areas to compensate for the slide in results.

The main reason for this is that the audiences for these mediums have shifted to the online world – but not just the internet (through your website & search engines like Google). People are loving social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc) & there are lessons that every business can take from this event.

Here are a few key take-aways for local businesses:

  • The face of broadcast media has changed forever – not because of this event. Candace’s experience is a reflection of what has been in the mix for some time now. The internet (& especially social media) provides unrestricted access to markets if you are delivering the right message.
  • You cannot buy the sort of exposure that Candace is getting
  • If you are not actively involved in contributing to your online community your business is invisible

Attempting to “Copy” what Candace has done will not work because people will see the attempt for what it is – a poor imitation.

However, having watched the video a few times now, there are elements that can be adopted by anyone who wants to generate interest in their respective communities or markets.

Four elements you have to consider:

  1. Be authentic:

    Candace isn’t trying to be anything but herself. She isn’t trying to promote anything. She has no hidden agendas. She is not trying to be politically correct.
    The problem with most promotional activities undertaken by business is that they are trying to sell something. As a result, people don’t trust the content.
    Despite not looking for any reward when making her video, Candace is reaping enormous benefit from it.

  2. No script:

    Other than a beginning, middle and end, Candace’s video follows no script. She had a broad idea as to why she wanted to make the video & just ran with it. As a result, viewers feel that they are seeing the real her – not some projected personality or fake.

  3. Have a conversation:

    Candace talks to you as an individual, she makes the message personal &, as a result, you are made to feel like you are right there with her. She’s not talking to (or at) a target market or specific demographic.

  4. Keep it short:

    The video runs for less than 5 minutes. You can watch it just about anywhere at anytime

Doing all of those things will not guarantee you a 100 million plus audience but it will make for an engaging message that your “Community” is likely to respond to. The rest is up to the universe!

Stop making excuses like, “I don’t know anything about Facebook (or social media)” or “I don’t have a video camera” or “I don’t know what I would say” etc, etc. These are lame – for goodness sake, a Texas housewife has just used her smartphone, posted a video & is now world famous! If she can do it, why can’t you?

The bottom line for business is this – the old ways of promoting a business are no longer effective. Stop spending money trying to “Convince” (force) people to do business with you – the effectiveness of that approach has always been dubious but in an age where your potential customers can now choose what messages they see & act on, the forced approach is doomed to failure.

Instead, invest some time and effort in getting to know your customers & potential customers – find out what their world is like & how your business can help them – then start to show them that you’re there to help. No agendas, no marketing speak.

Don’t try to be funny (unless you are), don’t try to be smooth – be yourself! Remember, the one thing your competitors cannot copy is you!

Importantly, put your message where people will see it! You may not like social media but that is beside the point because your customers love it – if you don’t believe that then you are in the minority – Facebook alone has over 1.5 billion users with half of those using the platform every day!

Get on social media (if you’re not there already) & be a part of the conversation – the time for sitting on the sidelines is over.

If you need help with all of this – get it, now! There is no shortage of support for you out there but you’re the one that has to ask for it. I’d love to help you – get in touch with me here:

Posted In: Local Business


  1. Commando says:

    Be a part of the conversation!
    Let me & others know your thoughts – got a suggestion, I’d love to hear from you.

    Thanks for reading!

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