This week, people on the Isle of Wight followed a truly humbling story about a dog called Boris who went missing after being startled by fireworks. The strong community power of a Facebook Group, Lost Pets Isle of Wight, pulled together in sheer determination to locate Boris – and they did just that!
It’s fair to say that social media as a whole played a very important role in finding Boris.
Word spread fast on Facebook and Twitter. My personal tweet alone was retweeted 57 times and managed to reach 4,278 people!
In times like this, when you really need a tweet to be noticed, it’s a good idea to tag well-known influential Twitter accounts in your tweet (to encourage them to retweet to their many followers!). However, instead of adding their @handle name in the tweet itself I tagged eight influential twitter accounts in the photo. By doing this, I was able to save my precious 140 characters from being swallowed up by @handle names, and it intentionally caught the attention of big twitter accounts like Isle of Wight Radio who kindly retweeted my tweet and also sent out their own tweet about missing Boris to their 18.3k followers.
But it was the Facebook Group, Lost Pets IOW, who were the true heroes of this heart-warming story.
Determined to find Boris, over the next few days, this passionate community continuously communicated with each other day and night to arrange search parties and update on their progress while on the move. They were not going to stop until they found him. It was literally like watching a real-time drama unfold in front of your eyes! The Island was gripped.
The moment Boris was found was captured live on Facebook! You could almost feel the adrenaline pumping through the group as the words ‘It’s him!’ appeared in the thread from one of the search party members. There were tears of happiness, a sense of pure excitement and an overwhelming relief to finally see the words that Boris had been found.
I can only imagine the extraordinary feeling of relief and support Boris’s family must have felt. This hard working Facebook community helped to bring a family back together.
BBC Radio Solent captured the heart-warming moment that Boris was returned home to his owners. (Please make sure you’re logged into Facebook to view this video).
A big thank you to all those who joined in the search for my dad's dog Boris. (Especially Lost Pets IOW). Found safe and sound a mile and a half from his home. Here's the moment they were reunited! Alex
Posted by BBC Radio Solent on Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Boris, we are so happy for you and your family, now that you are finally home safe and sound.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again….NEVER underestimate the power of social media engagement.