Today is a huge day for the city of Chicago. Today is the day that our very own Blackhawks can bring home the Stanley Cup for the third time in six years!
When this day has the potential to go down in history, fans are naturally excited and are sharing this excitement with friends and family via social media. Hawks fans, near and far, are posting photos, articles, tweets, videos, and status updates every day telling their small chapter of a much larger story: the quest for the cup.
Today’s social media platforms enable us to take all of these small stories and combine them together. They allow fans to see what others like them are posting about their team while joining in on the conversation themselves.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, for example, all support the use of hashtags on their sites, which allows anything posted under a particular category to be pulled together into a single feed. Therefore, hashtags dedicated to the Hawks, including #Blackhawks, #OneGoal, and #BecauseItsTheCup provide users with potentially the easiest way to find and explore content they care about.
Snapchat also unifies fans through the creation of custom Snap Stories and filters. Once in the app, all users need to do to take part is snap a photo or video, swipe on a “Go Blackhawks” or “Chicago” filter, and send it to the community story. Snapchat then sews together the best submissions into a single stream, ready to be watched by all.
So, what does this all mean? This is the question I asked myself while browsing through the slew of Hawks posts on my timelines and newfeeds.
Here is what I came up with: social media is powerful.
We now have a virtually endless pool of information always at our fingertips. Within seconds, I was able to learn that the Hawks have fans all the way in California, Vince Vaughn recently bought Lightning coach, Jon Cooper dinner, and Patrick Kane wears the number 88 because it’s the year he was born. Without social media, I might never have learned these interesting facts.
What’s even more powerful, though, is that everyone has the ability to be seen and heard. Others searching the hashtag you used might stumble upon your blog post and share it or discover your tweet and favorite it, all thanks to the simple addition of #Blackhawks in your caption. Just the other day, I posted a photo with the #OneGoal hashtag and had Instagrammers I’ve never even met liking my photo because they were able to find it.
Although the power of social media has been discussed time and time again, this experience was a humble reminder to me that it is an awesome tool! I feel connected to my city because I can see the joy I feel on others’ faces, I can watch the excitement I experience in others’ videos, and I can sense the loyalty I hold through others’ words. We are all enjoying the success of this team, and that’s because social media helped bring us together as one.
In conclusion, I only have one thing left to say: LET’S GO HAWKS!