When Social Media Works

If you haven’t seen this TikTok video made by Mary Jo Laupp, you should take a moment to view it. It went viral the other day, and it is being credited with starting a “no show” protest that has had a powerful impact on politics this past week.

We don’t need names like “culture jamming” for this simple example of the network effect. There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. Ms. Laupp had a powerful idea. Social media amplified it. This should not be news. But wait… why doesn’t every good idea go viral? Why this idea? Why did this particular video (there are many like it) go viral? Something must be going on, right?


Mary Jo Laupp has a “hit” on her hands. The video had the right combination of “x factor,” which isn’t something you can quantify or count on. Will Ms. Laupp’s next video go viral? Probably not. At least, not at the same level. Welcome to the difference between a professional content creator and distributor and a “one-hit wonder.”

I don’t have a link, but if you can find her interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, she will truly impress you. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Ms. Laupp had been interviewed on camera thousands of times; she was on point and she got her message across in ways that would make a seasoned PR executive proud.


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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.


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